December 24, 2011


Golden Eagles’ slumping offense blanked by Ithaca


Rich Barnes/contributing photographer
Cortland-Homer Golden Eagles defenseman Nick Burton (10) skates up ice with the puck against Ithaca’s Joey Menzenski during the first period Friday at The Rink in Lansing. Host Ithaca skated to 3-0 non-league victory.

LANSING — A familiar problem plagued the Cortland-Homer hockey team once again Friday night.
“We’re having trouble finding the net. We’re not scoring goals,” Golden Eagles coach Don Armstrong said after his squad was shut out for the third time in four games, 3-0 by non-league host Ithaca at The Rink in Lansing. “”We had some good efforts, but not enough of them throughout the game.
“We out-shot them in all three periods, but they turned it around on us. We’ve been able to succeed enough to win some this season,” he added, like Wednesday’s 1-0 win at Corcoran. “Scoring continues to be something we’re working on.”
The Little Red (2-6) — coached by Don’s older brother Rich Armstrong — scored twice in the first period. Senior defenseman Joey Menzenski got things started 5:29 in with a power-play shot from the point on which Cortland-Homer senior goalie Brandon Paquin was screened. Senior forward Anthony Massicci picked up the assist.
The winners’ second goal came with just 44 seconds left in the first as junior forward Michael Abdulky intercepted a pass just outside the C-H blue line came in just ahead of a defenseman and put a back-hander over Paquin’s right shoulder.
“Once Ithaca gets up by a couple of goals they play defensive hockey, which is their style,” Don Armstrong said, his team now 2-5-1. “They make it difficult to get right on top of the goaltender. They worked their system to a “T”.
Ithaca junior forward Wilson Gearhart closed out the scoring 2:07 into the third period with another power play tally, putting home a rebound out of a scramble in front of the net with the assists going to Massicci and sophomore forward Danny Mazzarella.
Senior forward Zack Daniels, junior defenseman Matt Condit and freshman forward John-Morgan Burhans were all cited by Don Armstrong for their offensive efforts. The Golden Eagles had a 24-15 shot advantage in the contest, Paquin with 12 saves to 24 for Little Red sophomore goalie Brandon Kasel, who earned the shutout.
Cortland-Homer returns to action Thursday in its own Holiday Tournament when it hosts Fayetteville-Manlius in the first round at the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex in an 8 p.m. start, the game also counting in the Section 3 DI West standings. Frontier Central from Section 6 and defending Division II state champion Cazenovia meet in the other first-round game at 5:30 p.m. The consolation and championship games are at 5:30 and 8 p.m., respectively, on Friday.


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