December 24, 2009
Golden Eagles nip hosts
CICERO — A hot goalie was the only thing that kept the Cortland-Homer hockey team from an offensive explosion against Central Square at the Cicero Twin Rinks Wednesday night.
The Golden Eagles rained 52 shots down on Red Hawks senior netminder Cory Gossiaux, who stopped 49 of them in what ended up a 3-2 victory for C-H, the seventh-ranked team in the state among Division II teams.
“I think the shots are indicative of the kind of game this was,” Golden Eagles coach Don Armstrong said, his first place team now 6-1 in the CNYSHL Division II West and overall. “Central Square is much improved and their goaltender had a great game, but having said that we had a significant edge in carrying the play throughout the game.We had numerous quality scoring opportunities but failed to finish adequately for the number of good opportunities we had. At the other end, allowing two goals on 12 shots is not acceptable either.
“To the players’ credit our effort was generally good throughout the game, but we are not getting our shots off before the goaltender is getting himself set and we are not shooting for or hitting the corners, so the opposing goaltender is having an easier time than he ought to making saves,” he added.
Junior right wing Casie Garrison got the scoring started early for the winners, beating Gossiaux to his glove side off an assist from senior center Carl Zimmerman just 42 seconds into the game. “We talked about getting off to a strong start and the first line was able to tally during their first shift,” Armstrong said. “We felt this might open things up for us, but we were not able to score our second goal until 44 seconds remained in the first period.”
Zimmerman scored that goal from close range, assisted by Garrison to make it 2-0, but that margin was short-lived. The Red Hawks’ Brandon Whipple scored with just 23 seconds left until the first intermission off helpers from Connor Bennett and Will Bernatovich.
“This was a critical mistake on our part,” Armstrong said. “We let down right from the face off after our second score and allowed Central Square to attack immediately deep in our zone and score from right in front of our net.”
Garrison scored another early goal in the second period, again off an assist from Zimmerman, to make it 3-1. The hosts closed out the scoring with 2:39 left in the middle stanza when Chris Golembieski converted an assist from Ben Ewald.
Sophomore goalie Brandon Paquin made 10 saves for the winners, who face Section 6’s Frontier Central, the fourth-ranked team in Division I, at 8 p.m. Monday at the J.M. McDonald Sports Center in the first round of their own Holiday Tournament. Auburn and Cazenovia meet at 5:30 p.m. in the first game.
The consolation contest is at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, followed by the championship game at 8 p.m.
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