The host Cortland-Homer hockey team came out flying, rolled to a 3-0 lead after the first period and went on to beat visiting Syracuse 7-3 Saturday at the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex in a clash of state-ranked squads.
The Golden Eagles, ranked second among the state’s Division II teams in the most recent poll, are now 13-2-2 overall. The Cougars, the state’s third-ranked Division I squad, suffered their first loss of the season and are now 14-1-1.
“We came out ready to play right off the bat,” C-H coach Chad Totman said. “We scored the first four goals, and they hadn’t experienced that this season. It took them off their game; they got a little flustered and took some penalties they shouldn’t have. We had four power-play goals in the game and scored one with the teams playing four-on-four.
“We also had good puck movement; there were two assists on each of our first five goals. It was a bunch of guys working together well rather than playing as individuals. We also finished well; all our shots and passes were pretty much spot on.”
Syracuse’s frustration mounted during the second period, which ended with Cortland- Homer up 6-3. The officials called the teams’ captains together and warned them prior to the third period, which was largely uneventful.
Adam Jubran led the Golden Eagles with three goals and two assists while Jed Brazo, coming off a four-goal game in Friday’s 6-3 win over Auburn, scored twice. Nick Djafari had a goal and an assist and Josh Cargen one goal. Nick Gravel and Trevor Jubran had three assists apiece, Tanner Douglass and Jake Prunier with one assist each. Goalie Brandon Ludwig made 28 saves, the winners with a 35-31 shot advantage.
Kyle Lamson, Phillip Zollo and Stephen Matro were the goal-scorers for Syracuse, Skariwate Papineau with two assists while Ryan Eccles and Andrew Corning each had one assist. Starting goalie Alex Moreno made 13 saves before he was relieved in the middle stanza by Evan Carter, who went the rest of the way and stopped 15 shots.
The Golden Eagles’ Josh Cargen opened the scoring on a power play goal with 7:36 left in the opening stanza, Brazo making it 2-0 just 40 seconds later and Adam Jubran closing out the first-period blitz with 50 seconds left.
Brazo’s power-play goal 1:41 into the second made it 4-0 before Lamson and Zollo answered to cut the visitors’ deficit in half. Djafari’s power-play tally with 8:25 left and Jubran’s second goal of the game 36 seconds later with the teams skating four-on four gave Cortland-Homer its 6-3 lead after two periods.
Jubran completed his hat trick with 7:38 left in the game and the winners with a 5-on-3 advantage. Matro’s goal with 1:31 left accounted for the final margin.
The Golden Eagles host non-league rival Ithaca Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the teams’ annual Cortaca Cup game before visiting Skaneateles Friday. A win in that game would give Cortland-Homer the Section 3 Division II league championship while the Lakers can claim the title with a win or a tie.