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Time to sharpen the skates, hockey is back 

Brockport hockey is looking for a bounce-back campaign in 2023-24. (Photo Credit: Mathieu Starke/Brockport Athletics)

It is October, and everyone knows that hockey season is just about here. The Golden Eagles are looking to have a bounce-back year after going 10-15 last year and just missing out on the SUNYAC playoffs. This is the team’s last year in the SUNYAC as for next season, they will compete in the United Collegiate Hockey Conference. 

Going into the season, there are a few new faces both on the roster and the coaching staff. The team did lose three players to the transfer portal. Jake Mendeszoon transferred to Western New England University, Chris Aarons transferred to the University of Massachusetts and Adam Beauvis transferred over to Florida Gulf Coast University.  

As for those who graduated, Brockport lost two of their goalies, Aidan Curry and Nolan Egbert. Also departing were Zach Norby, Sam Dibitetto and star defenseman Alex Monteleone. Dibitetto remains with the program as an assistant coach. Head Coach Brian Dickinson believes that he brings a lot to the table now as a coach. 

“He knows how to get his point across on what he’s trying to teach in a specific aspect of the game,” Dickinson said. “He’s been able to come in and really kind of help acclimate the freshmen.” 

Looking at those new to the team, there are a few freshmen who have shown great potential already. Jack Powers already managed to record a goal in the preseason against SUNY Geneseo last Friday. The other freshmen on the team include Victor Malzahn, Connor Roach, Jacob Gates, Ben Saurbaugh, Schuyler, Spencer Flansberg, and goalies David Filak and Trevor Joule. Gates for his part has already received some attention for his work at practice. 

There is hope that some of these young players will be able to make an impact this year just as the current sophomore class did last season. Looking at the top five leading scorers for Brockport last season, three were freshmen. 

Josh Grund ended up tied for third in points with Chris Aarons with 15. Manny Sanchez and Chase Maxwell were tied with 14 points each. When it came to goals and assists, Grund and Matt Anastasio were among the top five in goals while Sanchez and Grund were in the top five in assists. Dickinson is expecting a lot out of these players, especially when it comes to playing defense. 

“What they have to do is elevate their game, but avoid the sophomore slump,” Dickinson said. “We really need those guys to focus on 200-foot games and not just the offensive part because we are so inexperienced back on defense and in the net.” 

With a lot of proven and new talent on the team, the Golden Eagles are hoping to start off the season strong as they take on Chatham University on the road in Pittsburgh. The Cougars were able to make the UCHC Championship Tournament, going 14-9-3 for the season before falling to Stevenson 6-3 in the first round of the tournament. The team was led by Mike Gershon, a former player for the Golden Eagles, who recently left the team to become the associate head coach of the Sioux City Musketeers in the USHL.

Dickinson emphasized the importance of getting momentum to start the season against a future conference foe.

“They’ve got momentum,” Dickinson said. “That’s what we want to use the first weekend for playing good teams to get our season off to a good start.” 

The game is scheduled for Friday at the Alpha Ice Complex with puck drop scheduled for 3 p.m. 

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