December 19, 2014

Burhans Golden Eagle hero


Talk about a plan working out.
Cortland-Homer hockey coach Chad Totman called a timeout with 1:11 left in regulation of his team’s Section 3 Division II American Conference game with visiting Whitesboro Thursday night to strategize. He told senior defenseman John Burhans to plant himself in front of the net so he could put home any puck that came his way.
That’s just what happened, as Burhans scored from point-blank range with 14 seconds left in regulation to salvage what ended up a 1-1 tie.
“John is real scrappy, carries the puck well and does a lot of passing,” Totman said, his team now 0-2-1 in the league and 1-2-1 overall. “I told him to park himself in front of the net, that no one would be able to move him. The puck came to the net, and he shoveled it in.”
The play started when senior right wing Mike May got the puck from the top of the left-wing circle to senior center Danny Turck in the left-wing corner. Turck threw the puck in front, and Burhans was able to put it in.
The Warriors (0-3-1, 0-6-2) opened the scoring with 4:32 left in the first period as sophomore forward Nick Welch put home a loose puck in front off a pass from the right wing corner by senior forward Brandon DePerno.
“We got outplayed in the first period, though we had a 7-6 shot advantage,” Totman said. “It’s what we’ve done this season; it takes us awhile to wake up and get playing. We do things like shooting from outside instead of working to get closer, but we did that work in the second period and the rest of the game. Our defense played pretty well. Paddy McSherry (senior) plays scrappy, rugged and physical for us. He hits hard when he’s supposed to; he doesn’t just go out looking to hit people.”
The Golden Eagles had a 29-19 shot advantage in the game, C-H junior goalie Ryan Gabriel with 18 saves to 28 for Warriors senior netminder Tim Evans. “Ryan played a good game,” Totman said. “He was solid and didn’t give up any rebounds, any second chances to score.”
Thursday night’s contest was the last for Golden Eagles assistant coach Mark Balkwill, a former SUNY Cortland player and a student teacher at Homer Central who is heading home to Canada. “I’d like to thank Mark,” Totman said. “He did an excellent job with our goalies.”
C-H visits Rome Free Academy Tuesday in a non-leaguer starting at 7 p.m., then hosts its annual tournament Dec. 26 and 27. The Golden Eagles play Cazenovia in the first round on Dec. 26 starting at 7:45 p.m. after Frontier from Section 6 and Ontario Bay meet in a 5:30 p.m. start. The consolation game is set for 11:30 a.m. Dec. 27, with the championship game facing off at 1:45 p.m.


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