December 30, 2013
Late goals by Cazenovia deny Golden Eagles
While both teams showed better effort than they had the night before, only one got the result it was hoping for Saturday afternoon in the consolation game of the Cortland-Homer hockey team’s Holiday Tournament.
Cazenovia trailed 3-2 with less than four minutes left in the game but got its second power-play tally of the contest with 3:41 left to tie it and then got the game-winner with 50.2 seconds remaining for a 4-3 win over the hosts at the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex’s Suit-Kote Arena.
“We shot out ourselves in the foot, taking a bad penalty with the lead before they scored through the back door,” an obviously disappointed C-H coach Don Armstrong said, his squad now 2-5-1 on the season. “The winning goal went in off one of our player who was back-checking well.
“But to Cazenovia’s credit, when we gave them opportunities they capitalized. They had good pressure to the net on the game-winner; the harder you work, the luckier you get,” he added.
Cortland-Homer lost to Frontier 4-0 Friday night in the first round of the tournament, while Cazenovia fell to Fayetteville-Manlius 3-1. Frontier won its third straight C-H Holiday Tournament championship and its fourth in the last six years later Saturday by downing the Hornets 5-4.
Both Armstrong and Lakers coach Seth Howard were happy with how their teams performed in the consolation contest.
“Certainly the overall effort was much better, which is encouraging. We played better offensively, which is also encouraging. But in terms of playing smart, disciplined hockey we can do better, which is discouraging,” Armstrong said. “We’re almost there but not quite in terms of overall play. It seems like every team takes advantage of the opportunities we give them.”
“This was a good game for us,” Cazenovia coach Seth Howard said, his team now 2-4-2 this season. “It’s been awhile since our first win. We used our third goalie, (sophomore) Cameron Fry, in this tournament and he played well. I think the kids rallied around him a little.
“The last goal was the only time we led all game. We’ve been trying to preach to the kids about the ups and downs of games, to try to ride them out and stay even. We have a lot of young guys (20 underclassmen on a 24-player roster), and sometimes when we get down by a goal it fells like we’re down four.”
The Lakers trailed by a goal three times on Saturday. Golden Eagles sophomore forward Josh Button got things started with his first high school goal with 2:58 left in the first, tucking the puck home after skating to the net from deep on the right wing. The visitors tied it with 51.1 seconds left in the opening frame, freshman forward Will McCrink putting home a loose puck off a shot by sophomore forward Colin McGaugh that deflected up and landed in front of the hosts’ net.
C-H retook the lead 4:30 into the second period as senior forward Luke van der Veur also got his first varsity goal, taking a pass from classmate/linemate Brian Ordway and going to his backhand after cutting toward the left side in front of Fry.
Cazenovia equalized with its first power play goal of the game 25 seconds into a penalty on the hosts, senior defenseman Trevor Cross taking a shot from the top of the left-wing circle that found its way past C-H sophomore netminder Ryan Gabriel. Assists went to senior forward Billy Rankin and McCrink.
Cornish made it a 3-2 game for Cortland-Homer with his second goal of the season 3:49 into the third, tipping home pass from junior forward Matt May from behind the net on the left side.
The Lakers got another power play opportunity with 4:38 left after two Golden Eagles and one Cazenovia player were whistled off for roughing after a scuffle near center ice. McGaugh tied it 57 seconds later, hitting an open net from point-blank range on the right side after a cross-ice pass from Rankin.
The game-winner was credited to Lakers junior defenseman Alex Hunt, assisted by Rankin and Cross, after it went in off a C-H player. Sophomore defenseman Brenden Whalen started the play by carrying the puck into the hosts’ zone down the right-wing side and setting off a flurry of activity in front of the net.
“Brenden skated it down and then it was there in front,” Hunt said of his first goal of the season. “I just got it on my stick on it and it went in.”
“We had a couple of good scoring opportunities after that, including a late shot (by May on the left side) as time expired that would have counted,” Armstrong noted. Instead, Fry made the last of his 27 saves to 20 for Gabriel, the Golden Eagles with a 30-24 shot advantage.
Fry was named to the all-tournament team along with C-H junior Danny Turck, who was moved from the forward line to defense for the two tournament games.
“The kids are resilient and they’ll come back,” Armstrong said. The Golden Eagles’ next game is Friday against visiting Division II opponent Oswego in a 7:30 p.m. start.
Frontier 5, Fayetteville-Manlius 4: The Falcons, the 11th-ranked Division I team in the first state poll, trailed 3-1 with 4:17 left in the second period before scoring four straight goals and holding off the Hornets, who were outshot 46-23 and got 41 saves from senior goalie Ben Napierala.
Junior forward Matt Kelley scored twice for the winners, now 7-3, while senior forward Phil Stamer had a goal and an assist for the second straight game. Stamer’s tally with one second left in the first was the only scoring in that stanza, and F-M then scored three goals in a row in the first 10:43 of the second. Junior defenseman Mike Hughes and senior forward Brandon Galanti scored once each for Frontier while junior goalie Connor Harman made 19 saves.
Senior forwards Mateo Capriotti and Ryan Daly and junior forward Erik Badger each had a goal and an assist for F-M (1-4-1), while forward Garrett DuMond scored once on the heels of a two-goal game Friday night.
Stamer and senior defenseman Zach Eberhardt represented Frontier on the all-tournament team, where they were joined by the Hornets’ DuMond and Napierala.
“We didn’t play well in the first two periods,” Falcons coach Bob Klimowicz said. “I told the kids that we were a much better skating team than (F-M), but they weren’t skating. We were very lackadaisical in our own end, which caused their three goals in a row. We didn’t do what we were capable of doing until the third, which is a bad lesson. If the kids think they can do that in our league.....it’s not going to happen.
“Having kids experience things like this tournament, things they’ll remember when they’re in college and beyond, is what it’s all about.
“I’m very happy with our kids, especially getting the lead,” said Hornets coach Josh Becker. “We changed our defense from a 2-1-2 to a 1-1-3 in the second period because we knew Frontier likes to come up the middle, and it paid off. We have a young squad, and they way we stayed with a strong team like that — even though the shots don’t show it — is almost a victory to me going into our next game.
“We knew Ben would have to keep us in games — and he has. We’ll learn from this. Playing a team like Frontier we got a little timid going into the third, but that will come with experience.”
Becker also noted that “Every time we’ve come down to Cortland it’s been a great tournament. We appreciate them having us down here.”
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