Brockport hockey wins finale, still misses playoffs
After getting help from two SUNYAC teams Friday night to help it move closer to a SUNYAC playoff spot, the College at Brockport ice hockey team did not get help from a third Saturday. Despite winning its senior night game 6-2 against Franklin Pierce University Saturday night, when Potsdam defeated Cortland, Brockport missed the playoffs for the third straight season.
"[After the game] it was pretty somber in [the locker room]," Head Coach Brian Dickinson said. "I just told them 'There's nothing I can tell you that will make you feel better about the outcome of the overall season.'"
The Golden Eagles honored its two seniors Spooner and captain Mike Hayward Saturday on senior night in a game that had no impact on the playoff race.
"We thanked the seniors for their time of service," Dickinson said. "They did a great job of leading us through the last couple of years."
Brockport jumped out to an early lead 55 seconds into the game when Spooner scored his second goal of the season.
Five minutes later, Franklin Pierce evened the score, but the tie only lasted one minute as Chase Nieuwendyk put the Golden Eagles back on top for good.
Chris Cangro scored late in the first period on the power play, and Chad Cummings gave the Eagles a 4-1 lead early in the second period to open the game up.
Nieuwendyk got his second goal of the game ten seconds after Cummings' goal to put the game out of reach. Spooner scored the only other goal for Brockport in the third period. All three of Spooner's goals this season came in the team's final weekend.
Franklin Pierce was able to beat sophomore Aaron Green only twice all evening. Green made 18 total saves throughout the game. Brockport won the game 6-2.
The playoff miracle fell one game short as the news broke to the locker room that Potsdam had earned the final playoff spot by defeating Cortland 2-1.
While disappointed that his senior season ended without going to the playoffs, Hayward believes the prospects of the team in future seasons are "amazing." The team next season will be relatively similar with only two seniors leaving the team.
"I told the guys last night that this is the beginning of a dynasty," Hayward said. "It's amazing to see how much they've all developed this season. I can just imagine how great they'll be when they get a little older."
Dickinson agrees with Hayward, knowing that the future of Brockport hockey is bright with all the young talent currently on the team.
"We told the freshman that there's a lot to build for," Dickinson said. "When you look at the number of minutes the freshman saw this year they got a lot of valuable experience. Once around the league means a whole lot. I think a year older is a year stronger. Hopefully we can get off to a good start next year and compete for a home ice playoff spot."
According to Assistant Coach Nick Unger, Brockport already has "five or six" recruits to add to the team next season. Unger is the head of recruiting and was largely responsible for the class of 14 freshmen that joined the team this season.
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