November 5, 2011


Red Dragons pull away for first conference win


Rich Barnes/contributing photographer
SUNY Cortland players celebrate scoring a second period Chris Kaleta goal as Brockport goalie Oliver Wren takes a sip of water Friday night at Alumni Arena The Red Dragons were 7-5 home ice winners.

Scoring the final three goals of the evening enabled the SUNY Cortland men’s hockey team to come up with their first conference victory of this young season on Friday.
Junior Michael Lysyj scored the go-ahead goal 4:03 into the third period and freshman Nick Zappia added a late empty-netter as the Red Dragons rallied to knock off visiting Brockport 7-5 in a SUNY Athletic Conference match-up at Alumni Arena.
Those two goals in the third period, that snapped a 5-5 deadlock, came despite having the Golden Eagles out-shoot their hosts 21-12 over those decisive 20 minutes. Cortland senior goalie Mike Reilly turned back all 21 shots on goal in that stanza, finishing with 36 saves overall.
The Red Dragons are now 1-1 in the conference and 2-1 overall, with Geneseo visiting Alumni Arena this evening for a 7 p.m SUNYAC skate. Brockport falls to 0-2-1 on the SUNYAC standings and 0-3-1 overall.
Zappia scored two goals and picked up an assist to lead Cortland to a second consecutive victory. Sophomore Brendan Rothfuss had two goals and two assists for Brockport.
Ian Finnerty gave Brockport a 1-0 lead with just seven minutes gone after Cortland had taken a five-minute major penalty. The Golden Eagles held the lead until a wild second period that included nine goals. Brockport’s Rothfuss made it a 2-0 game just 22 seconds into the second period, but Cortland answered with goals five seconds apart to tie the score.
Red Dragons senior Joey Christiano scored on the power play at 1:57 and senior Ryan Markell scored at 2:02 after the ensuing faceoff. Brockport regained the lead with the man advantage at 4:48 on James Cody’s one timer from the slot.
The Red Dragons responded with two power-play goals in less than 90 seconds to earn their first lead of the game. Senior Peter Lompado tied the game at 7:54 with a one-time slap shot from the left side, and junior captain Chris Kaleta made it a 4-3 Cortland advantage at 8:36 on a rebound goal.
Rothfuss tied the game 18 seconds later, and the Golden Eagles went up 5-4 at 14:42 on Chris Cangro’s deflection that found the top right corner. Cortland’s Zappia netted his first of the night at 16:48 of the second to even the score and complete the scoring in the period.
Lysyj then scored what proved to be the game winner with a wrist shot from the slot early in the final period. Brockport pulled goalie Oliver Wren for an extra skater with 1:22 remaining, but Zappia forced a turnover at Cortland’s blue line with a diving poke check and flipped the puck into the open goal to seal the win.
Brockport held a 41-38 shot advantage, with goalie Wren finishing with 31 saves. The Red Dragons — who had two-assist games from Chris Saville, Adam Bevilacqua and Tyler Virgoe — converted on three of their four power plays in the game.
In other conference contests last night, Oswego skated to a 4-2 victory over Geneseo and Fredonia topped Morrisville 5-1.
l The SUNY Cortland women’s ice hockey team gets ECAC West Division play underway this weekend with two games at Oswego. The Red Dragons take to the ice at 3 p.m. this afternoon in Oswego, with the two sides facing off again at 3 p.m. Sunday.

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