The Cortland-Homer Golden Eagles hockey team started the new year with a revamped first line and it paid huge dividends Friday at the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex.
Nick Gravel was moved from defense to the Golden Eagles first line with Jed Brazo and Andrew Partigianoni and the trio clicked as they were involved in all eight goals in the 8-3 romp over Canton. Cortland-Homer improves to 3-8 overall with the win.
“Our first line played really well today,” Cortland-Homer coach Chad Totman said. “They all handle the puck very well and every one of them is a threat to score which makes them hard to defend against.”
Brazo netted three goals to go with four assists. Logan Swartz added two goals and two assists with Gravel collecting two goals. Partigianoni had one goal and dished out five assists.
Brazo got Cortland-Homer on the board just 54 seconds into the game with an assist from Partigianoni. Swartz got a power play goal at the 3:14 mark with Brazo and Partigianoni assisting for a 2-0 advantage.
Canton closed to within 2-1 11:19 into the opening period as Trey Bessette found the net. Rhett Palmer and Peter Coakley picked up assists.
Gravel made it 3-1 Golden Eagles with 27 seconds left in the first period off a Partigianoni assist.
Cortland-Homer blew the game open with three unanswered goals in the second period. Gravel started the run at the 3:08 mark with a Brazo assist. Partigianoni netted his goal at 9:05 as Brazo and Swartz assisted. Swartz collected his second power play goal at 13:27 with assists coming from Brazo and Partigianoni.
The Golden Eagles made it 7-1 just 38 seconds into third-period play. Brazo got the goal with Partigianoni and Swartz credited with assists.
Canton caught a little momentum with two goals in a 39 second span. Palmer scored off a Zachary Frank assist at 10:17. Robert Reed scored unassisted goal at 10:56 to pull Canton to within 7-3, but that was the end of the comeback bid.
Brazo got his hat trick with an unassisted goal at 12:44 to close out the scoring.
“Logan got both his goals on the power play,” Totman said. “Logan, Ryan Spalding, Reagan Hillman and Tucker Gabriel all did well handling the extra ice time they were given due to Nick and Nate (Evans) moving to forward. Hopefully we can take some of our positive energy to our league games as we really get into the meat of our season.”
Garret Clark made 14 saves in the Golden Eagles’ goal for the win. Cade Chezum started in goal and recorded eight saves before being replaced during second period play. Hayden Todd came on and made 23 saves for the visitors.
Cortland-Homer will be back on the J.M. McDonald ice Tuesday. The Golden Eagles will host Whitesboro in a 7 p.m. Section 3 Division II contest.