January 20, 2022

Gettin’ physical

Cortland/Homer dominates in penalty-filled game

Photo by Steve Yang/contributing photographer

Cortland/Homer’s Mitchell Riter, right, rushes the puck up the ice while being defended by an Auburn player Thursday night at the J.M. McDonald Sports Center. Riter had a goal and an assist in Cortland/Homer’s 6-1 win.

The Cortland/Homer ice hockey team won a physical, sometimes chippy, game against Auburn, 6-1, Thursday night at the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex.

Penalties were a big story in the game, with Cortland/Homer being penalized 10 times and Auburn committing seven penalties. While no team wants to commit that many penalties, it’s good for the Golden Eagles to win a tough, physical game.

“We’re not afraid to play physical hockey,” Cortland/Homer head coach Matt Caron said. “Hockey is a weird sport where sometimes you’re rewarded for your pugnaciousness, if you will. Sometimes you need to send a message to opposing teams that we’re not going to take it anymore. We have an excellent penalty kill group, so we don’t mind going into the box, but we never want to, of course.”

The Golden Eagles’ defense was stout all night, keeping Auburn’s offense at bay and not letting many clean shots through. Goalie Riley DeLage was the other side of the defensive effort, making 17 saves, including a split save on a penalty kill in the second period.

“(I didn’t even see the puck) until the last second,” DeLage said. “It was a lucky save. But our defense was working hard out there too.”

The Golden Eagles got off to a bit of a slow start, but once Braden Marsh deflected in Rowan Dankert’s shot with 5:51 left in the first period, the goals kept coming. Cortland/Homer had chances to score before Marsh broke through, but going into the first intermission was good enough.

“Up 1-0 after the first period, we were expecting more but we took it and were happy we didn’t have to dig out of too many holes,” Caron said.

Andrew Partigianoni had Cortland/Homer’s next goal just 42 seconds into the second period. Logan Swartz fed Partigianoni as he headed up the ice on a breakaway.

That was answered by Auburn less than a minute later, when DeLage allowed his only goal of the night. The puck was flipped off DeLage’s back from behind the net and it fell into the goal.

After that, it was all Golden Eagles. Partigianoni got his second of the night on a one-timer from Tanner Douglass with 4:52 left in the second. Hunter Everle netted the next goal with 13:38 remaining in the third. Douglass and Tucker Gabriel got assists on Everle’s tally.

Mitchell Riter and Douglass put the final stamps on the game, with each player scoring a goal in the same minute. Chris Yang, Everle and Logan Goodman got assists on those goals.

Next up for Cortland/Homer is a pivotal league matchup at 7 p.m. Monday at home against CBA/J-D. The winner of that game will sit in second place in Division II.

“We have some momentum, two wins back-to-back, so we’re feeling pretty good,” Caron said. “We’re looking to capitalize and build on the success we’ve had by playing simple hockey. CBA/J-D is a talented team, it’s a league game, it’s two points, it’s in our barn. We should come ready to play. We’re just going to attack; throw the kitchen sink at them and see what happens.”

Photo by Steve Yang/contributing photographer

Cortland/Homer players celebrate one of their six goals Thursday night in a 6-1 victory over Auburn at the J.M. McDonald Sports Center.


Homer jumped out to a 20-6 lead after the first quarter and held a 33-12 lead at the half as they won their fourth game in a row. The Trojans held Solvay to six points in each of the first three quarters, then surrendered seven points in the fourth. Homer scored in double figures every quarter.

The Lions scored six points in both the first and third quarters as they lost their sixth straight game.


Talan Hubbard (15-0) and Sam Sorenson (19-0) both remained unbeaten this year as Homer took down Phoenix. Hubbard got a pin in 1:12 at 110 pounds, while Sorenson pinned his 215-pound opponent in 50 seconds.

David Morse (160 pounds), Zander Johnson (189 pounds), Blair Wakula (285 pounds), Hunter Lines (118 pounds) and Jeffrey Stauber (126 pounds) all got pins as well for the Trojans. Stauber got his in 45 seconds and Wakula finished up his work in 56 seconds. Maddox Johnson won 7-2 on points at 172 pounds.


Olivia Lidell had 15 assists for DeRuyter as they dominated McGraw, 25-19, 25-8, 25-11. Lidell also had three aces and a kill.

Neveah Woods had five kills, Peytin Burrows added four and Madelyn Pforter, Emma Denkenberger and Brianna Hannafan had three apiece. Woods, Denkenberger and Hannafan also added a block. Keely Worlock registered five aces, Abriana Whitt contributed three aces and Emily Elwood notched two.


Cortland at Auburn, 6:30 p.m.
Homer at Chittenango, 7:15 p.m.
Marathon at Newfield, 7:30 p.m.
McGraw at Otselic Valley, 7 p.m.
Dryden at Newark Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Faith Heritage at Tully, 6 p.m.
Moravia at Candor, 7 p.m.

Newfield at Marathon, 6 p.m.
Groton at Odessa-Montour, 6 p.m.
Newark Valley at Dryden, 7:15 p.m.
Candor at Moravia, 7:30 p.m.

Cincinnatus at Tully, 7 p.m.
McGraw at Faith Heritage, 5:30 p.m.

Dryden, Moravia, 6 p.m. at SUNY Cortland Lusk Field House