Thursday, April 19, 2018

Throwback Thursday: The Nick Smyth game

Every Thursday we'll post a photo or memory here to reflect on players, games, and fans of the past.

On the night of Tuesday, October 17, 2000, the College at Brockport played one of its most exciting games in team history, an exhibition game against Humber College out of Toronto, Ontario.

The sparse crowd of only 250 fans saw a game of epic proportions. It was high-scoring affair eventually won by Brockport 9-7 thanks to a 6-goal flurry in the second.

Amidst all that goal scoring was physical hockey like you’ve never seen. There were 29 penalties in the match-up, including three 10-minute misconducts and a game disqualification. In total the teams accounted for 96 minutes of penalties.

That aggression didn't stop at the final buzzer: During the post-game handshake a Brockport player had his helmet off and was innocently shaking hands when all of a sudden a Humber player blasted the unprotected and unsuspecting soul right in the nose, instantly bloodying his face.

You don’t see games like that too often….and you definitely don’t see a single player’s performance as we did that night very often.

Brockport’s Nick Smyth had the greatest game ever by a Brockport hockey player.

In his first game for the Golden Eagles he scored a school-record 5 goals. An impressive total no doubt. What makes it even more extraordinary is that he scored a natural shorthanded hat trick!! How's that for a debut!!

That was the first time that ever happened in the NCAA...or was it?

NCAA purists will say that Neil Musselwhite’s (against Brockport, no less, in 2009) was the first in NCAA DIII history being that it was a true NCAA game pitting two NCAA colleges against one another while the Brockport/Humber game was a US/Canada event featuring only one NCAA school.

But, that’s semantics. Smyth’s was the first by a player at the DIII level of US collegiate hockey and he should be recognized for it.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Hockey's stellar student-athletes

The College at Brockport Athletic Department held its annual Senior Athlete Luncheon on Thursday, honoring its 104-senior student-athletes. At the event, the Golden Eagles inducted 23 student athletes into the Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Society, the National College Athletic Honor Society. Membership selection is based on outstanding scholarship, athletic achievement, character and citizenship. Hockey players inducted into the society were:  David Horan, Dylan Shapiro, and Aidan Verbeke.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Adam Shoff

Every Thursday we'll post a photo or memory here to reflect on players, games, and fans of the past.

Here's a snapshot of Adam Shoff in his junior season of 2010-2011. Adam was known for hustling up and down the ice with reckless abandon, fighting for pucks in the corners, putting his body in harm's way to block shots like he was a second goalie and fearlessly mixing it up with anyone, no matter their size. He was possessed of energy and a never-give-up attitude.

His best season was the 2011-2012 campaign when, as captain, the senior scored 5 goals, had 19 assists and put up 40 penalty minutes.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

On the Humboldt Broncos tragedy

As the hockey world reels from the tragedy that befell the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team, one can't help but wonder if we know someone connected to the Broncos. In SUNYAC, there is only one player who recently played for Humboldt -- Brett Horn of Potsdam. The freshman played for the Broncos last season, so he knows and played alongside some of the young men who passed. Our hearts go out to Brett, the Broncos, the real families, the billet families, and the entire Humboldt community in these dark days of grief and sorrow.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Pray commits to Brockport

Tonawanda, NY native Trevor Pray took to Twitter this week to announce his commitment to Brockport. The 6'3" forward is another excellent recruit, possessing some serious scoring ability.

In his 2015-2016 senior campaign at Kenmore East he made the All-State Team and was Section II's Player of the Year after a 20 goal, 17 assist regular season. In the 6 playoff games that followed he scored an amazing 17 goals and had 7 assists against the best teams in New York.

The state championship game was all him -- he scored the game-tying goal late in the third and then the game winner in overtime in the 3-2 victory over Skaneateles. That performance put him in the Faces In the Crowd section of Sports Illustrated -- sharing that installment of Faces with Lonzo Ball, who went on to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

After graduating from high school, he spent two seasons in the Juniors with the Walpole Express. In 2016-2017 he had 24 goals and 29 assists, good for 53 points in 40 games. This past season he had a 22-18-40 line in 48 games.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Klimowicz is coach of the year

Bob Klimowicz played hockey at Brockport. Since then, he's been coaching high school hockey. He has been named the 2017-18 All-Bee Girls’ Hockey Coach of the Year by the Bee family of newspapers in WNY:

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Brockport alumnus Meredith is SUNYAC Coach of the Year

The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) is proud to announce the recipient of Men's Ice Hockey Coach of the Year for the 2017-2018 season. This year, Fredonia head coach Jeff Meredith (who is an alumnus of Brockport) has been voted to receive this honor.

In his 30th season as head coach for the Blue Devils, Meredith led his squad to an overall record of 13-11-4, and a fifth place SUNYAC seeding entering playoffs with a conference record of 7-8-1. The team had a triumphant SUNYAC playoff run, upsetting No. 5 seeded Plattsburgh in the Quarterfinals, 4-3, then upsetting No. 1 seeded Oswego in the semifinals, 3-1, to advance to the SUNYAC championship game.
Meredith entered the 2017-18 season ranked 45th on the all-time NCAA wins list, and earned his 400th career victory in a 7-4 win over visiting Plattsburgh on December 2. This marks Meredith's third SUNYAC Coach of the Year honor.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Bennet tackles student-athletes for Winging It blog

Hockey player Luke Bennett has undertaken a new endeavor at the Winging It blog at Brockport. He will interview student-athletes for the blog. His first subject -- hockey player Doc Gentzler:

Friday, February 23, 2018

Verbeke is All-SUNYAC

The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) announced Feb. 22nd the men's ice hockey All-Conference selections, with Aidan Verbeke from The College at Brockport making this year's list.

Verbeke was named to the Third-Team as a forward during his senior campaign. He finished the year with 35 points which is second best in the SUNYAC.  He scored 15 goals that left him fourth best in the conference and dished out 20 assists which is good for third.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Kielich joins the Thunder

On Saturday, Tim Kielich closed out his collegiate career against Geneseo. Tonight, he embarks on his professional career with the ECHL Adirondack Thunder!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Brockport doesn't make playoffs in season-ending loss to Geneseo

The College at Brockport ice hockey team dropped their final State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) contest of the season against SUNY Geneseo on Saturday, 1-0. The Golden Eagles wrap up the 2017-2018 season with a record of 11-13-1 (5-10-1 SUNYAC), while the Knights move to 16-5-3 (10-3-3).

Brockport trailed halfway through the first period when Geneseo took a 1-0 lead 11 minutes into the contest. The Green and Gold tried to answer when they were awarded a power play opportunity, but the Knights penalty kill shut down any offensive threat. The Golden Eagles kept the intensity up for the remainder of the period ripping off seven shots, but were unsuccessful in tying the game up.

The Green and Gold suffered an early penalty in the second period to give them a man-down disadvantage. The Brockport penalty kill locked down too, and only allowed one shot on frame during the Geneseo power play. Both teams battled it out for the remainder of the period as the score stayed the same, going into the final period.

The Golden Eagles fought hard throughout the third period but fell short in finding the back of the net. Brockport teed off a total of 23 shots throughout this period, but none could beat the goalie, who held on to a final 1-0 win.

Brockport goalie Matt Schneider had a strong day between the pipes, finishing with 27 saves and a .964 save percentage.

This concludes Brockport ice hockey's season and will return a healthy amount of talent to make a run in the SUNYAC next year.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The playoff scenario

Going into the last night of regular season play, the playoff picture is absolute chaos in SUNYAC. Here is the official list of scenarios from the SUNYAC officials themselves....

SUNYAC Men’s Ice Hockey Scenario
1 – Oswego
2 – Geneseo
3 – Buffalo State
4 – Potsdam
·       With a win
·       With losses by Fredonia and Plattsburgh
·       With a tie and ties or losses by both Fredonia and Plattsburgh
4 – Plattsburgh
·       With a win and a loss by Potsdam and a loss or tie by Fredonia
4 – Fredonia
·       With a win and a loss by Potsdam and a loss or tie by Plattsburgh
Other scenarios
·       3-way tie at 15 points among Fredonia, Plattsburgh and Potsdam
o   4 – Plattsburgh
o   5 - Fredonia
o   6 – Potsdam
·       2-way tie at 15 points between Fredonia and Potsdam
o   4 – Potsdam
o   5 – Fredonia
·       2-way tie at 15 points between Plattsburgh and Potsdam
o   4 – Plattsburgh
o   5 – Potsdam
·       2-way tie at 15 points between Plattsburgh and Fredonia
o   4 – Plattsburgh
o   5 - Fredonia
·       3-way tie at 14 points among Fredonia, Plattsburgh and Potsdam
o   4 – Potsdam
o   5 - Plattsburgh
o   6 - Fredonia
·       2-way tie at 14 points between Fredonia and Potsdam
o   4 – Potsdam
o   5 - Fredonia
·       2-way tie at 14 points between Plattsburgh and Potsdam
o   4 – Potsdam
o   5 - Plattsburgh
·       3-way tie among Brockport, Fredonia and Plattsburgh
o   4 - Potsdam
o   5 - Brockport
o   6 – Fredonia
o   Out - Plattsburgh
·       Brockport in a 2-way tie with Fredonia or Plattsburgh is 6 while the other team is out
·       Brockport out with a tie or loss or a win or tie by both Plattsburgh and Fredonia

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Verbeke can cement case for SUNYAC Player of the Year

There is one regular season game left to play for Brockport. It's do or die. Brockport HAS to win to have any chance of making the playoffs.

Someone who looks to make a huge impact against Geneseo is senior captain Aidan Verbeke.

With one weekend to go, it looks like the battle for SUNYAC Player of the Year could go to either him or Geneseo's Conlan Keenan.

Of all players in the SUNYAC, Keenan has the highest points per game average at 1.50 (12th in the nation). Next in line is Verbeke at 1.46 which is good for 13th best in the nation.

Verbeke's goal total of 15 ranks behind only 3 SUNYAC players...Tyson Empey, also of Geneseo (18), Rich McCartney of Plattsburgh (17) and Keenan (17).

Voters might see that Keenan has a deep team (3 players with 30+ points, 2 more with 20+) while Verbeke is carrying a heavy load (he has 10 points and 5 goals more than his closest teammates). Then again, voters might consider Keenan's out of this world numbers as not being team dependent -- in his freshman campaign last year he put up an awesome 23-12-35 line. 

Even if he doesn't secure SUNYAC MVP honors, Verbeke is certainly worthy of First Team All American consideration.

Hopefully you've been savoring the season -- and career -- Verbeke has been having.

Parsons commits to Brockport

Mitchell Parsons played for the North Iowa Bulls’ during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 season where he was one of the most recognizable faces on and off the ice. His leadership earned him the captain’s designation during the 2016-17 season.

He’s now a member of the Eastern Hockey League’s Connecticut Roughriders and, next year, he'll be a member of the Brockport Golden Eagles.

Parsons announced his commitment last week to the State University of New York at Brockport.

The Grandville, Michigan native was a key factor in the Bulls’ 2015-16 run to the Silver Cup national championship, and the team’s return to the national tournament a year ago, with 64 points in 87 regular-season and postseason games for North Iowa.

This year, his game has shifted into a new gear, with 58 points, including 30 goals, in 36 EHL games. 

“Mitch is a complete player playing at 100% capacity and all zones on a daily basis,” said Connecticut head coach Eric Lind. “He is extremely effective on special teams and is a team leader both on and off the ice. He elevates the team to work at higher level of play by leading by example.”

Here is his highlight video from his senior year of high school a year in which he was the Grand Rapids Press Winter Athlete of the Year:

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Brockport's playoff chances

With one weekend of SUNYAC regular season play left, Brockport players and fans face a stressful entrance into -- or exclusion from -- the playoffs.

Brockport is currently tied with Fredonia for sixth place in the conference with 11 points. If the season would end today, Brockport would get in because the season split between the two teams saw Brockport score one more goal.

But, the season isn't over.

Brockport has one game left...a tough one against a powerful 16-5-3 Geneseo team (which is ranked second in the SUNYAC) at Geneseo.

Fredonia has two games left...they are hosting Morrisville on both nights next weekend.

Fredonia could beat Morrisville twice as Brockport did last weekend. But, they could also split.

If they split, Brockport HAS to win on Saturday night to get into the playoffs.

It is highly unlikely Fredonia will lose both games, so the split-and-win is the most likely scenario that could help Brockport.

But, suppose the unlikely happens and Fredonia loses both and Brockport loses -- then you have to watch out for Cortland...they are out of the playoffs today with 9 points, but if Brockport and Fredonia gain nothing and Cortland beats one of Plattsburgh and Potsdam, Cortland is in due to the tie-breaker of goal differential from their 7-3 win over Brockport recently.

Yes, it's SUNYAC chaos with one weekend to go.

So, fans: keep fingers crossed and watch the scoreboards, and players: play hard and trust one another to get the job done!

Lakers down Brockport

The College at Brockport ice hockey teams falls short against Oswego State Saturday night, losing by a final score of 4-1. The Golden Eagles drop to 11-12-1 (5-9-1) on the year, where the Lakers move to 18-3-2 (13-0-1).

Brockport trailed early in the first period as Oswego took a 2-0 lead in the first six minutes of play. The Green and Gold fought back firing three shots on frame, which all were saved by the visiting goalie. Both teams continued to battle it out for the remainder of the period, but either side could not find the back to hold the same score.

The Golden Eagles continued to slip in the second period as the Lakers added another goal to take 3-0 advantage. Brockport struck halfway through the period as Brandon McMartin teed up a slap shot past the keeper to cut the deficit to 3-1. The Green and Gold kept the offensive pressure high, but found no luck on converting another goal for the rest of the period.

Brockport earned an early power play opportunity in the third period. Tim Kielich and Aidan Verbeke fired off a shot a piece but were shut down the Laker goalie. The Golden Eagles found another power play late in the period, but the Oswego penalty kill locked down to hold the same score. In one last attempt, Brockport pulled their goalie while on another power play to give a six-on-four player advantage, but Oswego capitalized on the empty net to lock the final score at 4-1.

McMartin was the lone scorer for Brockport with Kielich and Verbeke being charged for the assists. Goalie Matt Schneider finished the game amassing 32 saves, with a few during crucial moments of the contest.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Cortland beats Brockport

The College at Brockport lost a tough road match against SUNY Cortland Friday night, losing by a final score of 7-3. The Golden Eagles drop to 11-11-1 (5-8-1) on the season, where the Red Dragons move to (4-8-1).

Brockport trailed early in the first period as Cortland netted the first goal five minutes into the contest. The Green and Gold answered as Tim Kielich converted a shot on frame less than a minute later to tie the game at 1-1. The Golden Eagles struggled and the Red Dragons pulled ahead notching two back-to-back goals to hold a 3-1 lead at the end of the opening period.

Brockport continued to stumble in the second period as Cortland extended their lead to 4-1 one minute into play. The Golden Eagles tried to get on the scoresheet as Brandon McMartin ripped off two shots, which were both shut down by the visiting goalie. The second period ended with the Red Dragons adding another goal to take a 5-1 advantage heading into the final period.

The Golden Eagles opened up the third period on the power play with a chance to cut the deficit. Three different players teed up a shot on net to score for Brockport, but found no luck in finding the back of the net. The Green and Gold found some luck half way through the period as they tallied two goals to set the score at 5-3. Cortland pulled away and sealed the deal over Brockport with two late goals to end the game by the eventual score.

Connar Bass, Aidan Verbeke, and Kielich all scored tonight for the Golden Eagles, with Zac Sikich dishing out a pair of assists. Matt Schneider played 33 minutes in goal and racked up six saves, with Jake Moore playing 25 minutes and adding 13 saves.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Verbeke is Brockport's Athlete of the Week

Aidan Verbeke has been named Brockport's Athlete of the Week. He led the Brockport offense to a 2-0 record this past weekend. He racked up three goals, three assists, with a plus four on-ice. His best game was the 5-3 win over Morrisville where he had a power play and short hand goal, while dishing out two assists.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Verbeke is SUNYAC Player of the Week

The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) has selected its Athlete, Goalie, and Rookie of the Week for men's ice hockey. This weeks Athlete of the Week is senior Aidan Verbeke from Plattsburgh, Goalie of the Week is sophomore David Richer from Oswego, and Rookie of the week is freshman Jimmy Poreda from Plattsburgh.

Verbeke led the Brockport offense to a 2-0 record this past weekend. He racked up three goals, three assists, with a plus-four on-ice. His best game of the two match-ups was the 5-3 win over Morrisville where he had a power play and shorthand goal while dishing out two assists.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The wild playoff picture

No one ever said the SUNYAC was an easy conference. It's well known in hockey circles about how competitive it is. Case in point -- consider the playoff picture.

3 weeks ago, Brockport was in a position to host a first-round playoff game with a record that was good for fourth place in the conference. Going into Friday's game, Brockport was out of the playoff mix in seventh place. After securing two wins over the weekend, Brockport is again in a position to host a playoff game as the Golden Eagles are in fourth place yet again.

3 games remain -- Cortland, Oswego, and Geneseo. The last two teams are #1 and #2 in the conference and have already clinched playoff berths. They will make for a tough end to the season, but if Brockport can win 2 of 3, we're likely looking at a home playoff game on the 21st.

Brockport defeats Morrisville for second night in a row

The College at Brockport ice hockey team completes the back-to-back sweep against Morrisville State, winning by a final score of 5-3. The Golden Eagles move to 11-10-1 (5-7-1) on the year, where the Mustangs fall to 6-14-3 (3-11).

Brockport came out stumbling against Morrisville as they fell behind 2-0 within the first five minutes of the opening period. The deficit was cut to 2-1 midway through the first, when Connor Hutchins one-timed a shot from a Zac Sikich pass through the five-hole of the opposing goalie. In the final seconds of the period, David Horan tied the game up 2-2 on a power play goal.  Dylan Shapiro collected a loose puck in front of the net and passed it over to Horan who buried his shot into the back of the cage.

The Golden Eagles wasted no time in the second period as they took a 3-2 lead 18 seconds into play. The Brockport offense won the face off and worked the puck down into their offensive zone, where Hutchins hit Aidan Verbeke in front of the net for him to convert his shot. Brockport slipped minutes later as they game was tied up 3-3 minutes. Both teams battled it out for the remainder of the period, but it was Brockport to pull ahead 4-3 on a late power play goal. Tim Kielich split three defensemen with a pass to find Hutchins wide open on the far post to convert his shot.

The Green and Gold earned an early penalty in the third period that gave Morrisville a chance to tie the game up. Even though Brockport was down a man, they were still able to notch a short-handed goal that increased their lead to 5-3. After a mishandled puck by the visiting goalie, Verbeke was there to tap the puck into the open net for his second goal of the game. The Mustangs offense picked up the pace, but the Golden Eagles defense was too strong and held onto the victory.

Verbeke led the offense for Brockport as he accounted for two goals and two assists. Hutchins also finished with the game with a pair of goals and an assist. Brian Hurlimann and Sikich each handed out two assists a piece on the evening. Goalie Matt Schneider racked up 27 saves between the pipes.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Verbeke surpasses 30 points

This century, only 6 Golden Eagles had 30-point seasons: Chase Nieuwendyk, Tim Kielich, James Cody, Ian Finnerty, Chris Koras, and Mark Digby. Early today, Aidan Verbeke became the seventh Golden Eagle to reach that milestone in the 2000s. He now has 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists) with 3 regular season games remaining.

Brockport beats Morrisville 4-0

The College at Brockport ice hockey team skates by State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) opponent Morrisville State, by a final score of 4-0. The Golden Eagles move to 10-10-1 in 2018, where the Mustangs fall to 6-13-3.

The Green and Gold came out battling in the opening period as they rifled off four straight shots, but could not convert any to keep the game scoreless. Brockport kept the offensive pressure up as they outshot Morrisville 15-3 throughout the period. The Golden Eagles were first to jump ahead 1-0, as Aidan Verbeke collected his own rebound off a shot and slotted it past the goalie.

Brockport started the second period with a man-down, after a costly penalty to end the previous period. The Golden Eagles penalty killed shut down the Mustang power play as both of their shots could not be put on the frame. Both teams battled it out back and forth for the remainder of the period, but no shots were able to hit the back of the net to keep the same score heading into the final period.

With holding a 1-0 advantage, the Brockport defense locked down to stop any offense threat by Morrisville. Goalie Matt Schneider kept the Mustangs off the scoresheet after stopping three different breakaways during the third. The lead increased to 2-0 with a few minutes to play in the last period. Connor Hutchins hit Zac Sikich with a pass on the fast break, that he shot high over the goalie's shoulder into the back of the cage. In one last attempted to get back into the game Morrisville pulled their goalie, to only have Brandon McMartin capitalize on the empty net to pull ahead 3-0. 21 seconds later, Danny Rock grinded out the final goal for the Green and Gold, as he carried the puck across the net and beat the goalie far side.

Verbeke and Sikich led the offensive charge for the Golden Eagles as they both finished with a goal and as assist. Hutchins, Luke Bennett, and Shane Visnick each dished out an assist on the night. Schneider blanked the Mustangs as he was a perfect 12 for 12 on saves.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Countdown to 30

Keep an eye on captain Aidan Verbeke this weekend. The senior has 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists). At his current scoring pace he will reach 30 points in one of the Morrisville games. Only 6 Golden Eagles have reached 30 this century! He's having a special season to close out a special career.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Potsdam takes down Brockport

The College at Brockport ice hockey team falls to SUNY Potsdam Saturday evening by a final score of 5-3. The Golden Eagles drop to 9-10-1 (3-7-1) on the season, where the Bears move to 8-8-4 (4-6-1).

The Green and Gold trailed as Potsdam took a 2-0 lead midway through the first period. The deficit was cut as Shane Visnick notched the first goal for Brockport to have the score set at 2-1. The Golden Eagles earned a power play late in the period but could not find the back of the cage to have the score remain the same heading into the next period.

The game was tied up 2-2 five minutes into the second period, as Connor Hutchins beat the keeper by deflecting a puck shot on frame. Brockport fell behind, as the Bears notched two back-to-back goals to now trail 4-2 going into the final period.

Hutchins put Brockport within reach late in the third period as he notched is second goal on the contest, to bring the score to 4-3. Potsdam answered with a goal of their own minutes later to create a two-goal lead, which Brockport could not comeback from to end the game with a score of 5-3.

Hutchins led the charge notching two goals on the day, where Aidan Verbeke handed out two assists. Goalie Jake Moore racked up 22 saves over 37 minutes, and Matt Schneider tallied up 10 saves through 20 minutes of play.