December 31, 2007


No tourney fun for CHS-Homer

Staff Writer

Out-shooting and out-scoring an opponent are two different things.
That concept, and the value of a hot goaltender, were outlined Saturday afternoon at the J.M. McDonald Center, where the Cortland-Homer Golden Eagles lost for the second time in as many games in its own Holiday Hockey Classic despite a huge shot advantage.
Frontier Central from Hamburg, near Buffalo, took 19 shots to 39 for the hosts, but the Falcons’ last shot ended the game — sophomore left wing Joshua Baker finding the net 3:14 into sudden-death overtime to give his team a 2-1 win in the tourney’s consolation contest.
Canandaigua, coached by C-H coach Don Armstrong’s brother Jim, beat Auburn 4-1 in the championship game.
The Golden Eagles had lost to the Maroons 2-0 on Friday night despite a _29-19 shot advantage, while Canandaigua had shaded Frontier 1-0.
“The coaches talked to the kids afterwards and told them they have our respect,” said Don Armstrong, whose Cortland-Homer squad is now 5-7 on the season. “ They played almost 95 minutes in less than 24 hours, looked good on the power play and penalty killing — especially a 5-on-3 at the start of overtime today — and did everything we asked them to do, but ran into a couple of hot goaltenders.
“We’re very, very happy with the play we’ve seen these last two days,” he added. “The kids played hard and played well enough to win both games. They want to come out on top, and are showing more and more that they’re willing to pay the price to do that.”
The Golden Eagles out-shot Frontier 10-6 in the scoreless first period and had a 22-11 shot advantage before Falcons junior right wing Chris Gonser opened the scoring with 3:39 left in the second barreling down the middle after taking a pass from Baker, cutting left and putting a backhand shot home past C-H junior goalie Brett Kash.
The hosts were unable to equalize in what was left of the second, but continued their offensive pressure and finally broke through early in the third. Senior center Steve Stowell took a hard shot from the right-wing circle that Frontier junior goalie Shawn Starkweather turned aside, but sophomore defenseman Corey Gibbons was there to pressure the rebound before junior left wing Matt Porter finally put it home just 1:20 in.
The Golden Eagles were whistled for seven penalties over the rest of the third (to three for the visitors), and a call at the whistle with one C-H player already in the box gave Frontier a 5-on-3 advantage for the first 1:06 of the extra session. Kash made a nice save on a short-range shot from the right side by Baker 15 seconds into overtime, but shortly after his team killed off a penalty of its own Baker got another chance, this time from high in the slot, and beat Kash to end it.
“I went for the puck, saw where the goalie was and knew I had to go high to his glove side,” Baker said with a wide grin after helping the Falcons improve to 2-6 on the season. “It went in off the pipe; I could feel when it came off my stick that it had a nice chance to go in.
“I love overtime. I always think that I’m going to score the game-winner. We were a little shaky at the start, and 17 (Stowell) for them has a good shot. But we switched it up, and I think that this will get us going. We haven’t been doing well in the league, but I think we’ll start winning now.”
“We don’t have a ton of skill, but we work on it day in and day out,” Frontier coach Bob Klimowicz said. “We have to work on our defensive zone coverage. We’re going to have to win the 2-1 and 3-2 games. It helps when you have two solid goaltenders you can throw in.”
Frontier sophomore Nick Tuttle had stopped 27 shots to keep the Falcons close against Canandaigua in the first round.
“We did a better job of playing as a team today,” said Klimowicz. “We had the kids focus on not bunching up in the offensive zone. Today was a nice team effort, and we played with a little more emotion.”
“It would have been nice to get out of this with one win, but hopefully we can build on our performances for the balance of the season and sectionals,” Don Armstrong said. “We’re currently fourth in the league, the last playoff spot. It’s going to be a dogfight from here on out.”
The Golden Eagles, who are 4-3 in the CNYSHL Division II West standings, return to league action this Friday when they host Watertown IHC at 7 p.m.
The all-tournament picks from the two teams were announced immediately after the game. Stowell was selected to represent Cortland-Homer, while Frontier junior defenseman Chris Burke also made the squad.
Canandaigua 4, Auburn 1: The Braves, now 9-0 on the season, scored the first three goals of the game over the first two periods and held Auburn (4-7-1) to a total of 11 shots in the contest to win the championship of the tournament after finishing third the past two seasons.
“It’s good not to play in the consolation,” Jim Armstrong said with a laugh. “Winning is fun, but we always want to play hard and as well as we can. I’m very pleased. We played and beat two tough opponents, and any time you hold a team to 11 shots it’s something to be proud of.”
Canandiagua held both Auburn and Friday foe Frontier to 11 shots.
“In our last five games we’ve given up three goals and had two shutouts, and in every game but one this season we’ve out-shot our opponent by better than two-to-one. In that other game, it was 30-20,” added Jim Armstrong.
Senior defenseman Britt Kostraba, senior forward Evan Roth and sophomore forward Sam Post had a goal and an assist apiece for the winners, Kostraba and Roth on power plays, while junior defenseman Christian Phelps had the other goal. Sophomore forward Brandyn Morgan scored Auburn’s only goal.
Sophomore Mitch Collum made 10 saves in the Canandaigua nets, while junior Tommy Trowell stopped 15 shots in two periods for the Maroons (4-7-1) before sophomore Steve Komanecky came on in the third and made six saves.
“Canandaigua is a good team,” Auburn coach Mike Lowe said. “They out-worked and out-played us, and beat us to loose pucks. They did some things better than we did, and created opportunities for themselves while we sat back and waited for things to happen.
“We started playing a little better in the third period, but you’re not going to beat a good team by just playing part of the game.”
Canandaigua was represented on the all-tournament team by Roth and senior defenseman Ben Stabbins, while Auburn senior forwards Sean Hogan and Brendan Lewis were also honored.




Rockets shot down in title game

DeRUYTER — Led by tournament most valuable player Victor Selyuzhitsky’s 20-point effort, Waterville defeated DeRuyter Central 58-47 in the championship game of the DeRuyter Christmas Tournament Saturday.
DeRuyter falls to 4-5 with the title game loss.
McGraw defeated Gilbertsville-Mt. Upton in the consolation game by a 49-41 count.
Waterville 58, DeRuyter 47: “After having watched Waterville the night before, I thought it was in our best interest to play zone defense since they had difficulties shooting the ball the night before,” said DeRuyter coach Kim Brown. “However, Waterville shot the ball well from deep and we had to leave the zone and opt for man-to-man. I was concerned that our man-to-man might not be as effective due to Waterville’s strength.
“Before the game, I told the guys that one category would decide the game,” Brown continued. “If we could out-rebound them, I was confident we would win. Unfortunately, we had our worst rebounding night of the season.”
DeRuyter finished with a season low 26 rebounds.
“I’m not sure of Waterville’s final rebounding numbers, but I’m positive we got out-rebounded by 10 or more rebounds,” Brown stated. “We were prepared for Waterville to play us man-to-man due to our shooting performance the night before. We just gave up too many second chance points defensively.”
Waterville would connect on two 3-pointers in the opening quarter to take an early 16-8 lead. R.J. Baumgarten (15 points) scored six points and Selyuzhitsky five in the quarter.
In the second quarter, DeRuyter would cut the lead to five, 24-19, at half as they outscored Waterville 11-8. Dan Raymond scored six of his eight points in the quarter for the Rockets. 
“Dan’s effort was outstanding tonight,” said Brown. “His motor never stops and he seems to be very comfortable offensively right now.” 
Waterville increased its lead to 43-32 after three periods. They got eight points from Selyuzhitsky and seven points from Baumgarten in the quarter.
“Selyuzhitsky was a tough match-up for us tonight,” Brown stated. “He shoots it well, handles the ball well and seems rather basketball savy.”




Dryden girls drop consi

WATKINS GLEN— Dryden High girls closed out the 2007 portion of their season Saturday in the consolation game of the Watkins Glen Holiday Basketball Tournament. The Purple fell to 3-5 overall with a 50-31 loss to the host Senecas (4-4).
Lansing (7-2) defeated Odessa-Montour (5-4) 49-43 in the championship game.
Watkins Glen 50, Dryden 31: “We had trouble executing our offense,” said Dryden coach Dave Lott. “Watkins Glen played well and their defense was strong and cause us problems.”
Watkins Glen took an 11-5 lead after one quarter of play and extended its advantage to 29-15 by halftime. The Senecas had 15 more points in the third quarter while limiting the Purple Lions to six.
Jaclyn Conklin and Taylor Chaffee led the Watkins Glen offensive attack by scoring 12 points each.
All-tournament selection Taylor White paced the Purple Lions with 11 points. Caitlyn Potter netted seven points as her and hite each hit one 3-pointer.
Dryden girls will return to Interscholastic Athletic Conference Division I action Friday as the Purple Lions travel to Elmira Notre Dame.
l Dryden JVs were crowned Watkins Glen Tournament champions after a 36-30 win over the Seneca JVs Saturday.
Clara Gallagher and Brooke Thompson received all-tournament team honors. Gallagher scored 29 points in her two tournament games.
Lansing 46, Odessa-Montour 43: Megan Palladino was one of three Lansing players in double figures as the LadyCats overcame a 23-19 halftime deficit to win the tournament championship. Palladino, the tournament MVP, netted 14 points while Jocelyn Ford and M.C. Barrett added 12 on 10 points respectively.
Rebecca Ayers led the Odessa-Montour attack with a game-high 18 points.