Sunday, January 26, 2014

Second Semester Starts, National Title Push Begins.

With the semester starting this past Wednesday, the Cortland Red Dragons once again begin preparing for the second straight National Championship appearance. With less games played than anyone else in the conference (9), Cortland will play another 9 more games in two regular season tournaments starting next week in Feasterville, Pennsylvania, followed by a rare appearance in Dracut, Massachusetts. Cortland's 5-3-1 record features them in the middle of the standings with 11 points, not where the team would like to be. However, with back to back tournaments against key opponents such as rival Slippery Rock, Rutgers, Delaware, Boston, and Binghamton, Cortland has a great opportunity to jump up a few places in the standings and end up with a high seeding for Regionals in March. Despite the sub-par record, Cortland still has the capability of being the team to beat. As proven in earlier games this season, the Red Dragons can come to play. With a full roster, Cortland is 5-1 with their only loss coming against Boston in Long Island. Three of the five wins have come across teams higher ranked than Cortland including a shutdown performance against Farmingdale who is second in the conference behind undefeated Slippery Rock. There is no predicting if the Red Dragons will come to play in these next two tournaments, but based off previous years, expect the Red Dragons to make an end of the year push thats will give them an opportunity to compete for the National Championship in April. With Cortland's superior goaltending and an impenetrable box, these key components could be the ingredients to a National Championship bid.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Huge Bounce-back Weekend for Cortland Roller Hockey!

To say that the past few weeks for Cortland roller hockey was an interesting one, would be a complete understatement! Just a few weeks ago, Cortland took a road trip down to Feasterville, Pennsylvania for their second tournament of the year without a very important piece of Cortland roller, Dan Nelson. Nelson's absence certainly didn't kill the teams confidence going into this tournament, however, it turned out to be one of the most unsuccessful weekends in Cortland roller history dropping all three games to Buffalo, St, Joseph's, and Baruch. Except for their efforts against St. Joe's that resulted in a heartbreaking overtime loss, the team's performance was poor to say the least. The three losses a few weeks ago was tough to overcome, but Cortland knew that the season was far from over and immediately focused their attention on the weekend of December 6th, where they were to face Drexel, Penn State, and rival Oswego.

Now this is where the story gets interesting. With a week before the teams last tournament, it came to our attention that the SUNY Cortland has a strict policy that no club teams can participate in games this upcoming weekend due finals preparation. In a frenzy, it looked as if Cortland would not be participating in their next tournament and was on the verge of forfeiting all three games which would very possibly kill the teams chances at Nationals in 2014. Within the next day or two, some might say its a miracle, Cortland roller hockey was back on the schedule for this weekend after the hard-work and dedication of Matt Scanlan, Chris Fidotta, and Tom Hughes. Throughout the frenzy to get the team playing this weekend, the schedule was changed a few times. The revised schedule had Cortland playing Oswego at 11 A.M on Saturday and Penn State on 6 P.M on Saturday for a two game, one day roller hockey weekend. The Drexel game will be played at a future date.

By Saturday at 11 A.M, Cortland roller hockey was in North Arlington, NJ, full team and all, and ready to go. With the first game against Cortland's rival, Oswego, it's safe to say that Cortland was licking their chops leading up to the game, and they proved the teams dominance in a 10-2 mauling of the Lakers. Chris Martelli started the scoring three minutes into the game, and never looked back from there. Dan Nelson added another in the first period, followed by Andrew DiCerbo's first goal of the season which turned out to be the game winning goal. In the second period, Oswego got on the scoreboard but was followed by seven unanswered Cortland goals including a natural hat trick from Tom Hughes, two from Chris Fidotta, Justin Carpenzano, and Chris Martelli who added his second goal of the game. Dish-master, Dan Nelson added 3 assists, two from defenseman Brendan Cummings, and an assist a piece from John Wagner, Fidotta, Hughes, and DiCerbo. Goalie, Matt Scanlan, continued his dominance in net saving 20 of 22 shots, making several beautiful saves, and a well-deserved third star. Tom Hughes earned himself first star with his 3 goals and 1 assist performance followed by Dan Nelson who tallied up 1 goal and 3 assists. It is noteworthy that Cortland's shooting percentage was a whopping 31%. Between the team's high powered offense, shutdown defense, and a brick wall in net, Cortland demonstrated what they are capable of and showed that they are here to play.

Cortland's next and last game of the weekend came against Penn State, a newcomer to the Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey League. The Red Dragons knew Penn State would be more of a challenge and had to come into this next game with a different mindset than with Oswego. As they showed all year long, Cortland's box formation was once again shutdown perfect. However, Cortland found themselves on the opposite end of the scoreboard after one period when Penn State scored on a powerplay goal. Cortland wasn't nearly phased when they came out into the second period. Chris Fidotta having himself the best game of the 2013-2014 season threw up a natural hat trick in the second period along with a goal from freshman, Dan Nelson. Only one goal had an assist with it and without surprise it came on Chris Fidotta's goal from Dan Nelson. Penn State struck first in the third period to cut the lead of Cortland's down to 4-2, but Chris Fidotta wasn't done yet. On the penalty kill, Fidotta stole the puck and broke in to finish the job scoring his 4th goal of the game shorthanded. The game ended with Cortland on top winning it by a score of 5-3 and finishing the weekend 2-0. Nick Marrone proved how much he means to the team making 21 of 24 saves including key saves throughout the game to keep the game in Cortland's favor throughout most of the game. Chris Fidotta was the obvious first star with his outstanding 4 goal performance and Dan Nelson took third star with a goal and an assist.

Cortland's 2-0 weekend improves their record to 5-3-1 on the season putting them at 10th place of 16 teams. However, don't overlook the Red Dragons less than satisfactory start to the season. Cortland has a 5-1-0 record with superstar Dan Nelson in the lineup. He controls the game better than anyone in the league and his presence on Cortland's team is definitely worth noting. Chris Fidotta has also really stepped up from last year's team as he leads the team with 15 goals and leads the team with 20 points and serves as a huge offensive threat to all teams in league. Connor Dix is improving at a rapid pace adjusting from a primary ice hockey player to a strong roller hockey player who loves to grind in the corners and wins a lot of battles. Newly acquired Chris Martelli is tied for second on the team with 7 goals as well as Tom Hughes who has 7 goals and 6 assists. Justin Carpenzano is a solid body out on the rink that's hard to move in front of the net and has chipped in with 3 goals and 2 assists of his own. Cortland's defenseman may be quite possibly the best in the league and that includes goalies Matt Scanlan and Nick Marrone. As a team, Cortland has 27 goals against, the second fewest in the league. Lead by Dan Nelson, the defense power of Brendan Cummings, John Wagner, Brian Danziger, and Andrew DiCerbo has been unreal. There have been no more than 5 goals against in a game on Cortland the entire year, and it only happened once. You can find Brendan Cummings on the powerplay with his ripper of a shot and on the penalty kill with his natural defensive ability to block passes and shots. Danziger, DiCerbo, and Wagner may not have the most points on the team, but all serve as 3 impressive defenseman who know how to stop the opposing teams offense. Along with Cummings and Nelson, Danziger, Wagner, and DiCerbo show that they can block shots and have the ability to knock the other team off the puck and win puck battles in the corner on a nearly constant basis. Then you have Scanlan and Marrone in net that show that they are quite possibly the most dominant duo of goalies in the league. Both demonstrate that they can make some of the most biggest saves at the most opportune times. With the sport of roller hockey being an open game with a lot of high powered offense, the goals against averages of 2.17 for Matt Scanlan and 3.40 for Nick Marrone are incredibly good numbers. Together, the Cortland Red Dragons put this talent together and you have a team with the ability to be a Nationals contender, that can win a lot of games. Much of the team's success comes from the perfect execution of the box formation in the defensive zone that limits the opposing teams scoring chances to less than satisfactory chances.

Cortland goes into Christmas break with 9 games under their belt, the least amount of games played in the ECRHA. The team expects to do a lot of training over the break in preparation for the remaining tournaments including the first tournament of the second semester. Cortland will have a 5 game tournament including a game against rival Slippery Rock who is third in the country and Rutgers and Delaware who are both strong teams that both pose as Nationals contenders and threats to Cortland's possible Nationals bid that will occur later next semester. They will also face Drexel and Vermont that same weekend. Cortland will then travel to Dracut, MA for a four game event that will close out the regular season, followed by regionals in early March. Regionals will be pose as the biggest weekend for Cortland to make a run at a Nationals bid. The National tournament will take place April 9th - 14th in Aston, PA.

Despite a roller coaster first semester for Cortland roller hockey, the team looks to focus on the second part of the season in 2014 and as well as their eyes on a Nationals bid and more importantly, winning the coveted National Championship of the National Collegiate Roller Hockey League!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cortland Roller Hockey takes on Long Island - First tournament of the year (Old Bethpage 11/2 - 11/3)

And so, the first regular season tournament for Cortland Roller Hockey is officially in the books. After a disappointing preseason going 0-3 against St. Josephs, Drexel, and Binghamton, Cortland managed to start their regular season in a similar fashion in previous years by going 3-1 looking strong and confident. However, this isn't the regular Cortland team we've seen in previous years as they come into this year with only three returning players (Tom Hughes, Chris Fidotta, and Andrew DiCerbo) and a lot of new faces including freshman superstar, Dan Nelson, who has multiple NARCH championships under his belt, as well two new spectacular goalies, Nick Marrone and Matt Scanlan. Each goalie played two games (Marrone 1-1, Scanlan 2-0) and put up a groundbreaking 2.00 goals against average and only allowed 8 goals in four games!

The rest of the newest players included Brendan Cummings, John Wagner, Chris Martelli, Connor Dix, Justin Carpenzano, and Brian Danziger. Each one of these players proved what they had this weekend and gave a very impressive performance for a team with only three returning players. Chris Fidotta acted like a leader and played like a leader as he put up 6 goals in 4 games. The offseason took no toll on Tom Hughes' speed as he was flying around the rink bugging the opponents all weekend long with his sneaky style. Andrew DiCerbo, who scalped little playing time last year, came into this tournament expecting to be a leader and play like a leader, shocked the coaching staff as he put up a solid defensive effort, looking a lot more confident and focused.

Cortland's first game was up against the University of Massachusettes, an unranked, yet strong team. Cortland goalie was Matt Scanlan. The scoring didn't begin until the 2nd period when Junior and returning player Tom Hughes gave Cortland a 1-0 lead. Not too long after that UMass had tied the game on a powerplay goal. Cortland again answered about four minutes later with a goal from newcomer Chris Martelli and he didn't look back after that. Martelli tallied two more goals, including one on the powerplay, which ultimately turned out to be the game winner. UMass added one more in the third but with a few key saves from Matt Scanlan, the Cortland Red Dragons held on for the first win of the season 4-2. The 1st star of the game went to Chris Martelli and the 2nd star belonged to goaltender, Matt Scanlan who saved 21 of 23 shots.

Just a few hours later came Cortland's second and most anticipated game of the weekend against #11 ranked Farmingdale. Once again, no goals were put up in the first period, but freshman sensation, Dan Nelson, tallied his first goal as a Red Dragon just 33 seconds into the 2nd period. Farmingdale eventually put up their first goal of the game late in the 2nd to tie the game bringing a close, hard-fought game into the third. Once again, Cortland scored an early goal by Chris Fidotta, to give the Red Dragons a one goal lead. Farmingdale, refused to give up and continued their intensity and eventually tied the game with 6:23 left. Chris Fidotta wasted no time regaining the lead scoring a little over a minute later. The Red Dragons discipline play and solid defense held on to upset Farmingdale in a 3-2 nail-biter. Nick Marrone won his first game of the season in net as he made a some remarkable saves and stopping 22 of 24 to give him the first star of the game, followed by multi-goal scorer Chris Fidotta as the 2nd star, and Dan Nelson as the 3rd star.

The Red Dragons third game of the afternoon game against Baruch, a team new to Division II roller hockey as they moved up from Division III after a dominate-filled season. The Red Dragons were not phased. Cortland gave Baruch a not-so warm welcome to Division II as they romped them 8-1. It seemed like everyone on Cortland wanted to get on the scoresheet in this game. Cortland had five players who had a multi point game (Nelson, Hughes, Capenzano, Fidotta, DiCerbo). Matt Scanlan put forth another great outing saving 14 of 15 shots. Without surprise, Cortland took all three stars. Chris Fidotta took 1st star with 3 ginos, followed by Nelson, and Carpenzano. All around dominant performance from the Red Dragons ending the day going 3-0.

The Red Dragons final game of the weekend came in an early morning matchup on Sunday against Boston College lead by a wicked good goal tender, Mark Flitsch. Mark proved why he was one of the top goaltenders in the ECRHA by stopping 29 of Cortland's 30 shots. The lone goal was scored on the powerplay by Cortland's leading goal scorer, Chris Fidotta. Despite being outplayed by the Red Dragons, BC converted on both powerplays and tallied on one more to score three unaswered against the Cortland and hand the Red Dragons their first loss of the season. Cortland goaltender rightfully won 3rd star of the game as he made key saves to keep Cortland in the game, as did Mark Flitsch, who without surprise won 1st star of the game.

Despite losing the last game, Cortland left Long Island with their heads up high with a successful 3-1 weekend, a real confidence builder for an unranked team with a lot of new players. The Red Dragons certainly are not where they were at last year when they finished #5 in the country, but a long season awaits for a lot of improvement. Expect to see Cortland once again in the running for a spot in the National Championship.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Cortland heads into playoffs a dragon down

Today Cortland will take the trip to Feasterville hoping to secure the schools first ever national bid. This Cortland team is one that relies on all of its players and one player whose efforts are crucial in Cortland's success that will miss regionals this weekend is defensive work horse Mike Weber. Mike Weber has been a top 2 defender for Cortland for 3 years shutting down the top scorers of the ECRHA on the regular. Cortland hopes that they will be able to step up and be successful anyway but Mike Weber's presence will most defiantly be missed.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cortland Roller clinches conference with perfect weekend!

The Red Dragons took a trip down to Long Island to play the team’s final 3 games of the 2012-2013 regular season. The weekend started off for the Red Dragons against the BU terriers. Both teams came out in a very conservative matter feeling each other out until the 6:26 mark in the first period where BU scored on unfortunate bounce of the puck. Cortland tallied 2 power play goals within the next 3 minutes to end the first period up 2-1. Max Stern lit the lamp just 3 minutes into the 2nd period giving Cortland a 3-1 lead. BU scored 6 minutes later to make the game 3-2 headed into the 3rd and final period. The third period began and Cortland took the puck behind its own net to set up a breakout. However the BU defenders came out in a box formation applying almost no pressure on Cortland to move the puck. Cortland spent the rest of the period keeping the puck away from BU and would go on to win 3-2. Lou Vetri earned 3rd star of the game making 15 saves, CJ Gilcrist scored 2 goals and earned the 2nd star of the game, and Max Stern had 1 goal and 2 assists earning the first star of the game.
The second game of the season was the most important for the Red Dragons this weekend as they were given a chance to avenge their only loss of the year in a rematch vs. the Slippery Rock Pride. Things didn’t look that good for Cortland as they allowed a Slippery Rock goal less than a minute into the contest. Gilcrist sounded the horn for Cortland to get the party started followed by an amazing individual effort from Max Stern. Cortland settled down and controlled the puck ending the first period up 2-1.  The second period began with the same conservative tempo that was present in the first period until Slippery Rock scored 7 minutes in. Fortunately for Cortland an undisciplined Slippery Rock team took an unsportsmanlike penalty immediately following the goal. The Cortland power play went to work as graduate school sensation Bryan Feiler went top shelf where momma hides the cookies to make the game 3-2. The puck dropped and just 16 seconds later Gilcrist has his 2nd of the game on a beautiful bar down shot from a seemingly impossible angle. The second period ended 4-2. Slippery Rock was frustrated and it became clear in the 3rd period where they took 5 penalties to Cortland’s 2. Bryan Feiler put the icing on the cake as he made the game 5-2. Slippery Rock tacked on a third goal at the end of the game but the damage had been done. The Red Dragons had avenged their only loss of the season skating to a 5-3 lead and clinching the conference title!
Sunday morning the Red Dragons looked to complete what would be their first perfect weekend at the Division II level facing off against UMass Amherst at noon. Cortland got off to another slow start letting up a goal in the first minute, digging themselves a 1-0 hole early. Captain Krupa put the biscuit in the basket just 5 minutes later to tie the game up and the Red Dragons never looked back. Gilcrist and Hughes added goals to make it 3-1 at the end of the first period. Cortland let up another quick goal at the start of the game to make the score 3-2 but MVP finalist Max Stern notched 2 of his own to make it 5-2 and keep a feisty UMass team at bay. Stern completed the Hat Trick 4 minutes into the 3rd period to make put the game farther out of reach leading 6-3 with less than 8 minutes left in the game. UMass and Cortland exchanged goals to end the game which resulted in a 7-3 Red Dragon Win.
The Red Dragons had their first perfect weekend of the year and it seems like everything is coming together for this team that hasn’t lost a game since November 10th. They have a ton of horse power and have colossal momentum headed into the playoffs. They are getting contributions from all members of the team. Lou Vetri is playing the best hockey of his collegiate career, Cortland’s forwards are terrorizing defenders and goalies all over the league and Cortland’s Defensemen are also relentlessly blocking any shots and passes that the opposition throws towards Vetri. The team was mentioned in the NCRHA’s post of upward trending teams headed into regionals. The team will take the trip to Feasterville next weekend and hope to win the school’s first Division II regional title as well as secure a bid to the big dance this April in Fort Myers Florida!
Side notes: The refs in the Slippery Rock game said that Cortland was the most disciplined team in the league.
Cortland’s penalty kill went an almost perfect 5/6. The 3 man unit of Krupa Feiler and Gilcrist seem to have the puck more than the other team on the penalty kills.
Cortland has not lost since November 10th. This is a completely different team than it was in the first few weeks of the season and it shows they have gone from winning on individual talent alone to winning on a team effort.
Max Stern is a finalist for league MVP for the 2nd year in a row.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Coach named, Huskies tamed!

This past weekend the #5 nationally ranked red dragons made the trip to Feasterville, PA for what would be their biggest test of the year. The weekend started off in an all dragon match up as Cortland faced off against the Drexel Dragons. This was The Red Dragons first time together and it showed. Cortland won a slow paced game by a comfortable score of 6-2 and outshooting Drexel 24-21. Earning the 3rd star of the game was Captain Krupa with 2 assists, goaltender Lou Vetri made 19 saves and had an impressive .905 save percentage. And the first star of the game was Max Stern with 4 goals.
The next game however would be a much greater challenge as the #5 ranked Red Dragons faced off against #18 ranked Delaware. Before the game Cortland decided to change things up and hire Dennis Fidotta as the first coach in the history of Cortland Roller Hockey. The team thought it would be good to have somebody calling the shots as the team makes their playoff push and tries to obtain the school’s first national bid ever. Delaware got the scoring started just 2 minutes into the game and Cortland realized that they would have to pick their play up if they wanted to win. Bryan Feiler struck first for Cortland just 4 minutes left on the power play from Gilcrist and Krupa. After a penalty kill Feiler hit Fidotta out of the box for what seemed like a homerun breakaway pass until the Delaware goalie came out and poke checked Fidotta. Fortunately for the Red Dragons he poked the puck right to the stick of Bryan Feiler who tucked it away for his 2nd goal of the game giving the Red Dragons a 2-1 lead heading into the 2nd period. The second period saw both teams trading off goals which had the game 3-2 in the Red Dragons favor which made for a close and exciting game with only one period to play. Delaware came out of the intermission flying around the rink at times untouched. Vetri made several key saves for Cortland to keep them in the game but eventually Delaware scored which left the game tied at 3-3 with only 6 minutes left to play. Cortland called their timeout and re grouped never panicking or losing their cool. Just two minutes later Leading scoring Max Stern showed the league why he is the front runner for the ECRHA player of the year trophy scoring his 32nd goal of the year putting Cortland up by a score of 4-3. For the next 4 and a half minutes Cortland played a smart defensive game and with some help from Lou Vetri the Red Dragons held off a ferocious Delaware attack as Cj Gilcrist put the icing on the cake with an empty net goal which sealed the deal for Cortland.
Next up was the game that had been marked down on the calendar since the schedule was posted. The Red Dragons would get their shot at the #1 ranked team in the country, The Northeastern Huskies. The Huskies had dominated everyone that stood in their paths giving up only 16 goals through their first 12 games while scoring an almost unreal 105 goals of their own. Cortland decided that the best way to play the Huskies was to come out in a box formation. This is when all four players stand in the defensive zone and wait for a Huskie turnover which oftentimes results in an odd man rush for Cortland. The Red Dragons got an early Power play and Stern notched the first goal of the game on a pass from Fidotta. However the Huskies struck back just 15 seconds later to notch it up 1-1 and scored a minute later and just like that Cortland trailed 2-1. In the final few minutes of the first period there were some pretty creative calls by the refs which put Cortland down on a 4 on 2 penalty kill that was killed off majestically by Cj Gilcrist, Bryan Feiler and anchored by Lou Vetri after the first period Cortland got out only being down 2-1. Stern scored his 2nd goal of the game just 3 minutes into the 2nd period making the score 2-2. The Huskies however didn’t plan on losing the game and their #1 national ranking scored 2 quick goals which gave them a 4-2 lead headed into the third period.  The third period saw Cortland and Northeastern trade off 2 goals each leaving Cortland down 6-4 with only 3 minutes to play. However Cortland didn’t think for a second that they were out of the game and Stern slide his 4th of the game past the Northeastern goaltender with 1:39 left on the clock! With 54 seconds left in the game Stern drew another penalty setting up what would be a Cortland power play with less than a minute to go. Cortland send out its power play which included Stern, Gilcrist, Feiler, Fidotta and decide to pull their goalie to get captain Gary Krupa on the ice to create more traffic in front of the Northeastern net. With about 15 seconds left Stern threw the puck towards the Northeastern net and it popped out right to The Red Dragons Captain Gary Krupa who scored with 11 seconds left to tie the game for the Red Dragons! And just like that the Red Dragons had taken the Northeastern Huskies perfect season away from them. Even through some one sided officiating the Red Dragons tied the number one team in the country. The power play went 3/4 with their only failed attempt on a shortened power play due to a Cortland penalty and the Penalty kill went 6/7. Stern scored 4 goals and 2 assists as he showed the league why he is the player of the league scoring 3 more points than Robert Lerro of Northeastern who seems is the only person who may beat Stern in points. Cortland put in a great team effort and Vetri made 35 saves including about a dozen game saving stops in the end of the game. The team described this as “the best game Vetri had ever played in goal.” Everyone knew that the Red Dragons would be competitive but in this game they showed that they are here to make a run at a national championship.
Sunday morning Cortland was expected to face off against Rutgers. However their goalie didn’t make it to the rink and they had to forfeit. Cortland used this hour to have their first and most likely only practice of the year.
Side notes:
Cortland Roller has been a force all season but this weekend they looked like a team on a mission, Cortland has found its identity and has massive momentum moving forwards towards the playoffs.
Cortland has a 12-1-2 record which has them first in their conference 2nd in the league
 Hughes added an additional goal in the Delaware game that was never recorded.
#3 Ranked Slippery Rock lost to Delaware which means if Cortland wins their final 3 games they win their conference.
Mitch Croce and Mike Weber continue to lead the Cortland defense providing Grit and battling endlessly along the boards.
Hughes came in 2nd in the ECRHA’s fastest competition.
Dom Feiler went Bar down on Lou Vetri in Cortland’s end of practice shootout. ( Dom is only 5 years old and is Cortland’s superstar of the future.)
This team is on fire and will be a force to reckon with in the playoffs.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cortland Red Dragons 6-1 with one week left in the 1st semester

Due to the league changing the Red Dragons first game to an exhibition game the Red Dragons entered their first game of the weekend against Slippery Rock with a 4-0 record the Red Dragons came out red hot against Slippery Rock scoring 2 quick power play goals. Unfortunately the Red Dragons failed to play a complete game making basic fundamental mistakes and ultimately lost 9-6.
                The Red Dragons had a lengthy amount to time to reflect on their lose and came out like mad men against the Oswego Lakers. The Red Dragons scored 5 goals in both the 1st and 3rd period as the Red Dragons steam rolled the Oswego Lakers sweeping the season series. Leading the Red Dragons in scoring was Max Stern with 5 goals and 2 assists Bryan Feiler with 1 goal and 5 assists and Chris Fidotta with 2 goals and 1 assist.
                The Red Dragons finished the weekend off taking on Niagara at 8 am on Sunday morning. Niagara came out in a box formation which lead to a very slow tempo game that resulted in Red Dragons spending most of the time holding the puck in their own zone. However The Red Dragons proved dominant as they beat Niagara 7-3. Max Stern notched 2 goals and had 2 assists and CJ Gilcrist scored 1 goal and had 2 assists.
                The Cortland squad will finish out this semester as they will take on Rutgers, Drexel, Delaware, and Vermont. The Red Dragons are hoping to go 4-0 and end the semester on a high note.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cortland Wraps up the first weekend of the regular season going 3-1

This weekend the Red Dragons took the trip down to Williamsport Pa. The Red Dragons started the weekend off against a very well prepared Binghamton team. Their preparation showed as they scored 2 goals in the first two minutes against a very flat Cortland squad. However the Dragon’s talent and depth showed as they nudged out a 4-2 win. Leading the way for Cortland were Gilcrest and Stern each notching two goals.
The next game was one that everyone was dying to play, the famous Cortland vs. Oswego rivalry. This would add another chapter on the DII level. After the first period the Red Dragons were ahead 4-0 after a ferocious 3 goal outbreak by Stern and Hughes in the final 30 seconds of the period. The closet the Lakers got was 5-3 but two late third period goals by Croce and Fidotta sealed the deal for Cortland as they beat the Lakers 7-4.
Third up for the day on the Red Dragons Schedule was Niagara. With this being their first year in the league Cortland did not know what to expect. The game started out slow paced by two minutes into the game Cortland scored on a slap shot from Fidotta to take an early lead. Niagara tallied back to make it 1-1 but that is as close as it would ever be. Cortland rallied to win 11-2. In the third period Cortland scored 4 goals in 4 minutes including a beautiful wrap play set up by Cj Gilcrest. Leading the way for Cortland was Fidotta with 4 goals and 1 assist Gilcrest with 2 goals and 3 assists and Krupa with 1 goal and 3 assists. 
The last game of the weekend was one that the ECRHA said was a top candidate for game of the week featuring two 3-0 teams the Red Dragons and Slippery Rock. This was the Red Dragons toughest game of the weekend. The Red Dragons Jumped out to a 4-1 lead on goals from Fidotta, Stern, Krupa and Gilcrest. However the Red Dragons inexperience showed as they gave up 7 unanswered goals and lost the game 8-4.
Sidenotes:  Cj Gilcrest celebrated his 24th birthday this weekend. Mitch Croce moved back to defense after Fidotta took a slap shot to the knee in the 1st game. Cortland was without Bryan Feiler this weekend.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cortland Preseason Recap

Cortland’s first weekend in Division II was filled with highs and lows. The club started the weekend out vs Cornell. The Red Dragons came out and dominated the game from the start going up 6 to 0 in the first period. However the last 2 periods the Red Dragons looked lethargic and lazy they ended up winning the game 9 to 3. Leading the way for Cortland were Gary Krupa and Max stern each notching 3 goals and one assist and Lou Vetri making a solid 19 saves. Cortland realized that if they wanted to beat a tougher Binghamton squad who placed second at regionals last year that they would have to focus more on puck movement and playing smarter hockey. The Red Dragons came out and did exactly what they had planned on doing going up 5 to 1 halfway through the game. However Binghamton scored two quick goals making it 5-3 the Red Dragons ultimately scored 3 more goals winning the game 8-3 in what was the best team win the Cortland squad had ever had. CJ Gilcrest scored 2 goals and had 1 assist Bryan Feiler scored 1 goal and has 2 assists and Chris Fidotta scored twice. That unfortunately was as good as it would get for Cortland as they got slaughtered by what most people would argue is the best division II team in the country in Northeastern. The Cortland team looked at times lost on the rink losing every puck battle to a much harder working Northeastern squad by a score of 10-0. Despite losing to Northeastern the Cortland club did well in its first weekend showing that they are here to compete at a DII level. This week cuts will be made and Cortland will finalize its roster as they prepare for October 27th which is the first weekend of regular season games the Red Dragons will take on Albany, Binghamton, Niagara, and most notable rival team Oswego. Over these next few weeks the Cortland team looks to prepare for what seems like a very promising season.  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cortland Roller headed to Feasterville!

The weekend we have all been waiting for is finally here! The defending champions of DIII are headed down to Feasterville, PA and will be competing in division II for the first time in the schools history. Cortland has a tough schedule as they are set to play two of the top DII teams in the nation ( Northeastern, and Binghamton) as well as Cornell. This year however Cortland has decided to try something different; because of the lack of facility in Cortland, the team voted that it would be best to utilize the preseason games as a tryout to get a true understanding of the new players ability in a game situation. Cortland has several new faces debuting this weekend, most notable being Brian Feiler. Feiler led the University of Buffalo's DI team in scoring last year and was a crucial pickup for Cortland as they look to make a serious run at a DII national Championship

Friday, April 6, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Red Dragons Crowned as Champs!

This weekend the Cortland Red Dragons made their last trip of the season to Feasterville, PA for the DIII Playoffs. The weekend was kicked off by the ECRHA's Awards Banquet. CJ Gilcrist won Player of the Year honors for DIII while Lou Vetri took home the DIII Goalie of the Year. Surprisingly enough Tom Hughes was not named Rookie of the Year, even though his stats say otherwise.

An early morning game at 7 AM against #4 seeded Ramapo started the playoffs. It took Cortland 5 minutes to score a goal but once they did, they got three in one minute. The Roadrunners netted just one in the first, while the Dragons potted one more in the first to make the score 4-1 at the end of the period. The second period saw much of the same play by Cortland, scoring another four goals to Ramapo's one. Cortland with a comfortable lead went into the final period trying to move the puck around, getting shots when an opportunity came. A five goal outing in the third would give the Dragons the confidence they needed moving forward to take on rival Oswego at 12 noon. Cortland won their first game in pool play, 13-4.

A feisty Oswego team met Cortland on the rink for each teams second pool play game. The Red
Dragon squad jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a Mike Weber snipe from the point. The
two teams put on a defensive battle for the remainder of the first until Player of the Year CJ Gilcrist fired one home with :21 left to play in the period. Cortland went into the break with a 2-0 lead with a feeling of being outplayed. The second period started with the same defensive battle which ensued in the first. The physical play picked up, no penalties were called while play intensified. The Lakers held Cortland scoreless in a period for the first time this season, while the Lakers put just one past goaltender Jay Sartorius. The third period was kicked off by more physical play with penalties now coming into play. Oswego tied the game up on a power play goal. Cortland would score the next two goals (Stern, Weber), to make the score 4-2 in their favor. Oswego fired back with two quick goals of their own, one coming on the power play to even the score back up at four a piece. Max Stern found the back of the net late in the third
put Cortland back on top. However a goal from a newfound resilient Oswego would even the score up at 5-5. A late game hit by Tommy Farr on an Oswego player sent a message to the Lakers that the series wasn't over and a tone was set for a potential championship matchup. A 5-5 tie felt like a loss for Cortland, while it felt like a win for the Lakers. A possible momentum shift in the rivalry series may have occurred in the pool play game.

Cortland's third game was forfeited by Loyola, as they did not show up for the weekend. After Lehigh had beaten Ramapo earlier on the day, it left the Red Dragon-Lehigh matchup as the "semi-final" game. Winner moves on, loser goes home. Knowing the importance of the game, Cortland focused their energy to the task at hand. A slow start by the SUNY school frustrated the squad. Defenseman Gary Krupa finally broke the ice as he scored the first of the game at the 7:54 mark. Cortland would notch two more in the first from Stern and Weber as they cruised to a 3-0 lead at the break. Cortland found their stride in the second scoring four more goals (Stern, Fidotta, Krupa, Barbariantz) to really secure their place in the finals. Two early goals in the third was all Cortland could muster. Lehigh found the net behind Vetri just once in the game while Cortland skated onto the Championship game with a 9-1 victory.

A 5-5 tie against Oswego in the pool play gave Cortland a sense of anger and a sense of
unfinished business. Skating against the Lakers in the finals was the matchup that was predicted from the preseason match-ups. The time was finally here, it was time for each team to make their season count. The momentum carried over from the round robin match up as physicality was intense early until Player of the Year CJ Gilcrist tallied the first goal of the Finals at the 4:16 mark in the first period. Just :33 seconds later line mate Max Stern notched his first of the game putting Cortland out to an early 2-0 lead. The referees called the game close so the play would remain under control as there were five penalties in the first period alone (3 by Cortland and 2 by Oswego). The Lakers connected with two minutes left in the period on a power play to shorten their deficit to just one goal at the end of the stanza. The second period started with much of the play being in the neutral zone. Tom Hughes capitalized on an Oswego mishap as he made the score 3-1 in favor of the Red Dragons. The remainder of the second saw defensive play by both teams, great saves by goalies, and turnovers by the teams.

The third and final period of the Finals and season would be one to remember. The period started off with Cortland finding the momentum first. Stern would extend the Dragons lead to three goals at the 1:27 mark in the period. A desperate sort of play was then adopted by the Lakers as they saw time was of the essence. However the next goal would be scored by Cortland as Tommy Farr found the back of the net on a pass down low by Chris Fidotta. With the score at 5-1 Cortland added one more goal by Stern, his third of the game, to lengthen their lead to five goals and put the Lakers away. But 12 seconds after Sterns goal, the line of Farr and Fidotta were out with the defensive pairing of Gary Krupa and Brendan Joyce. The puck dropped for the face-off, after some jostling for the puck Farr gained control and passed the puck off to Fidotta. Back turned, Farr was cross-checked from behind and his head was slammed to the ground as Oswego's Chris Galante jumped on Farr's back and continued to punch the back of his head. Fidotta jumped on Galante
and an all out fight broke ensued. Farr skated away while teammates Joyce, Krupa, and Fidotta fended off the four Oswego players on the rink. Farr's chin was split and bloodied, requiring stitches after the game. All players on the rink at the time received roughing minors, while Galante gathered up 24 PIM's including DQ's and fighting. Farr would return to the surface to finish the game. After some time sorting out the man power and wether or not to continue the game, it was decided to finish the last three plus minutes of the game. Cortland, outraged by the fight that had occurred, continued to pile on the goals showing up the Lakers. Three more goals were scored by Mike Weber, Stern, and Krupa to finish off the game. Cortland skated away with a 9-1 win and the ECRHA's DIII Championship.

Freshmen Fidotta and Hughes were lucky enough to be apart of the first Championship team in the history of the University and they hope to win many more at the Division II level in the coming years. Juniors Krupa, Vetri, Stern, Gilcrist, Weber, and Croce look to carry the winning tradition to DII next season as well.

All players over the weekend notched at least two points in the four games played with Max Stern leading the way with 17 points. Senior Sean Glynn, who was out for the season with a blood clot in his leg, stood on the bench with crutches as the coach of the Champion Red Dragons. Fourth year players Mike Barbariantz, Lou Vetri, Sean Glynn and Tommy Farr finally got to hoist the coveted Championship Trophy for the first time. Seniors Barbariantz, Glynn, Farr, Bob Motto, and Joyce will graduate as Champions.

Best of luck goes out to all graduating seniors in their future endeavors and a big thank you goes out as well to all players, parents, and fans for being a part of the first ever Championship title in the history of Cortland Roller Hockey. Looking forward to next season, as already stated the Red Dragons will be moving up to the ECRHA's DII hoping to clinch a bid to the National Championships next March. Also moving up to DII with the team as a coach Cortland's former President and Captain Tommy Farr.

On a side note over the weekend, Oswego's Ryan Oliveri, a filming major had all his cameras at the playoff event. The rivalry of Cortland and Oswego was captured on film with gameplay, interviews, and raw footage. Oliveri's project is a spin off of the NHL's 24/7 which follows two teams leading up to the Winter Classic. This spin gives fans a look into the hotels, locker room, and pre and post game speeches. Be on the lookout for the project to come online in the near future! This will chronicle Cortland's Championship run!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cortland Suffers First Loss, Rebounds vs Oswego, Glynn Lost for Year

The Red Dragons traveled up to Glastonbury, CT for their last regular season games. The marquee matchup of the day for Cortland was against Queens College, who came into the day in second place in Division II. The Knights started the game of quick netting a flukey goal from near center ice just 2:29 into the game. Gary Krupa evened the game back up less than a minute later on a pass by Player of the Year Finalist CJ Gilcrist. Queens had two more goals before the end of the period to send it into the break up 3-1. In the second period Cortland scratched its way closer to the lead on a goal by Player of the Year Finalist Max Stern. However, the Knights extended their lead back to two with 1:24 left to play in the second. The third period started quick with a goal by Rookie of the Year Finalist Tom Hughes on a sneaky back door pass from Brendan Joyce. Finalists for the POTY hooked up to tie the game at four with Gilcrist putting the puck home. But just thirty seconds later, Queens scored once more to put them in the lead. With five minutes left in the game Hughes pulled off a great dangle on the Queens goalie, Josh Krantz, to even the score at five. This caused the Knights to take a timeout to compose themselves. With two minutes left to play Queens scored a wrap around goal that went right through Lou Vetri's legs. Cortland found themselves looking for a quick answer. The Knights took a penalty at the 1:47 mark of the period. This put the Dragons on the man advantage for the rest of the game. Quick puck movement and shots from all angles proved to no avail. The Red Dragons came close on a shot from Gilcrist that hit the post. Cortland faltered for the first time this season, 6-5.

This sent a message not only to the ECRHA, but to the NCRHA. During the leagues live blogging session, a fan brought up a question that read, "Queens BARELY survived this exhibition with a DIII team???" League officials responded with these two remarks: "Cortland is an amazing team. Would be competitive nationally in DII." "Yeah, don't have to read too much into that. Cortland is really good. They would be a very very good DII team." These two comments proves that Cortland has proved to the league that they are prepared to take the jump to Division II next

With the second game of the day against rivals Oswego, Cortland took the rink with a boatload of confidence after barely losing to powerhouse Queens College. The Lakers didn't stand a chance after the first period. Cortland notched five goals (Barbariantz, Farr, Fidotta, Stern [2]), to Oswego's one. The Red Dragons took a laxed approach to the second period as they only scored one goal. The third and final period saw more high quality Cortland hockey as they netted five more goals.

While this game was not a usual Cortland vs Oswego rivalry game, as there was not a huge amount of physical play, one stat that proved Cortland is the favorites going into playoffs. The Dragons allowed just nine Laker shots on goal. Cortland plays the Lakers for their second game of the playoffs in pool play.

Sad news was also brought to the Cortland team this weekend. Senior defenseman Sean Glynn has been lost for the year due to a blood clot in his leg. Glynn has been an iron man for the squad since his freshman year, 2008. Prior to this weekend, Sean played in every single game in Cortland Roller Hockey history, a feat matched only by Tommy Farr. Glynn was having a career year in his first season in defense. He started plays from the defensive zone every game. His goal each and every game was to not allow any goals while he was on the rink. A mindset of a true defenseman and teammate. Sean is still the current secretary of the club. His hard work in the front office has brought the team to where it is today. From the Cortland Red Dragons family, we would all like to wish Sean a safe and speedy recovery. Glynn will be on the bench for playoffs as his status with the team has been changed to coach, making him the first ever coach in the history of the program.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gilcrist, Stern, Vetri, Hughes, Farr, and Cortland vs Oswego Rivalry Finalists for Awards

Today the ECRHA announced the finalists for this years first annual awards banquet to be held on March 2nd, the Friday of playoff weekend. CJ Gilcrist and Max Stern have both been named finalists for Division III's Player of the Year Award. Gilcrist, MVP of the All-Star game, currently has 21 goals and 18 assists for 39 points, in just 9 games this season. He is up against
Max Stern who currently has 27 goals and 12 assists for 39 points as well. Stern, however, was an All-Star snub this season, but he proved his skill by winning the 3 on 0 Breakaway Challenge. They will both be up against Loyola's Kyle Peiffer.

Tom Hughes is a finalist for Division III's Rookie of the Year. Hughes has 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points on the year. An astounding rookie performance has certainly earned him this honor. He will be up against Loyola's Frank Kopicki and Ramapo's Jeremy Higginson.

Lou Vetri is a finalist for Goalie of the Year. Vetri's outstanding play this season has earned him the recognition he deserves. His 6 wins, 1.50 GAA, and .899 save percentage all rank first in Division III. He will be up against Oswego's Chris Galante and Nick Wojton.

Tommy Farr is a finalist for Team Representative of the Year. Farr's work in the front office with the ECRHA's League Officials has earned him this honor. He is up against Penn State's Adam Bogert and Delaware's Zach Pertes.

Finally the Cortland vs Oswego rivalry is up for Rivalry of the Year. The intense games between
these two teams, brothers Mike and Tyler Barbariantz and Tommy and Billy Farr, battles between Hudson Valley friends have earned these two teams this honor. The captains of the teams will accept this award if won, Tommy Farr (Cortland) and Brian Gambarella (Oswego). This rivalry is up against Stony Brook vs Hofstra and Neumann vs West Chester, four Division I schools.

With all the individual finalists announced as well as team rivals, Cortland still has some unfinished business on the rink. This weekend will be a true test as the Red Dragons will faceoff against Queens College, who is currently in second place in Division II. The second game of the day will have Cortland play their rivals Oswego in a feature game, their second of the year.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

All-Star Game Video

Check out CJ Gilcrist, Lou Vetri, and Tommy Farr playing with Division III's finest against Division B's Best. When all was said and done Gilcrist took home the MVP.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cortland Clinches Number One Seed

The Red Dragons kicked off their Spring semester with a huge bang last weekend in Feasterville, PA. The first game of the weekend called Lehigh to the rink to take on Cortland. However, the Hawks, being just two hours from Feasterville, decided to leave on Saturday morning to try and make it to the 6 A.M. start time. Due to the winter weather, Lehigh did not make it, thus forfeiting to Cortland. The Dragons being awake and ready for the game, had a light skate around for the hour time slot.

With the Dragons being quite angry about the Lehigh “no-show” in the morning, Loyola was next on the schedule at 2 P.M. A furious Cortland squad showed up, notching eight goals in the first period alone. The first period was capped by Max Stern’s hat trick. Other goals in the period were Tom Hughes (2), Gary Krupa, Mike Barbariantz, and Tommy Farr. In the second Cortland scored four more times, with Mike Weber picking up three assists in the period. The third and final period of the game saw the Dragons pick up seven more goals, and give up just one fluke goal that deflected off of defenseman’s Mike Weber’s skate and crossed the goal line Lou Vetri was manning. With a 19-1 win, easily the largest goal out put in one game in Cortland history, Stern netted seven goals while Hughes notched four.

Ramapo was etched into the 8 A.M. time slot versus Cortland on Sunday morning. The Dragons, once again anxious to get the scoring going, netted six goals in the first period,

again with Stern scoring a hat trick, this one of the natural variety. A seven goal showing by Cortland in the second period was more than enough to seal the victory in the early morning game. However, three more goals in the third would cap off the morning victory in favor of the Dragons, 16-0.

Coming off of two blow-out wins, Cortland faced their rivals Oswego in the biggest game of the weekend. Cortland started the game a bit rusty from playing run and gun offense to adjusting to playing a steady stay at home defensive game against the Lakers. The new tandem of Mitch Croce and Chris Fidotta really clicked on all cylinders over the weekend. They got the scoring started on a nice play set up by Fidotta with Croce netting the goal. With just thirty seconds left to play and the Red Dragons on the man advantage, Mike Weber capitalized and scored the second goal of the game on a pass by Stern.

Going into the second period Cortland was looking to extend its lead quickly, however Oswego had other plans. Just 43 seconds into the second stanza, the Lakers cut their lead in half on a goal. No goals were scored in the middle of the period, however there was a good amount of rough play along the boards and in front of the net. With 2:02 left to play in the period CJ Gilcrist finally found the back of the net to put the Red Dragons back up by two. Then again with just 13 seconds left on the clock, Max Stern found the back of the net for his 16th goal of the weekend, an extremely impressive mark for which he was rewarded with the number one star of the weekend. This put Cortland up 4-1 at the end of the period and they didn’t look back in the third. The Dragons tallied three more goals in the game from Gilcrist, Krupa, and Fidotta. Cortland skated to a 7-1 win and now holds a 3-0 record over the Lakers this season.

Now 12-0 on the season, Cortland has secured first place in D-III with 24 points. Three forfeits are scattered into that 12-win mark. Cortland has only played 9 games, however they have scored 111 goals in those nine and have given up just 16 (9 of the 16 being to Oswego). The squad will play their last regular season games in Glastonbury, CT. The first team on the schedule will be Queens College, a Division II school. This will be Cortland’s biggest test of the season so far. If they can give Queens a game and even come out victorious, it will be a huge step forward for a program that just four years ago was being blown out by teams 13-0. The other game on the Glastonbury schedule will be the Oswego Lakers, the ECRHA’s featured game of the weekend.

GIlcrist Brings Home ASG MVP, Stern's Team Wins Skills

Not to be forgotten in this weekends games are the All-Star Events. First the All-Star Game was played at 1 P.M. Goalie Lou Vetri, CJ Gilcrist, and Tommy Farr were all named starters for the DIII Team. The B Team started things off quickly with 2 goals. However Cortland’s Gilcrist answered back at the end of the period. To start the second period, the DIII All-Stars scored

three straight goals (Peiffer [Loyola], Farr [Cortland], and Gambardella [Oswego]), to take a 4-2 lead. The B All-Stars battled back netting two more goals and shortening their deficit to just one. However, Gilcrist sniped two more goals for the team to take them into the break leading 6-4. In the third it was much of the same Gilcrist dominance as we are used to seeing on the Cortland squad. CJ added two more goals to his performance while the D-III All-Stars skated to a 9-6 victory over the B All-Stars. CJ Gilcrist was named MVP of the game by scoring 5 goals and adding one assist, claiming his prize of custom Revision Hockey Wheels.

In the Fastest Skater Event, Tom Hughes was determined to prove he was the fastest skater in

the ECRHA. Hughes won his first two elimination events and advanced to the quarterfinals against Jay Quinn of Queens College. Hughes dancing at the line seemed eager to begin the race. His short, quick strides beat out Quinn’s long strides by a hair. Hughes moved on to the Final Four to face Ed Jones of Neumann College. At the start of the race Hughes crouched down and starting swaying back and forth proving he was ready to begin while Jones waited calmly at the starting line. The race was neck and neck for the entire time until Hughes slipped a bit coming out of a turn. Hughes had already raced three times and this was his fourth, a valiant effort that fell just short.

In the 3-0 Breakaway Contest, Chris Fidotta, Tom Hughes, Max Stern (substituting for Gary Krupa), and netminder Lou Vetri all were placed on separate teams for the contest. Fidotta, Hughes, and Vetri’s teams were all knocked out in the first round. However, Stern’s team of Pat Rosa (Hofstra), Matt Mendolia (Queens), and goalie Zack Back (UConn) made it to the finals on the extremely talented play of Back. In the finals Stern/Rosa/Mendolia connected three times to put their team up 3-1 at the end of the contest. Each member of the team won a set of Revision Hockey Wheels. Stern kindly donated his wheels to Gary Krupa, as he took his spot in the contest.

Congratulations to all of the All-Stars and Skills Competition competitors for putting on a great show! Thanks to the ECRHA’s Marketing Team for putting all of the events together!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Huge Schedule Change; Cortland Oswego Showdown Sunday

With the news of the Syracuse Orange dropping their team from the ECRHA for the remainder of the season, Cortland and the entire ECRHA's schedule was changed late last night. The Red Dragons still will play Lehigh at 6AM Saturday morning followed by the All-Star Game for Vetri, Gilcrist, and Farr. The second game on the schedule still calls Loyola to the rink to face-off with Cortland at 2PM, immediately after the ASG.

However, Sunday's schedule has been tweaked to fill the void 'Cuse left. Cortland will now play Ramapo at 8AM. The Red Dragons then have a four hour break to game plan and rest up for their biggest competition, the Oswego Lakers at noon Sunday. In the last meeting of the
"Cortswego" Series, a phrase coined by Cortland's own Sean Glynn, the Dragons smothered the Lakers with 35 shots. The Lakers had just 12 shots (Cortland matched that 12 shot mark by the end of the first period). The final score of the game was 11-3 in favor of Cortland. With the win Cortland sailed on to win its next four match-up's. This game could possibly be the last time Cortland skates against the Lakers until playoffs, so this game should set the tone for the rest of the season.

With the Orange dropping its program, Cortland received two forfeit wins, improving its record to an impressive 8-0. Easily tops in the division. During this All-Star Weekend Cortland can lock up first place with just two wins. However, Cortland is looking for another clean sweep of the weekend.

Don't forget to keep up with the weekends games on and the leagues twitter handle @ECRHAHockey. Stay warm and be safe with the inclement weather tomorrow!

Monday, January 16, 2012

All-Star Weekend Schedule Posted; Three of Five All-Star Starters are Red Dragons

With classes starting on Wednesday at SUNY Cortland, the second half of the season is just five days away. The ECRHA's annual All-Star Event Weekend kicks off on Saturday morning with Cortland playing the first game of the weekend against rival Lehigh at 6 A.M. The last time these two teams met in Pottstown, PA two months ago, the Red Dragons ripped the Hawks 11-2. After the early morning affair with the Hawks the Cortland squad will take a rest until their 2 P.M. game against the Loyola Greyhounds. Cortland beat the 'Hounds 14-3 with seven skaters in Pottstown in their last meeting. The Dragons will receive a much needed 17 hour break after the Loyola game before facing off against a scrappy Ramapo team. The final game of the weekend will be against the Syracuse Orange at 12 noon Sunday. Cortland beat the Orange 10-0 in the first game of the season back in October.

Along with the four games for the Cortland squad, three players will have an extra game over the weekend. Goalie Lou Vetri (Smithtown, NY), forward CJ Gilcrist (Monroe, NY), and forward Tommy Farr (Washingtonville, NY), have all been selected for the ECRHA's Division III vs Division B's All-Star Game. Each Cortland player has been named as a starter for the team along with Oswego's Billy Farr and Syracuse's Jared Bly.

Vetri has been D-III's best goalie all season allowing just 7 goals against in six games. Lou leads the league in wins (4), goals against average (1.75), and save percentage (.885). Vetri has taken over as an assistant captain this season. Off the ice he has also taken over as President of the club. In Vetri's fourth year in the league, he has certainly proven to the team and the league that he is one of the toughest goalie to score on. With Vetri playing the best hockey of his career, he is looks to keep carrying the Red Dragons for the remainder of the season and into playoffs. This is Lou's first All-Star Selection.

CJ Gilcrist has come to Cortland and taken the league by storm. He currently leads D-III in points (29), tied for first in goals (16), tied for first in assists (13), and leads in star points (12). Gilcrist has been on fire in the last four games notching 24 points. He looks to carry over his hot streak to the second half of the semester and into playoffs. This is CJ's first All-Star Selection, in his rookie year.

Tommy Farr has made his fourth consecutive All-Star Game. Last year in the All-Star Game Farr notched a goal en route to a shootout loss for his team. This year Tommy has 12 points including 4 power play goals, good enough for first in the league. Farr is currently 18 points off from the elusive century mark. He looks to captain the team to an undefeated season for the first time in school history.

Check out the entire D-III All-Star roster here:

Along with the All-Star Game comes the skills competition. The skills competition has made it back to the ECRHA by way of fastest skater and 3-0 challenge. This year Cortland has 4 participants in the contests. Freshman Tom Hughes will participate in the fastest skater contest, his first match up will be against Corey Bauman of UMass. Hughes will have to beat four other competitors in order to be crowned fastest in the ECRHA.

Gary Krupa and freshman Chris Fidotta will be with a team of two other skaters and a goalie in the 3-0 breakaway challenge. Lou Vetri is also playing goalie for the contest. Krupa will be paired with Matt Mendolia of Queens College, Pat Rosa of Hofstra, and goalie Zak Back of UConn. Fidotta will be paired with Brian Pershinsky of Binghamton, Scott Kalbfleish of Temple, and goalie Max Sparr of UMass. Goalie Lou Vetri will be with the skating tandem of Rob Lerro of Northeastern, Matt Lester of Ramapo, and Jared Pollet of Rhode Island.
Who will win if Krupa or Fidotta's teams are paired up against Vetri? Should be interesting!

Check out all of the Skills Competition players and match ups here:

Good luck to all Red Dragons in the All-Star Game and skills competition this weekend! Don't forget to keep up with all of the Cortland games on! Also be sure to follow the ECRHA on Twitter at their handle @ECRHAHockey as they are sure to post updates throughout the weekend on all games, divisions, All-Stars, and skills competition.

Monday, December 19, 2011

First Semester Wrap-Up; Will Cortland Be Stopped?

After the first six games of the regular season, the Red Dragons sit atop Division III with a perfect 6-0 record. What may be even more impressive is that the Cortland squad has scored 66 goals and has allowed just 14 in those six games. Assistant Captain, goalie has proven to be on top of his game this, his fourth, season. Verti has allowed just 7 goals in four starts, good enough for a 1.75 GAA. Lou has even chipped in on the offensive side of the game, assisting on a goal from his own crease.

Over the past week, ECRHA league officials have had a lot to say about the Red Dragons. In the Roundtable discussion, here is what Commissioner Bill Bourque and marketing members Ian Prescott, Jesse Creek, and Phil DaSilva had to say about the current state of Division III:
"Ian: I would just like to mention DIII might have the biggest rivalry ever the competition between team representatives of Oswego and Cortland, brothers Billy and Tommy Farr. I can't imagine how brutal Christmas dinner is going to be. With so many inter-squad connections Cortland and Oswego just don't like one another.
Bill: I think its going to be those two teams in the final this season as well. Cortland has been the best team all season, as two victories over Oswego displays, however, Oswego made the DIII final last season and may have what it takes to pull off the upset this season.

Jesse: It is looking that way. Cortland might get a little complacent at times, but they certainly get fired up for any games involving Oswego. Don't forget- we really have not seen a full Syracuse team. Will they ever have one? Who knows.

Ian: On the southern side of the conference I'm pretty impressed with the bit of nastiness developing between Lehigh and Ramapo Ramapo works very hard game in and game out and have always been a very well run team, Lehigh has developed into a formidable team in a short year as well.

Bill: Lehigh and Ramapo are in a dog fight for the playoff bye and Southern Conference Title, who do you give the edge in that battle?

Bill: If either of these teams can put it all together, they might just make a run against Cortland or Oswego.
Ian: I'd give the slight edge to Lehigh who are leading the season series between them and Ramapo.
Bill: I am going to turn around and pick Ramapo. They have one more chance to even the series, I expect them to take it.
Jesse: I am going to say Lehigh. They have enough scoring, and are a more disciplined team than Ramapo. Any time you can spend more time on the power play than your opponent, you gotta like your chances to win that game."

After talking about the Cortland Oswego rivalry, something the league hypes up to be a huge event, Creek, Bourque, and Prescott made their predictions on who will win each divisions championship in March. Here's what each said:

"Jesse: WCU over Stony Brook, Northeastern over Pittsburgh, Cortland over Oswego, and West Chester over Suffolk.

Jesse: Bill?

Bill: WCU over Neumann, Pittsburgh over Queens, Cortland over Oswego, and West Chester over Rowan.

Jesse: Interesting.

Bill: Ian?
Ian: WCU over Hofstra, Northeastern over Pittsburgh, Cortland over Oswego, West Chester Over Hofstra."

With each member selecting Cortland to take the crown, the sights have been set high. After the Roundtable discussion, a semester wrap-up was written, looking at each of D-III's teams highs and lows, subtitled "Who Will Take Down Cortland?". Here's what Cortland's report
looks like:
"After one semester of play, the season could not have gone much better for the Red Dragons. Sporting a perfect 6-0-0 record, Cortland has outscored its opponents by an impressive 66-14 margin. Leading the way offensively for Cortland are CJ Gilcrist (16-13-29) and Thomas Hughes (9-11-20). Perhaps the most interesting part of Cortland’s season thus far is the fact that margin of victory for five of their games were at least eight or more goals. Going into the second half of the season, one wonders if Cortland can keep up this torrid pace, or will they fall into a sense of complacency?"

Once again, with the league favoring Cortland to take it all, will they be able to do so? The spring semester lies ahead of the Red Dragons starting on January 21 with games against Syracuse, Loyola, Lehigh, and Ramapo.