December 30, 2010
Top-ranked Caz trims Golden Eagles for title
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland-Homer’s Casie Garrison (14) breaks free of the Cazenovia defense in the first period of Wednesday’s Holiday Tournament title game at the McDonald Sports Complex. Caz took the title, 6-2.
Sam Lewis showed a good sense of timing for the Cazenovia hockey team over the past two nights.
Mired in something of a scoring slump, the senior forward scored five goals Tuesday night as the Lakers whipped Section 6 Frontier 10-3 in the first round of the Cortland-Homer Holiday Tournament. He added two more timely goals Wednesday night as Cazenovia — newly anointed as the top-ranked Division II team in the state — beat the host Golden Eagles 6-2 in the championship game.
Frontier took third place by beating Utica Proctor 5-2 in the early game at the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex.
Lewis was one of the Caz players who took charge after the team’s leading scorer, junior forward Brian Gara (who had the other five goals Tuesday night), was assessed a four-minute major and game misconduct for checking from behind with 3:54 left in the first period. That happened just 1:10 after Gara had opened the scoring off an assist from senior defenseman Joe Nardella.
The Lakers were able to generate most of the offense during the hosts’ four-minute power play, and Lewis made it pay off when he scored from the low slot with one-tenth of a second left in the period off a feed from junior forward Alan Baldwin.
“We have a lot of injuries, and to lose our leading scorer was tough,” said Lakers coach Jon Davignon, whose team is now 7-0 on the season. “A lot of young kids did a good job of stepping up, and so did Sam — he was snakebit until we came down here.
“We try to never fall back on defense, to attack the whole game, including penalty kills. We try not to let people play their game and to force them into doing what we want,” he added.
Lewis made sure that happened with his second timely goal of the contest. Golden Eagles eight-grade forward Danny Turck scored his second goal of the season 6:49 into the middle stanza off a feed from behind the net by junior forward Leo Riley to give the hosts a bit of momentum. Lewis then made it 3-1 just 13 seconds later off assists from freshman forward David Marshall and sophomore forward Connor Cannizzaro to give his team control of the game for good.
“Alan did some good forechecking, got the puck to me out of the corner and I buried it,” Lewis said in describing his first goal. “On the second goal, I got a nice breakout pass from David, came across and shot through a screen. It was good to win this tournament. We needed a little boost.”
“CAZENOVIA IS A good team,” Cortland-Homer coach Don Armstrong said, his team now 4-2 on the season, the losses to Cazenovia and Skaneateles, which is the fourth-ranked Division II team in the state. “We knew that going in, and if you get of to a slow start they’ll make you pay. (Lewis) is a good player, great with the puck. He had seven goals in this tournament, and that’s what good players do.
“Jon does a good job with his club. They do a great job of passing the puck, and when we lost it we had to work like heck to get it back,” added Armstrong. “Playing teams like that is what makes you better; I wouldn’t mind playing them a couple more times. I was happy with my kids, still playing hard with the game out of reach. I’ve seen teams get chippy in that situation, but Caz didn’t. They have a lot of veteran players.”
Davignon, whose team beat C-H 3-1 last season in the first round of sectionals and ended up losing on overtime in the title game to eventual Division II state champion New Hartford. returned the compliment, “Cortland-Homer is a good team,” he said. “They’re clean and play hard. It’s a good experience for us to come down here and play two games.”
After Lewis made it 3-1, Cazenovia scored twice more in the second, Marshall converting assists from senior defenseman Sean Cannizzaro and Lewis with 6:21 left and Nardella notching an unassisted goal with 1:13 left.
Golden Eagles junior right wing Zack Daniels, who scored the only goal in the hosts’ 1-0 first-round win over Proctor Tuesday night, made it 5-2 just 35 seconds into the third off assists from linemates Aaron Zimmerman, a junior left wing, and Tim Walsh, a junior center. Lakers sophomore forward Brian Demo closed out the scoring with 4:23 remaining, assisted by Sean Cannizzaro.
All told, the winners took 42 shots in the game to 10 for Cortland-Homer. Junior Brandon Paquin stopped 36 shots in the C-H nets before yielding to eighth-grader Tyler Wallace, who wasn’t called on to make any saves after coming in after the last Cazenovia goal. Junior Joe Vecchiarelli made eight saves for the Lakers.
“It was a good tournament,” Armstrong said. “We focused on what we needed to do to get better and won our league game (CNYSHL Division IB), which was our primary concern. When you only get 10 shots on net it’s hard to generate much offense.”
Daniels and junior goalie Cory Broyles, who made 25 saves in the win over Proctor, were honored as Cortland-Homer’s representatives on the all-tournament team. Cazenovia’s Lewis and Nardella were also named to the elite squad.
The Golden Eagles don’t play again until Jan. 13, when they return to league play by hosting Watertown IHC in a 7:30 p.m. start.
Frontier 5, Utica Proctor 2: Sophomore forward Bob Piotrowicz and senior forward Louis Wagner led the way with a goal and an assist apiece as Frontier improved to 4-3-1 with the win in the consolation game. Senior forwards Matt Anticoli and Nick Nadrowski and senior defenseman Drew Yeates scored one goal each for the Falcons, while senior forward Faruk Lidan, who like Piotrowicz was named to the all-tournament team, scored both goals for the Raiders, who slipped to 1-6 overall.
The winners had a 42-16 shot advantage and got 14 saves from junior goalie Cody Armstrong. Senior Lee Barker made 18 saves and junior John Barnekow stopped 19 shots for Proctor.
“I feel bad that we couldn’t give Cazenovia the competition that we’re capable of,” Frontier coach Bob Klimowicz said. “But the kids look forward to this trip, and its good to have some games over the break before we get into the gist of our schedule.”
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