SKANEATELES — Wednesday’s loss to defending state champion Skaneateles was not without some positives that the Cortland-Homer Golden Eagles could build on this season.
What they built Friday was a sight to behold — a 4-0 shutout of Christian Brothers Academy at the Skaneateles YMCA.
At the same time, there were still more things for the Golden Eagles to build on.
Goalies Garret Clarke and Riley Delage combined to stop all 19 CBA shots, Jed Brazo had two goals and Andrew Partigianoni had a goal and two assists as part of a well-balanced effort.
The only goal the Golden Eagles would need came about 30 seconds into the first period, when a slashing penalty on CBA resulted in a power play that Brazo capitalized on with a goal, shooting from the low slot.
Partigianoni padded the lead late in the first period by sticking with the puck with heavy traffic in front of the CBA net and forcing the puck home.
A slow-moving second period for both teams, in which CBA outshot the Golden Eagles just 7-3, would not go without another Golden Eagles’ goal as Tanner Douglass scored at 12:51 by crashing the net and taking a tumble following through with the shot, then taking another tumble at center ice during his celebration.
CBA came close to getting on the scoreboard with less than two minutes left in the game, but Delage pulled off a highlight-reel save from the seat of his pants on an odd-man rush to keep the shutout intact.
With 14 seconds left in the game, Brazo picked up his second goal off a feed from Partigianoni to complete a 2-on-0 rush.
“Jed and Parge played together last year and have great chemistry,” Golden Eagles head coach Chad Totman said. “We need to find who will work best with them as well as what is best for our other lines.”
Some fans might not think there could be many noticeable flaws in a 4-0 shutout, but to a trained eye like Totman’s, he noticed a few of them, and also that his team wasn’t playing with as much effort as they could have.
“[It’s] always nice to get a shutout, although our best play is still to come,” Totman said. “Some of our players didn’t play as well as they could have because they knew [CBA] was missing a couple of their best players. We can’t play to the level of our opponent.”
Even getting the first goal so early was a double-edged sword, according to Totman.
“The first shift of each period had good pace but after that we started to fall into some bad habits,” Totman said. “[We were] blowing the zone too early and not back-checking hard enough. Scoring so early didn’t help with this. We shouldn’t have to rely on both goalies to make some key saves to keep us in it.”
The Golden Eagles (1-1) play their next game Tuesday evening at 7:15 p.m. against Cicero-North Syracuse, once again at the Skaneateles YMCA.