January 21, 2012
Golden Eagles clipped by No. 1
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Danny Turck (3) of the Cortland-Homer Golden Eagles gets tripped up while trying to get to Jimmy Sauda of West Genesee Friday night. Unbeaten West Genesee skated to a 4-0 victory at the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex.
It didn’t take long for unbeaten West Genesee to do all the scoring it would need to against the host Cortland-Homer Golden Eagles hockey team Friday night at the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex.
After the Golden Eagles turned the puck over on a breakout, Wildcats senior forward Shawn Lynch found the net just 40 seconds into the contest off assists from senior forward Jon Lauer and junior defenseman Robbie Michel.
With junior goalie Jacob Pelton stopping all 13 shots, the visitors, the top-ranked Division I team in the state, went on to a 4-0 victory to stay perfect through seven OHSL Division I West games this season and move to 15-0 overall.
“They are a very strong team with few weaknesses,” C-H coach Don Armstrong, his team now 2-5-1 league and 5-9-2 overall, said of the Wildcats. “To have a successful night against a West Genny you have to play almost errorless hockey and catch a break or two along the way, as they don’t give you many scoring opportunities.
“Their pace of play as well as their physical play causes mistakes and that did happen to us several times. We played hard most of the evening and did have our opportunities, including a breakaway in the first period, but did not capitalize. If West Genesee continues to play like last they did against us they should go far in post-season play.”
The visitors capitalized on another Golden Eagles mistake with just 1:47 left in the opening period, freshman forward Jimmy Pelton converting a pass from senior defenseman Matt Schattner, freshman forward David Procopio also earning an assist.
Michel scored at 1:13 of the second off a feed from Lynch, who picked up his second goal of the game at 3:15 of the third, Michel again with the assist.
The winners had a 34-13 shot advantage, senior goalie Brandon Paquin stopping 30 saves to keep things relatively close.
“Brandon had a very good game in our net, making several saves that he was either screened on or were second chances that could have easily gone in,” Armstrong said. “He and Cory (Broyles, fellow senior goalie) continue to give us a chance to win in every contest. I thought Victor McCutcheon played a very strong game. He won his share of faceoffs, carried the puck very well and forechecked in a sustained manner throughout the night. We were a man down late in the second period and Victor forced a turnover by West Genesee behind their net and almost put the puck in by himself.
“The line of Casey Bergeron, Zack Daniels and Leo Riley also showed a lot of hustle throughout,” added Armsrong, that trio all seniors. “They did force us into some mistakes defensively, but our top four defensemen battled all night long and they deserve credit for their efforts.”
Juniors Matt Condit, Mike Lavere, Casey Dailey and Nick Burton were those defensemen earning Armstrong’s praise.
The Golden Eagles host Baldwinsville this Friday in a 7:30 p.m. start at the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex. They currently sit in sixth place in the seven-team league with three points. The top four finishers make the sectional playoffs, and C-H is currently three points out of fourth, which is shared by Solvay and Corcoran (both at 4-4 league).
“We have four games remaining, all league contests, and we pretty much control our own destiny as far as making sectionals,” Armstrong said. “There are a couple of teams ahead of us that are among those four upcoming opponents, so we like our chances as we finish out the season.”
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