The Cortland/Homer hockey team relied on its penalty kill to get its first win of the 2021-22 season, a 3-0 victory over New Hartford Monday night at the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex.
The Golden Eagles scored their first two goals while killing penalties, including a 5-on-3 goal scored by Tanner Douglass 4:33 into the second period. Andrew Partigianoni netted the first short-handed goal in a 5-on-4 scenario just 1:39 into the second.
“It’s really a testament to our aggressiveness and our attempt to force the powerplay to react to aggressive forechecking,” Cortland/Homer head coach Matt Caron said. “We feel very comfortable, very free to play down a man. We never want to, of course, but we’re not afraid to be down a man because we’re going to bring an up-tempo penalty kill and force them to make mistakes.”
Partigianoni also scored the Golden Eagles’ final goal, an even-strength tally with 11:33 left in the third period. The goals Monday night were his first two of the season.
“I just got some good passes from my teammates,” Partigianoni said. “I thought we were working hard and that was just the end result. I was fortunate it was me, but we were all working hard.”
Goalie Riley Delage got the shutout, stopping all 16 of New Hartford’s shots.
“Riley’s a senior and he showed a lot of senior poise,” Caron said. “He just felt comfortable back there with it being his first start. We had a layoff over the weekend and it was touch and go what we were going to have tonight. Riley stepped up like we thought he would as a senior. A shutout is a great way for him to start his season, and I know everyone is excited about his effort tonight.”
The first period was a frustrating one for Cortland/Homer, with the Golden Eagles dominating possession but unable to find the back of the net.
“We were a little sluggish in that first period. Clearly we were flat,” Caron said. “The message (between the first and second periods) was that ‘we’re still a very good team. We’ve got a fresh cut of ice. Let’s go out there and step on the accelerator and play with no fear.’ And that’s what we went out and did and it’s nice to see them play free and with smiles on their faces, not afraid of making mistakes.”
Things got a little chippy at the end of the game. There was a skirmish in front of the goal that ended with three penalties being assessed with 8:21 left in the game. Two of those penalties were on Cortland/Homer.
In total, there were six penalties issued in the third period, three for each side, in a span of 3:48.
Cortland/Homer gets back on the ice at 7:15 p.m. Friday, when it plays at Baldwinsville.
DERUYTER 3, MCGRAW 2
DeRuyter recovered from a rough fourth set to get a 25-15 win in the decisive fifth set for their second victory of the season.
McGraw won the first set 25-15 and the fourth set 25-16. DeRuyter took the second and third sets, 25-21 and 25-23.
Olivia Lidell led the Rockets with 23 assists, 13 digs, eight aces and two kills. Keely Worlock added nine kills, eight digs and two aces. Madelyn Pforter also had nine kills, while Brianna Hannafan had five. Abriana Whitt and Emily Elwood pitched in six digs apiece, with Whitt getting two aces and Elwood getting three. Emma Denkenberger also pitched in three aces.
McKenzie Fuller paced McGraw with nine aces and three assists. Megan Stull contributed six aces and three kills.
Madison Boyer and Paige Epp also had three aces apiece. Madison Lawrence notched three kills.
CICERO-NORTH SYRACUSE 7, HOMER 0
Ashlynn Holcomb bowled a 431 series to lead Homer in defeat. Holcomb threw games of 168, 137 and 126.
Caitlyn Vieou (129, 144, 131), Kimberli Proctor (95, 142, 94) and Addison Platt (97, 114, 114) also threw all three games. Morgan Brown (92, 89) and Arielez Morales (111, 128) competed in two of the three games.
Sam Sorenson and Talan Hubbard won their tournament championships, at 285 pounds and 118 pounds, respectively, to help Homer to a top-eight finish at the Bill Anderson Memorial Tournament at Cicero-North Syracuse High School Saturday.
Both wrestlers went 4-0, with Sorenson, the No. 1 wrestler in the state in his weight class, beating the No. 2-ranked wrestler at 285 in the finals, 3-1. Hubbard won bonus points in all of his matches.
Zander Johnson placed third in the 189-pound weight class after finishing with a 4-1 record.