Brockport completed Family Weekend by defeating Lebanon Valley College, 3-0, in their season opener thanks to three power-play goals.
The annual event started with the football team defeating Western Connecticut, 13-12, in a driving rainstorm. For those fans who made it over to the Tuttle North Ice Arena, and there were plenty of them, they dried out watching a dominating performance by the Golden Eagles.
“It was a good opener for us,” Brockport coach Brian Dickinson said.
It was also a grand opener for junior goaltender Todd Sheridan. Despite breaking the school record for goals against average in his freshman year and then breaking it again last season, Sheridan never posted a collegiate shutout. Until today.
“He’s obviously pretty emotional about that right now,” Dickinson said. “He’s excited about it. Our team is excited about it.”
Ironically, the thing Sheridan may not be excited about is that he only faced 18 shots. That’s because Sheridan, a cancer survivor who originally had a scholarship to Holy Cross before becoming ill, has set up a charity called Saves for a Cure. For every save the hockey team makes, a donation will be made to the Children’s Cancer Center at Strong Memorial Hospital.
Brockport dominated Lebanon Valley in the first period, out shooting the Flying Dutchmen, 17-8, but only led 1-0.
“They were actually relaxed,” Dickinson said of the team’s reaction after the first period. “It was the same scenario last year where we dominated but were only up 2-1 and then put them away in the second.”
The opening goal at 2:17 was scored on a perfect passing play. After moving the puck around quickly and accurately, Gregg Amato passed it across the ice to Dave McNab, parked on the outside of the left face off circle. McNab one-timed a slapshot that blasted past Rich Drazin.
It took until 9:29 of the second period for the Golden Eagles to score their second goal, but it came only 10 seconds after a power play started.
Again, Amato provided a perfect pass, this time down the middle leading Aaron Boyer. Boyer simply put his stick out to redirect the puck into the net. Both goals were also assisted by Andrew Simmons.
“Amato and Simmons are going to be really good players at this level,” Dickinson said about his freshmen defenders.
Jason Gorrie got the third power play goal the old fashioned way. He fought his way to the front of the net, and put in a rebound past an out of position goaltender. Lucas Schott and Tom Galiani got the assists.
“I thought we were pretty solid in all three zones,” Dickinson said. “We scored all of our power play goals by moving it around and moving without the puck. With the struggles we had last year, it was important to move the puck around and that gave us some great chances.”
The game got a bit chippy as many coincidental minors were called as well as some more serious penalties. Lebanon Valley’s Colin Thompson was handed a major and game disqualification for butt ending. In total, 30 penalties were called for 79 minutes.
Brockport out shot Lebanon Valley, 37-18. The Golden Eagles hit the road next weekend traveling to Hobart and then their first conference game at Morrisville.
Lebanon Valley (0-2) only has a few days to rest as they host Utica on Wednesday for their first league contest.