November 29, 2006


Golden Eagles shine in ice debut

Stowell scores four goals in 5-1 win over Corcoran


Photos by Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Golden Eagles’ Steve Stowell (17) celebrates his goal after putting the puck past diving Corcoran goalie Lewis Kickinson Tuesday night at the J.M. McDonald Complex. Stowell scored four goals in 5-1 CHS-Homer victory.

Staff Writer

There were a lot of questions answered Tuesday night after Cortland-Homer Golden Eagles hockey made a successful debut on their Suit-Kote Arena home ice inside the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex.
Junior forward Steve Stowell netted four goals as the Golden Eagles rolled to a 5-1 Central New York Scholastic Hockey League Division II victory over visiting Corcoran in a big season opening test.
“We were nervous before the game,” said Stowell. “We played a good first period and we were able to open things up in the second goal. This is a great way to go into our next game.
“It was just an awesome night for me,” he added. “I was just in the right place at the right time. Anyone could have scored those four goals. I was the lucky one tonight.”
Corcoran (0-1 league, 1-2 overall) controlled the early minutes of the game, but it was Cortland-Homer drawing first blood with 8:50 left in the period. Senior forward Taylor Brown won the faceoff to the right of Cougars goalkeeper Lewis Dickinson (19 saves) and got the puck to Stowell, who ripped a shot into the upper right corner of the net.
Brown nearly gave Cortland-Homer a 2-0 lead 13 seconds later, but his shot was stopped by Dickinson and the puck was cleared away.
Senior netminder Brain Frankel (23 saves) robbed Corcoran of the tying goal with 7: 43 left in the period as he covered a point-blank shot by Christian Powell.
The two teams traded scoring chances for the remainder of the period until Brown found an opening with 1:21 left in the period. Paul Zimmerman brought the puck into the offensive zone and made a nice pass to Stowell. Brown found a crease and Stowell hit him with the pass. Brown popped the puck passed Dickinson while being taken down by a Cougar defender for the 2-0 advantage.
A Golden Eagles penalty with 35 seconds left in the period allowed Corcoran to enter the second period with a man-up opportunity. The Cougars built some momentum with their power-play, but their goal came with the teams at even strength. James Cathers found the puck loose in front of the Golden Eagles goal and pushed a shot towards Frankel. The puck deflected off a defender and into the net to cut the Cortland-Homer advantage to 2-1.
The turning point in the game came just 26 seconds later. Brown won the face-off for the Golden Eagles and Vic Marchetti carried the puck into the attacking zone. Marchetti found Stowell open and hit him with a strong pass. Stowell quickly fired the puck passed Dickinson for a 3-1 advantage.
“It doesn’t matter to me who scores the goals,” said Brown, who added four assists to his scoring total tonight. “It felt good to get a goal tonight,_but I just want to play hard every game and do whatever I can to help our team win.”
“That goal was definitely the turning point,” said Homer coach Don Armstrong. “Corcoran was trying to build momentum, but we came right back_on scored.
“Things were definitely going better for us because we were playing as a team,” he added. “We need to stay cohesive as a group this season. This win tonight shows that we have the talent to play in our division.”
That goal opened the floodgates as the Golden Eagles scored two more times before the end of the period for a 5-1 cushion through 30 minutes of playing time.
Marchetti set-up the fourth goal with a pass to Brown near the left wing. Brown moved towards the goal and flipped a pass to Stowell by the right post. Stowell got the hat-tick with a nice wrist-shot inside the post.
Stowell scored again with 1:51 left in the period with a hard shot into the upper-right corner. Brown and Zimmerman assisted on the scoring play.
The third period saw few good scoring chances as play became a little chippier. Much of that was the frustration of Corcoran, now under the guidance of former CBA coach Matt Caron, to mount a rally.
 The Cougars did enjoy a power-play of two minutes and 30 seconds and late in the match as a minor slashing penalty (1:30) by Cougar defenseman Ryan Eber was offset by a four-minute major cross-checking penalty by Golden Eagle forward Andre Coen. The Cougars put together one flurry around the Golden Eagles goal with less than three minutes to play, but Frankel was up to the challenge and closed the door.
“It felt good to get a win in the opening game,” said Frankel. “Scoring first in the game and then getting a two-goal lead helped take some pressure off for me.
“We lost some good players from last year, but it was great to get Taylor back this year,” Frankel added of teammate Brown. “Steve and I worked together a lot during the off-season and all the guys are ready. I think we showed some people that we be a competitive team this season by winning in front of the home crowd.”
“Corcoran gave a quality effort,” said Armstrong. “It was important for us to get that first goal and to be able to get the win in our first game of the season.
“Brian Frankel made some great saves for us,” he added. “Taylor had a great individual effort on his goal and our entire first-line (Brown-Stowell-Zimmerman) gave us some great leadership.”
Cortland-Homer will return to action Friday and Saturday at the Morrisville-Eaton Tournament. The Golden Eagles face Victor from Section 5 in the first-round Friday at 8 p.m. Cortland-Homer will meet either Cicero-North Syracuse or Clarkstown North Saturday.
The consolation game is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. with the championship game slated for 2:45 p.m.



Cortland misses OT opportunity

FULTON — Cortland High boys were in position to pull out an overtime basketball victory to get_the OHSL Freedom Division regular season underway on the road Tuesday.
Instead, Fulton survived to secure a 64-63 triumph thanks to a perfect 8-for-8 free throw touch in the extra stanza and a Matt Farfaglia basket off a turnover that provided the winning points in the final seconds.
“We had no one to blame but ourselves. We put ourselves in position to win,” said Coach Mick Lowie, after 24 turnovers and the propensity to foul led to Cortland suffering its first setback in three outings.
Tom Wilk had 26 points to lead the Purple Tigers, the 6-foot-8 senior center also with 17 rebounds. CHS dominated the backboards, out-rebounding the Red Raiders_53-35.
Joel White added 15 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals despite being the center of attention if Fulton’s box-and-one defensive scheme.
Fulton’s Alex Baker led all scorers with 32 points, including going 6-for-6 from the foul line in overtime. Game hero Farfaglia finished with 10 points in this season opener for a Raider squad that returns all five of its starters from a year ago.
Being unable to turn 23 offensive rebounds into a barrage of points, and turning the ball over 24 times, cost the Purple Tigers. Fulton took a 42-36 lead into the final quarter and maintained that edge until CHS staged a late comeback.
“We were fortunate to tie it up at the end of regulation. We really had been outplayed for most of the game, but made a couple of nice little comebacks,” said Lowie.
Fulton led 54-52 when CHS called a timeout with 39 seconds left in regulation. That led to a Kaywon Pittman short baseline jump shot that tied the game. And when Fulton misfired, CHS called another timeout with 3.4 seconds left and got a long shot attempt from Pittman before overtime was needed.
“It kind of gave us some momentum going into overtime,” said Lowie of that late surge. “Getting into overtime was a bonus for us.”
White scored six points in overtime for CHS, which led by a point with possession of the basketball with 12 seconds left. That’s when a turnover led to Farfaglia scoring the go-ahead basket for Fulton with just under 10 seconds to go.
An exchange of errant passes gave CHS one last chance with 1.8 seconds left, taking the ball out of bounds under the Fulton basket. A last second shot would not fall, Lowie looking for a foul call that would not come. While Fulton made all eight of its OT free throws, CHS did not get to the line once during that same stretch.
The Purple Tigers were only 12-for-22 from the free throw line for the game, which also proved costly.
CHS makes its Shafer Gymnasium debut this coming Tuesday, East Syracuse-Minoa paying a visit.
CORTLAND JVs rallied in the second half to defeat Fulton 61-46, capped by a 25-point fourth quarter outburst. The Purple Tigers had trailed 31-25 at halftime before coming back.
Kevin Shaw had 22 points and Justin Guerin 13 to pace CHS, with Robert Wade scoring six of his eight points in the final stanza.