By BRIAN BARNES
The holiday season did not continue the way the Cortland-Homer Golden Eagles hockey team would have hoped for Friday as they lost their first game of the Cortland-Homer Golden Eagles Holiday Tournament 3-2 to the Saratoga Blue Streaks at the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex.
In what was a close game throughout all three periods of play, the defense and timely scoring headlined both sides of the rink. The action started quickly for the Golden Eagles (2-7 overall) as only 27 seconds into the game forward Andrew Partiginoni recorded the first goal for either side.
The effort on the rink would soon shift from what was expected to be an offensive showdown to becoming a defensive clinic from both sides. Goalkeeper Garret Clark of the Golden Eagles and netminder Brad Blake of the Blue Streaks were lights out. Neither goalie would allow a single goal through the rest of the first period and keeping that momentum well into the second period. For both young stars, they were the headlines of the day each having over 15 saves on the night. Clark finished with 28 saves and Blake had 20.
The impressive run would soon come to an end with 7:38 left in the second period. Partiginoni recorded his second goal on the day assisted by forward Jed Brazo and defenseman Nick Gravel. It was Brazo’s second assist.
This would be the final goal for the Golden Eagles as Saratoga would take control of the game, scoring two goals before the end of the second period to tie the game up at 2-2.
Defenseman Michael Montague scored the first goal assisted by forward Will Detora and defenseman Griffin Sarver just 27 seconds after Partigianoni’s second goal.
The tying goal came with 2:03 left in the second period. Forward Joe Amodio netted the unassisted goal.
Tied at 2-2 with 10:48 left in regulation time, Saratoga took its chance and succeeded by scoring the go-ahead, and eventual, game-winning goal. The hero for the Blue Streaks was forward Andrew Blanchard with his first goal of the game. He was assisted by Detora, his second assist of the night, and Amodio.
Even though the Golden Eagles had multiple opportunities to send this game into overtime or to take the lead, they were unable to get the job done.
Partigianoni was the game MVP for Cortland-Homer. Amodio was the MVP for Saratoga.
Shenendehowa 4, Cazenovia 1: Before the Golden Eagles lost to Blue Streaks, the Cazenovia Lakers faced off against the Shenendehowa Plainsmen in the first game of the tournament.
Forward Tyler Sullivan was the star on the offensive side of the game with three goals on the day which led the way to a 4-1 victory for the Plainsmen. Cole Haldane added one goal and two assists with Ryan Saelens credited with one assist.
But the overall MVP of the game was goalie John Sassone for Shenendehowa who had seven saves while holding the Lakers to only one goal in a stellar performance on the ice.
On the Lakers’ side, their game MVP was also their goalie Nick Korosec. He amassed 38 saves on the day while allowing four goals in the loss to Shenendehowa.
The lone goal of the game for Cazenovia (0-5) came on a shot by Jacob Owens in the second period with 6:54 left, making the score 3-1. Andrew Parkhurst and George Labinski picked up assists. Still, the Lakers were never able to make a comeback.
Cazenovia and Shenendehowa are back on the rink Saturday for day two of the Cortland-Homer Golden Eagles Holiday Tournament. Cazenovia squared off with Saratoga at 10:30 this morning. Shenendehowa will take on Cortland- Homer at 1 p.m. in game two. Both games will take place at the J.M. McDonald Center.