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Brockport splits season-opening series with Chatham

By: Brayden Peters

Brockport celebrates their game-winning goal in overtime Friday. (Photo Credit: Katie Wilson/Brockport Athletics)

BROCKPORT, NY - After two games against Chatham University, the Golden Eagles sit at 1-1. After beating the Cougars 2-1 in overtime in the first game they fell 9-4 the following night. Brockport has shown that they have a lot of talent but have things to clean up.

There was not much to complain about in the first game against Chatham on Friday, which was on the road in Pittsburgh. The Golden Eagles started off hot in the first half of the first period. They were flying all over the ice with a good forecheck, firing shots on goal and shutting down the Cougars’ offense.

The back half of that period, though, was a different story. Chatham began to find their footing and wreak havoc on Brockport goalie Dylan Weimer. He was able to make numerous saves until Cristian Adragna was able to get one by him with little time left in the period to make it 1-0. Brockport Forward Manny Sanchez stated that they needed to work on staying consistent in the first period going forward.

“We just need to get our legs underneath us,” Sanchez said. “If we start settling in, making simple plays, the game will start opening up for us.”

Spencer Flansberg attempts a pass to one of his teammates Friday. (Photo Credit: Katie Wilson/Brockport Athletics)

It looked like the Cougars could not be stopped, but Brockport went into the second period looking livelier and more set off by the fact that they were down. They played more physically defensively and moved the puck up the ice quickly, allowing them to generate multiple scoring opportunities. Unfortunately, they were unable to capitalize Cougars’ goalie Thomson Phinney made diving saves throughout the game.

The third period brought more excitement following a scoreless second. Not even two minutes into the period, Brockport’s Jacob Rodrigue took a wrist shot from the point that beat Phinney on the power play, tying the game at one. That seemed to swing the momentum back in Brockport’s favor.

Rodrigue takes a shot attempt at Phinney Friday. (Photo Credit: Katie Wilson/Brockport Athletics)

Despite both teams generating chances down the stretch neither found the back of the net sending the game to overtime. Two minutes into overtime Sanchez was able to score a wrist shot goal on Phinney after receiving a pass from Cam Barbagallo to win it for the Golden Eagles and send them to 1-0.

Brockport outshot Chatham 46-38 on the night. The Golden Eagles’ face-off department was also productive, winning 45 to the Cougars’ 37.

Sanchez celebrates his game-winning goal Friday. (Photo Credit: Katie Wilson/Brockport Athletics)

“It was good. Really good,” Sanchez said. “Getting that first one out of the way and going back home Saturday will be good.”

Many would have thought that the second game between the two teams would be back and forth again but it was far from it.

Playing at home for Senior Day, Brockport carried momentum going into the game and it showed. They had a strong first period both offensively and defensively. They were able to take things into the end of the first period, up 2-0 after Connor Roach and Sanchez each scored.

The way the second period went was completely unexpected. The Golden Eagles looked off, struggling to support Weimer and failing to generate offense against goalie Cameron Kuntar.

Roach is ecstatic after scoring his first collegiate goal in Saturday's loss. (Photo Credit: Katie Wilson/Brockport Athletics)

The Cougars came in hungry, scoring seven goals in the period, two of them coming short-handed. The onslaught allowed them to take a 7-2 lead after two. Brockport Head Coach Brian Dickinson was baffled about how the middle period went.

“That was one of the worst periods in all of my 35 years of coaching collegiate hockey,” Dickinson said.

Although the game was already out of reach, Brockport slowly found its rhythm during the third period. Schuyler Flansberg and Ryan Brow were each able to pick up goals for the team. The Golden Eagles replaced Weimer with freshman David Filak who allowed two goals to seal the 9-4 win for Chatham.

Flansberg takes his time before getting ready for a face-off on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Katie Wilson/Brockport Athletics)

Brockport shot themselves in the foot constantly throughout the game with a lot of miscues including six penalties. Brockport still managed to outshoot Chatham 35-31 in the game despite the struggles.

Brockport will get a week to prepare for SUNY Geneseo, who they faced and beat in the preseason. Dickinson believes that the familiarity between the two teams will be a factor.

“This is the team we know the best in our conference,” Dickinson said. “We know what schemes they run…and they know what schemes we run.”

Puck drop at Wegmans Ice Arena is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.

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