Monday, December 19, 2011


My column for this week's Greater Niagara Newspapers is a diversion from the usual tirade about government. My discussion about DIII sports should interest followers of this blog...

By Bob Confer

In my younger years I was, like any red-blooded American, an avid professional sports fan. I tried not to miss the baseball and football highlight shows, Monday Night Football, and my annual pilgrimage to Pittsburgh to catch my beloved Chicago Cubs while they were in town.

But, when I hit 30 years of age, things changed dramatically. Just like a switch, my love for the pros turned right off. Now do I rarely watch any football or baseball highlights. I couldn’t even tell you the last time I watched a football game from start to finish. As a matter of fact, I can’t even name the starting rotation for the Cubs.

You see, as I aged I grew disgusted by pro sports. I was driven away by the greed, egos and outlandish salaries, and maddened by the marketing that somehow makes everyone believe pro spots are the most important thing in the world and worth every exorbitant penny. From those criteria, numerous disdainful questions have racked my brain. Why can people name their team’s starting line-up but not their elected officials? Why do fathers abandon their sons and daughters on Sundays? Why should taxpayers feel obligated to pay for the stadiums of billion dollar leagues? What human being is worth a quarter of a billion dollars, just to hit a stupid ball?

Even though my admiration of pro sports died, my appreciation for sport itself did not. I still value the thrill of competition, the drama of a good match-up, and the diversion from daily stress that spectator sports present. Instead of finding that joy in the big leagues, I find it in a setting that I had become accustomed to in the early-1990s: College campuses.

These are not just any campus. Most Division I programs (especially when it comes to football and basketball) are no better than the pros. They emphasize athletics over academics while many of their athletes play only for a chance to reap big rewards from the NFL and NBA, leagues that use DI as some sort of minor league system and, somehow, get away with it!

Instead, I get my athletic fix from Division III programs. In DIII, the emphasis is on academics over athletics. There are no sports scholarships. The athletes are talented but they understand that they have almost no chance of playing professional sports, knowing that guys like the Buffalo Bills’ Fred Jackson are anomalies. In DIII, they play for the love of the game. That’s it.

It’s that pristine brand of competition – free of the trappings of avarice – that make DIII sports so refreshing. Where else can you find men and women playing a game at a high level with only the sports’ basal tenets in mind? They pursue victory with vigor, aided by the bond of teamwork and guided by their own ethic and determination, driven for personal betterment on the field and in the mind. That emotion and desire among the players - and also the fans - in DIII is unparalleled in all of sports.

The best sporting events I’ve ever witnessed have, far and away, been in DIII football stadiums and ice arenas. I’ve seen many a tight game and marveled at countless exciting plays. And to think, they were playing for free and my ticket cost me only $5.

You have plenty of chances to take part in these events in Western New York. It’s been said, depending on who you ask, that we’re either a football town or a hockey town. Either way, the games await. DIII football can be had at Brockport, Alfred University and Buffalo State. DIII hockey - which has a rabid fan base (me among them) - can be found at Brockport, Buffalo State, Fredonia, and Geneseo.

If you’ve never savored a DIII game, make it a point to do so. You won’t regret it and you, too, might even change your outlook on athletics for the better and turn your allegiance from the pros to players who understand the real value of sport.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Senior Ian Finnerty (Ardmore, PA) scored twice including the dramatic game-winning goal in a 4-3 overtime victory over #5 Elmira for The College at Brockport Hockey team and has been named The College at Brockport Male Athlete of the Week.

Finnerty, who leads the team in scoring this year with 22 points, scored a shorthanded goal – his second of the season - early in the second period to tie the score at 2-2. After Brockport tied the score again at 3-3 with just seven seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime, Finnerty scored the game-winner one minute into the extra period.

The victory, in overtime against the #5 team in the country, is considered one of the biggest wins in school history for the Golden Eagles.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Senior Ian Finnerty (Ardmore, PA) scored a game-winning goal in overtime for The College at Brockport Men's Ice Hockey team to upset then-No. 5 Elmira College. The video clip of the goal has been chosen as a finalist for the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Video of the Week.

Fans can vote on the ECAC website for the best clip of the week. The goal was scored 58 seconds into the extra session as James Cody (Schwenksville, PA) found Mike Hayward who dished the puck to Finnerty on the left wing. Finnerty fired a shot inside the blue line where the puck ricocheted off the side pipe and into the net.



George M. Rich

Home: Brockport, NY
Date of Death: December 11, 2011
Place of Birth: Brockport, NY
Birthdate: September 30, 1932
Age: 79

Visitation: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 3-7 PM at Fowler Funeral Home Inc, Brockport, NY

George passed away on Saturday, December 11, 2011 at the age of 79. Predeceased by his parents Harris and Helen, sister Marlene, brother James. He is survived by his wife and best friend of 38 years Rosie, sister Shirley Hicks, brothers Fred, Terry (Mary Ellen), many nieces, nephews, in-laws, family and friends.

George received his Undergraduate and Masters Degrees from Brockport State Teachers' College. While teaching, he was very active in the Rochester Teachers' Association, the Western Monroe Historical Society and SUNY Brockport Alumni Association. He supported the efforts of all college students for their service, scholarship and involvement in campus activities and athletics.

Family and friends may call Wednesday, December 14, 2011 from 3 to 7 pm at the Fowler Funeral Home Inc. Interment will be at the convenience of the family. A remembrance gathering will be held at the College of Brockport at a time to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the George Rich Student Philanthropy Award, SUNY College at Brockport, 350 New Campus Drive, Brockport, N.Y. 14420

To leave memory on the Fowler Funeral Home website, visit this web page:

Monday, December 12, 2011


Two of Brockport's own captured weekly honors in the SUNYAC for their efforts against Elmira. Here's the report from the SUNYAC website...

James Cody (Schwenksville, PA/Philly Little Flyers), senior forward

Senior James Cody finished with a goal and an assist Friday night in the overtime 4-3win against #6 Elmira. The win gives Brockport a three-game winning streak. Cody scored the game-tying goal with seven second remaining in the third period to force overtime. He assisted on the game-winner 58 seconds into the extra period for his 100th career point. He now has 51 goals and 49 assists in his 86 career games.

Aaron Green (Mt. Albert, ONT/St. Michaels Buzzers), goalie

Aaron Green made 30 saves in a stunning 4-3 overtime victory over #6 Elmira on Friday night. He posted 11 saves in the first period and nine more in the second with a 1-1 tie heading to the third. He made ten saves in the third period as each team scored twice to force overtime. He finished with a .909 save percentage as he picked up the second win of his career.



Calling hours for George will be this Wednesday, December 14 from 3:00-7:00 pm at Fowler’s Funeral Home on West Avenue in Brockport.

Also, there will be a service in the spring the college. Arrangements will be announced at a later date.

If you would like to send a card to Rosie Rich, her address is:

64 Lynnwood Drive
Brockport, NY 14420


Sunday, December 11, 2011


Word came out today that George Rich has passed away.

He will be missed by the Brockport community. He was someone who bled Green and Gold and loved all of the students, alumni and staff.

George was the face of Brockport to me. For as long as I've been involved with the College (dating back to 1993), he's always been there front and center. He was always at alumni events and sporting events and was a fixture at hockey games. He was a supporter of the program and its students and was really impressed by - and proud of - the sense of charity the team and Saves For a Cure brought to campus.

This bio about he and his wife from the Brockport website offers some insight into his importance to the campus...

Rosa “Rosie” Rich remembers the blind double date she went on with her husband, George, in 1958 shortly after she arrived in town to take a teaching position at The College at Brockport.

Jeanette D’Agostino Banker ’53, emeritus professor of elementary education, who had attended school with George and was a colleague of Rosie’s, decided to play Cupid and match the two during a night out on the town with her date.

“Jeanette told me, ‘You’re going to meet a rich guy,’ said Rosie. “I thought, ‘Well, it’s about
time.’ ”

“This is George Rich,” Rosie remembers Jeanette telling her when they picked up George at his home. “And all I said was, ‘Oh.’ ”

Fourteen and a half years to the day they met—and after Rosie traveled across two continents, one of which she lived and worked in for four years—George proposed to Rosie, and the rest, as they say, is history.

“I don’t know if it’s going to work out,” quipped Rosie, who on March 2 celebrated her 38th wedding anniversary with George.

Arguably the most recognizable couple on campus, the Riches have lived a rich life indeed—a life rich with love for students, rich with dedication to their community and rich with giving back to the institution that is a double alma mater for George and a former employer for Rosie.

Longtime supporters of the College, the Riches took their giving to an extraordinary level by designating a major portion of their estate through a planned gift and creating two awards in support of The College at Brockport. In honor of their philanthropy, the College inducted the Riches into the Ernest C. Hartwell Society at the President’s Donor Recognition Dinner this spring.

The bequest is earmarked for a variety of funds: the Campus Restoration and Beautification Fund, Brockport Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, Golden Eagle Society Fund, The Arts & Cultural Fund and the George M. Rich Student Philanthropy Award.

In addition, the Rosa LaSorte Rich Scholarship will be awarded to an incoming student interested in a career in teaching, while the George Rich Student Philanthropy Award will recognize philanthropy among students and student groups.

George came up with the idea for his award to educate students about philanthropy and encourage them to donate to Brockport after they graduate. He awards $500 to a student or student group, and the recipients also receive $500 to donate to an on-campus philanthropic, educational or cultural endeavor of their choosing.

“I know how great the students are,” said George. “They have big hearts but empty pockets. A lot of students want to give to Brockport but they have debts.”

This year’s recipients include Todd Sheridan ’10, the former hockey team goalie who started Saves For A Cure, which raises $1 for every save a Brockport goaltender makes.

George recalls Sheridan—who battled cancer—telling him that instead of calling himself a cancer survivor, he likes to tell people, “I beat cancer” because it sends a more powerful message.

“This is what happens when you get to know the students,” said George, noting that he and Rosie learn their life stories.


Saturday, December 10, 2011


This public service announcment from Don Cherry is for my wife, who insists on not paying attention at hockey games...


Brockport has been on a hot streak of late, scoring goals in bunches and having gone 3 games without a loss coming into Friday. Talk on campus was of that high-octane attack continuing into the second semester and affording Brockport a playoff slot, despite their early woes. Outsiders scoffed at the thought, thinking Brockport could not beat a premier team.

The Golden Eagles put an end to that talk with a 4-3 overtime win on Friday against sixth-ranked Elmira. The game made a statement: There was not anytime during the game where observers were left saying, “there’s definitely a talent and performance gap between the two teams.” Brockport excelled all game long and was the equal – even the better - of the nationally-ranked team. The Golden Eagles looked like a team that will surely upset the SUNYAC come late-February.

I missed most of the first period, arriving late because it was a real production to take my 13-week old daughter Alexandria to her first hockey game. She’s too young, of course, to realize what was happening and will never remember the game, but I will. The two periods I did see in their entirety were extraordinary hockey and one of my friends who has been attending some of the games with me going back to the mid-90s said it was the best game he’s ever seen at Tuttle North.

The second period started with Elmira ahead 1-0 and the stanza ended with a tie score, after Mike Hayward let loose with yet another thunderous slapshot with 10:54 left in the second. That was Mike’s 5th of the season, good for second place in the nation among all defensemen (the leader has 6).

His power play goal followed a frustrating 2 minute game-within-a-game in which Brockport had a two-man advantage on three consecutive Elmira penalties but couldn’t capitalize (or even come close to it), because Elmira played with a stifling penalty kill that was really top-notch. Over the course of that extended power play fans continuously screamed “take the shot!” The Eagles couldn’t: Elmira was that good. Elmira’s PK unit continued that excellence all night long. In total the Soaring Eagles posted 11 penalties and killed off all but 1. The unit nearly scored with 7:59 left in the second on a shorthanded goal, but Brockport goalie Aaron Green stopped the breakaway with an impressive block.

Green was solid all night long and never really looked like he wasn’t in control. He had excellent positioning throughout, and never overcommitted. One of his best moments occurred with 16:39 left in the third. There were two Elmira forwards right on top of him trying to whack at the puck, but he deflected two shots and certainly prevented an easy goal by keeping them from getting off a good flick of the wrist.

Aaron was aided by some admirable efforts by the defense. The blueliners have taken their share of abuse this season, when in early-November they allowed too many shots on goal. On Friday, the box score showed 30 shots on goal, but the d-men were really top notch. All game long they picked off Elmira passes and collected Elmira rebounds like they were going out of style. One of the best came with 10:19 left in the third when Marcus Farmer grabbed an idle rebound that was just begging for an Elmira one timer. The forwards helped a lot, too, deftly stealing pucks and blocking shots (James Cody and Adam Shoff each blocked one, Adam preventing a short-handed goal).

After Elmira quickly made it 2-1 to start the 3rd on a 5 minute major that really could have killed Brockport, Ian Finnerty considerably lessened the stress of the major (the major had me wringing my hands) with a jaw-dropping shorthanded goal. Ian took off like a rocket after stealing the puck and was absolutely spectacular on the finish…he faked low and Elmira goalie Darren MacDonald went into a split; Ian then snapped his powerful wrists and shot the puck over the netminder. An equally intelligent and athletic goal!

Elmira’s Kevin Willer (well, at least that’s what the box says…credit should have gone to a four-leaf clover) put Elmira ahead 3-2 with 6:22 left in the 3rd. A centering pass from Jesper Strale to Willer was off kilter and the high pass bounced off what appeared to be Willer’s tummy and it went right into the net. It’s been some time since I’ve seen such a good luck goal for any hockey team.

With a minute left Green was pulled and Brockport tried like mad to tie the score. It looked like the game was going to end 3-2 Elmira, but with 7 seconds left (YES, 7 seconds), James Cody added to his impressive legacy with a game-tying goal that showed how strong the young man is. A sudden pass came his way that was slightly too far ahead of him, but James got into an extended crouch and with a position that most of us humans could never take a shot from, he let rip with one heck of a full extension wrist shot that found the back of the net. The crowd erupted in one of the greatest explosions of appreciation that Tuttle has seen in some time.

The cheers quickly repeated themselves in even greater vigor in overtime when Mr. Ian Finnerty won the game less than a minute into the extra period. Ian raced in and again went high on MacDonald, beating him blocker side with a great wrist shot. The crowd went berserk and Ian was buried under his teammates for a game that added yet another star to this magical season of his. The short-handed goal and game-winner give him 22 points at the half-way point and his point total leads the entire nation. The performance was a fitting birthday celebration for Ian whose birthday was Friday!

It’s awesome that when the team’s two superstars (Cody and Finnerty) were needed the most, they produced, scoring just 65 seconds apart and upsetting one of the very best teams in all of DIII.

Even so, this was a team effort. The Golden Eagles preformed well all night long, playing great defense, exerting physicality and making plays.

So, take a break for the holidays and come back in January prepared to see a Golden Eagle unit that has bonded so well on and off the ice that that sky will be the limit. We’ve been watching some great hockey lately and more is sure to follow.


Box score:


Recap from the Sports Information Department....

Senior forward Ian Finnerty (Ardmore, Pa) scored 58 seconds into the overtime session as The College at Brockport Men's Hockey team upset No. 6 Elmira College 4-3 Friday night at Tuttle North Ice Arena. The win gives the team a three-game winning streak and have not lost in its last four games.

Finnerty, who was named SUNYAC Hockey Player of the Week last week after scoring a hat trick against Morrisville State, scored his second goal of the game and his 8th of the season, giving him a State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) leading 22nd point of the season. The goal was Finnerty's first game-winning goal of the year.

James Cody (Schwenksville, PA) assisted on the final goal of the game. Cody scored the game-tying goal in the third period to send the game into overtime. With his two points on the night, Cody now has 100 career points as a Golden Eagle.

"I really don't pay attention much to the goals and assists," said Cody. "My main objective is to win games. It was great to get the points late in the game like what happened tonight."

Elmira started off the scoring 1:13 into the first period. Brockport went scoreless in the first period, but tied up the game on a Mike Hayward (Toronto, ONT) goal at the 9:06 mark in the second period. Hayward's goal came on a powerplay with an assist from Brendon Rothfuss (Webster, NY).

Elmira took the lead in the third period, scoring 1:10 in. Finnerty scored his first goal of the night, a shorthanded goal, just 42 seconds later. Elmira came back with their third goal of the night at the 13:38 mark to pull ahead of the Golden Eagles.

The Golden Eagles kept the fans on edge for the next six minutes, firing at all angles on Elmira goalie Darren McDonald, including Adam Shoff (Port Dover, ONT) who fired four shots in the matter of seconds with two minutes to play. Brockport pulled goalie Aaron Green (Mt. Albert, ONT) at the 19:00 mark to add an extra skater.

Following a faceoff that was won by Shoff, Hayward took two shots on net, both were blocked by Elmira Defenders. Shoff collected the loose puck and dished it off to Cody who fired a rocket from the blue line and found its' way in the back of the net to tie the game with seven seconds remaining.

Brockport wasted no time in the extra session to seal the victory. Cody found a streaking Finnerty skating past the Brockport bench on the fly and ripped a slap shot just inside the blue line. His shot hit the side post and ricocheted in the net to clinch the upset for the Golden Eagles.

"That was the best feeling after the game and in the locker room that I have ever had in my years playing hockey," said Cody. "The fans were going crazy. I can't think of a more exciting celebration."

Cody, who has led Brockport in scoring all three of his seasons as a Golden Eagle, has 10 goals and eight assists on the season. In his last three seasons, Cody has recorded 30, 28, and 24 points respectively.

Green, playing in just his third collegiate game, finished with a season-high 30 saves.


Friday, December 9, 2011


Brockport's last game of the semester is a big one, albeit it a non-conference game. The Golden Eagles lock talons with the 6th ranked Elmira Soaring Eagles at 7:00 in Tuttle North tonight.

Elmira comes into the game with a 7-3-0 record and has handily beat the likes of Neumann, Middlebury and Hobart. This are a well-balanced defensive team with a solid offense that ranks 26th in DIII with 3.50 goals scored per game. Kevin Willer is their leading threat with 14 points on 6 goals and 8 assists. Linemate Jesper Strale shares the team lead with 6 goals.

They are a senior-heavy team that doesn't make a lot of mistakes and mistakes are saved by Darren McDonald. After sporting an awesome .930 last year the goaltender has dropped to a more human .893 this season. He's a spry soul who's very athletic, sometimes dazzling. His weakness? He can give up the high goal, even on the glove side. So, the Golden Eagles need to use the same goal-scoring tactics they did last week.

Coach Dickinson was quoted in the SUNYAC Column today at USCHO saying the following:

"For us, it's kind of a chance to be a statement game, playing a very good, ranked team," Brockport coach Brian Dickinson said. "We played them very tough last year in their building. It was 2-2 at one point. We want to obviously be in a situation where we can grow into beating an Elmira, Oswego, Plattsburgh, be that type of team night in and night out. Gives us a chance to finish up the semester against a very good team and hopefully go into the break on a little bit more momentum."


Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Lip Slip: Brockport hockey team hurting in season's first half
By Andy Lipari

Brockport's hockey team has ground to make up after the first half of the season, but they have shown they can do it. They sit tied with Cortland and two points behind Fredonia in the conference standings. B-port saved its season last weekend, Saturday, Dec. 3, beating Morrisville in a game that had two desperate teams fighting for their playoff hopes.

Brockport's worst habit this season is not stopping the bleeding after giving up a goal. They play well for 50 to 55 minutes of the game, but the other 5 to 10 is what cost the team points in the standings.

Brockport could be in the middle of the SUNYAC conference if they could play a full 60-minute game, as cliché as it sounds. They should have taken two points from Fredonia in their first game this season, but four bad minutes forced the game to a 4-4 tie.

They lost to Cortland 7-5, another winnable game. Brockport head coach Brian Dickinson said he thought his team was the better team when they played Potsdam a couple of weeks ago, but a few bad minutes cost the Golden Eagles yet another game.

They could have as many as 10 points with those victories, which could put Brockport in a solid third place in the SUNYAC conference.

For some reason the second period has been a problem for Brockport this year. I can't figure out why, but they seem to come out flat in the second compared to the other two periods. Whenever Brockport's opponent has a period that catches them up or pulls them away, it has almost always been the second period.

The power play is another issue, although it has been improving. They only went 1-9 against Morrisville. They had plenty of opportunities to pull away earlier, but they didn't capitalize. They also give up too many short-handed goals.

One of the biggest surprises to me so far this year is the improvement of goaltender Oliver Wren. Last season he was splitting time with Joe Reagan because no one took a strong hold on the position. As a senior, Wren has taken the role and has seen most of the action in net so far this season.

Ian Finnerty and James Cody have a combined 37 points this season playing on the same line together. Senior captain Adam Shoff looks like he fits in well with those two on the front line, following the injury to Brendon Rothfuss.

The contribution from the younger players has been another pleasant surprise. The first line gets its points every game, but the other three lines have been able to play well so far this season. Sophomore Steve Sachman leads the younger group this season with nine points so far.

Brockport got through the tough part of their un-even schedule this semester, which leaves a home-heavy second half for the Golden Eagles. They will be at Fredonia and Buffalo State the first weekend of the second semester, but then they will have five in a row at home. If they need the last game to get in the playoffs, they finish their season at Morrisville.




Brockport hockey's Saves for a Cure game against Morrisville saves playoff chances
By Andy Lipari Senior Writer

Brockport kept its playoff hopes alive Saturday, Dec. 3 with a wild 7-6 victory over Morrisville at the fourth annual Saves for a Cure game in the Tuttle North Ice Arena. Both teams came into the game desperately needing a win, which made for a playoff-type atmosphere in the mid-season game.

With the win, Brockport trails Fredonia by two points for a playoff spot. Brockport's next SUNYAC game will be at Fredonia, Jan. 20.

After the final horn, Brockport's jubilation from players and coaches showed how important this game was to them.

"We knew we couldn't come out from this game without two points," said Brockport head coach Brian Dickinson. "We're set up with all the home games next semester. We have a chance to move up the ladder. It was a huge sense of relief we were able to hold on and win."

Junior Ian Finnerty had four points for Brockport to help lead the way to victory. He started scoring points almost seven minutes in as he netted the game's first goal.

Sophomore Bobby Conner scored Brockport's second goal 28 seconds later. Curtis Renaud answered for Morrisville to cut the lead down to 2-1, but junior Mike Hayward found the back of the net at 15:57 in the first, as Brockport took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.

The second period has given Brockport trouble this season, which was also the case Saturday. Todd Hosmer and Jonathan Cristini scored for Morrisville in the second period to tie the game 3-3.

The third period featured seven goals as both teams felt like its season was on the line. Morrisville took the lead 20 seconds in when Tom Longland found the back of the net.

Senior James Cody tipped a shot in at 2:28 to tie the game. Cristini scored his second of the game at 4:28, but Finnerty scored his second of the game as well at 8:08 on the power play.

All three seniors on the first line scored in the third period for Brockport. Dickinson said it shows how the veteran leadership is carrying the team.

"They get it," he said. "As we get into the second half of the season you can see the desperation from them, knowing they only have 13 or 12 games left. They don't want it to end."

Only 27 seconds later, senior forward Adam Shoff gave Brockport a 6-5 lead, but Hosmer found the back of the net for the second time and tied it back up.

Junior defenseman Colby Spooner was the hero for Brockport, scoring the game-winning goal with less than six minutes remaining.

Senior Oliver Wren had 31 saves in goal for Brockport. Colin Breen stopped 28 shots in net for Morrisville.

Saturday was Brockport's annual Saves For A Cure game. The Eagles wore Saves For A Cure jerseys that were auctioned off after the game. This year's jerseys were sold for anywhere between $50 and $125. The proceeds go to Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. The auction earned $1,855 this year.

New this year was a "teddy toss" in place of the typical puck toss. Participants could purchase teddy bears to throw on the ice with the goal of landing it in the center to win a prize. The bears were also donated to Golisano Children's Hospital.

Saves For A Cure is a non-profit organization founded by former Brockport goalie Todd Sheridan, who battled cancer in 2005 before attending Brockport. It aims to help children in the Rochester area cope with difficult cancer treatments.

Money is raised through the annual auction as well as saves made by Brockport goalies. Local businesses agree to donate money for every save made. Ticket sales from the game are also donated by the college's athletic department.

Since its founding in 2007, Saves for a Cure has raised more than $17,000.

Brockport will host Elmira Friday, Dec. 9 in a non-conference match-up before taking off for winter break.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Senior Forward Ian Finnerty (Ardmore, PA) of The College at Brockport Men's Ice Hockey team has been named the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Hockey Player of the week for his performance against Morrisville State. Finnerty and the Golden Eagles defeated Morrisville State 7-6.

During the fourth annual Saves for a Cure charity game, Finnerty scored a hat trick and added assist for four points total. Finnerty scored the first goal of the game seven minutes into the first period off assists from James Cody (Schwenksville, PA) and Adam Shoff (Port Dover, ONT).

After Brockport fell behind 4-3 in the third period, Finnerty scored 2:28 into the period to tie the game at four off an assist from Shoff and Matt DeLuca (Skippack, PA). The Golden Eagles fell behind once again, 5-4, but Finnerty capitalized on a power play and scored his sixth goal of the season at the 12:52 mark. Just 27 seconds later, Finnerty fed Shoff for his fourth goal of the season and put Brockport ahead 6-5. Morrisville State scored to tie the game at six, but Brockport prevailed with a goal with just under six minutes remaining.

This is the third time in Finnerty's career that he has been tabbed SUNYAC Player of the Week. Finnerty earned the award for the week ending Jan. 10, 2011 and Jan. 17, 2010.


Sunday, December 4, 2011


A big thanks to everyone who did the behind-the-scenes things to make sure the Saves For a Cure weekend was a success....folks like Elise Harvey (who organized the luncheon and its auction), Rec Services (who prepared and served the lunch), Sports Information guru Kelly Vergin (for organizing the jersey auction and teddy bear toss), and Brian Dickinson and the hockey team for the support and promotion of all of those SFAC functions.



A lot of fans are wondering how the team looked towards the end of November as they had been tending their facial hair for the Movember fund drive.

Well, here they are (click on the image to see it in greater detail)...



Random thoughts from last night…

· I loved the ceremonial puck drop by 12-year-old cancer patient Phillip Massey. It definitely shows everyone in attendance the human side the Saves For a Cure fundraising efforts. It’s youngsters like Phillip who benefit from the campus and Brockport communities’ donations. You saw the joy in his face, now imagine a hundred kids being so happy from what Saves For a Cure does for them

· The must-win game put Brockport into seventh place in the conference, tied with Cortland with 5 points. Brockport is well-positioned to make the playoffs because it’s a free-for-all after Plattsburgh and Oswego. Brockport has become a high-flying, high scoring team and is only 2 points out of the last playoff spot and only 3 out of the fourth and fifth spots. All of those teams are beatable and Brockport’s home-ice-heavy second semester should pay huge dividends

· When Brockport plays Morrisville next, they need to remember what allowed them to net 7 goals…they took advantage of goaltender Colin Breen’s over-commitment to playing down low. He didn’t just give the Golden Eagles the top third of the net, he gave them the top half. Breen is excellent when he goes low, but he goes low too often and puts himself into splits and other positions that he can’t recover from when the rebound shots are taken

· Todd Hosmer is certainly Morrisville’s best player. I don’t know how Potsdam ever let him get away. Hosmer had only one bad shift and was excellent on special teams, too. He had 2 goals and could have had another if Nick Panepinto hadn’t blocked a perfect pass to Hosmer on a 2nd period Morrisville power play

· Bobby Conner was taken out of the game at 8:54 left in the second after getting boarded by Morrisville’s Taylor Vince. I hope Bobby’s lower-body injury mends for next semester (if not the next game)

· Ian Finnerty and James Cody are having some seriously monstrous senior seasons. Ian already has 20 points. That’s a good number for a full season, but we’re only 11 games into this one. He could exceed 40 points when it’s all said and done. James reached double digits in goals last night and he could double that output as well come Senior night. Ian is 9th in the nation in points per game (1.82) while James is 26th (1.55). James ranks 7th in goals per game (.91) while Ian is 6th in assists per game (1.36). It's fun watching them perform their magic.

· After that deluge of goals last night, Brockport ranks 18th in the nation in scoring at 3.91 goals per game. That’s awesome. Realize that if you take the Buffalo State game out of the equation (only 1 goal scored), Brockport would average more than 4 goals per game. Wow!



I was going to write a full recap of the game, but Russell Jaslow has written one so much better than I ever could for his weekend SUNYAC report for USCHO.

Here's a snippet from it:

Defense was optional at Brockport’s Tuttle North Ice Arena in the third period.

Brockport and Morrisville combined for seven goals in the final period in a wild shootout that saw multiple lead changes. When the ice chips finally settled, Brockport prevailed, 7–6. There were 72 total shots in the game.

Ian Finnerty got two goals and two assists for the winners. Jonathan Cristini and Todd Hosmer each scored twice for the Mustangs.

“Crazy,” Brockport coach Brian Dickinson said. “Obviously gaining two points was very crucial for us as it would have been for them. I thought we came out with a lot of energy against a team that put it to us pretty good last year. We just kept battling and battling and battling. It was a great effort by all of our guys.”

“I thought it was an intense game,” Morrisville coach Brian Grady said. “Obviously, two points at this juncture were huge for both teams. It wasn’t going to be easy. They came to play in the first period.”

Read his entire report here:



The report from the Athletics Department...

Senior Ian Finnerty (Ardmore, PA) scored two goals and added two assists as The College at Brockport Hockey team to a 7-6 victory over Morrisville Saturday night in a State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) game at Tuttle North Arena in Brockport.

The game was designated as the fourth annual Saves for a Cure charity game in which the Brockport players wore special jerseys that are auctioned off following the game. All of the proceeds from the auction, ticket sales and a fund raising spaghetti dinner are donated to the Saves for a Cure foundation that was started by former Brockport goalie Todd Sheridan.

Brockport (3-6-2 Overall, 2-5-1 SUNYAC) started the scoring early with two goals in a span of 28 seconds with 13 minutes remaining in the opening period. Finnerty scored the first goal at 6:59 and 28 seconds later, Bobby Conner (Lititz, PA) scored giving Brockport a 2-0 lead.

Morrisville (2-7-1, 1-6-1) trimmed the lead to 2-1 at the 10:13 mark of the period and Mike Hayward (Toronto, ONT) made it a 3-1 lead six minutes later.

In the second period, the Mustangs scored the only two goals of the period to knot the score at 3-3.

In the third period, Morrisville took a 4-3 lead 20 seconds into the period. James Cody (Schwenksville, PA) tied the score two minutes later for the Golden Eagles but the Mustangs regained the lead exactly two minutes after Cody's goal for a 5-4 lead.

With 12 minutes remaining in the period, Morrisville was whistled for a hooking penalty and Brockport did not waste any time on the power play opportunity scoring seven seconds into the man advantage as Finnerty scored his second goal of the game on a pass from Marcus Farmer (Caledon, ONT) making it a 5-5 game. Less than 30 seconds later, Adam Shoff (Port Dover, ONT) took a pass from Finnerty and scored to give Brockport the 6-5 lead.

Morrisville battled back and scored the tying goal at the 12:16 mark of the period but two minutes later, Colby Spooner (Hilton, NY) netted his second goal of the season in what turned out to be the game-winning goal for Brockport.

Finnerty finished with four points on two goals and two assists while Conner, Shoff and Cody all added a goal and an assist each. Todd Hosmer and Jonathan Cristini scored two goals each for the Mustangs.



Saturday, December 3, 2011


A better game could not have been picked for the Saves For a Cure game than tonight’s match-up with Morrisville. The fans -- many of whom will be at Tuttle for the first time this semester (or ever) as they support the fundraiser -- should be entertained by some great hockey. The last time the Mustangs were here (January) they won 8-6, a memorable game filled with as many near-fights as goals.

The bad blood will probably continue as Brockport has a chip on its shoulder after Morrisville protested a clean James Cody hit on Geoff Matzel that occurred in that game, resulting in a two-game suspension of James in February, just as he was riding a goal-scoring hot streak. That did not sit well with the Golden Eagles or their fans. Don’t be surprised if a highly-motivated Mr. Cody repeats his Sunday performance (a hat trick) tonight.

Morrisville is 2-6-1 this year, having just lost to Geneseo by a score of 4-3 last night. They pulled off a major upset this year having tied Oswego 3-3 and they stayed close to Plattsburgh in a 6-4 battle in November. They are tied for last in the conference with Brockport at 1-5-1 in SUNYAC play.

The Mustang’s leading scorer is Todd Hosmer, who came from Potsdam. The kid has a powerful slapshot and so far has amassed 7 goals and 7 assists in 9 games. Freshman Pat Stillar has been a pleasant surprise, posting a 5-7-12 line.

For years Morrisville relied on goaltender Caylin Relkoff to bail them out. He graduated after last season, but the team has been fortunate in goal. Colin Breen sports a .903 save percentage to so with a 3.81 GAA.

This game is a must-win for Brockport to gain some points and tie Cortland for 7th, which would put them just one win out from the last playoff spot. This is the last SUNYAC game until January 20th, so it would be good to go into the extended session of non-conference play with a boost.

The game starts at 7:00, preceded by a ceremonial puck-drop.


Friday, December 2, 2011


Here's some great news swiped from Todd Sheridan's Facebook...

Sabres, Bills and Amerks on board with Saves For A Cure! Nathan Gerbe Autographed Stick, Stevie Johnson Autographed Jersey, 4 Vouchers for Amerks games will all be part of the Chinese Auction at the SFAC Benefit Dinner!


Thursday, December 1, 2011


In this week's SUNYAC column, Russel Jaslow looks at Saves For a Cure...

Todd Sheridan has never wavered from his true passion as a hockey player. It wasn’t the four years of playing goaltender at Brockport, or the year as their goaltending coach. His true passion has been the Saves For A Cure charity.

“I have to be active with Saves For A Cure!” Sheridan said. “It is one of the most important things to me.”

The goal for Saves For A Cure remains the same — to raise money to help make the hospital stays of young cancer victims a little more bearable. Last spring, Saves For A Cure replaced the floor in the Child Life Play Deck at the Galisano Childrens Hospital in Rochester, donating $15,000.

Read Russell's entire report here: