Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cortland Struggles Against PCRHL

The opening weekend of the 2010-2011 regular season started on November 6th. Cortland faced the PCRHL's best team, St. Joseph's. The game started off in favor of the Red Dragons as they were out to a 3-1 lead at the end of the first period. However, in the second period the momentum swung in favor of the Hawks as they climbed back into the game scoring three goals, one on the power play and one short handed. The tides took a turn for the worst as Cortland was shut down and shut out in the third period. St. Joseph's scored four goals in the final period to take the win 8-5. With penalties once again hindering the Red Dragons as theydid last year, the Hawks took their power play to the surface and scored three power play goals. Scorers for Cortland were: Chris Poplarski (2G, 1A), Gary Krupa (1G, 2A), Sean Glynn (1G), Mike Weber (1G), and Harris Barton (1A). Cortland's stars of the game were:#2- Chris Poplarski, and #3- Gary Krupa.

The second game of the day pitted Cortland against Villanova. A shake up of lines certainly brought a scoring power to the team. It took a while for the Red Dragons to awake from their afternoon game slumber, but they did in a big way scoring four unanswered goals in the first period, two in eight seconds, shutting out Villanova. However, a lack of defense in the second allowed the Wildcats to climb back into the game. This was also due to the physical play Villanova put on. The Cortland squad took an assortment of penalties, leading to only one power play goal in the period. The Red Dragons battled through and took a 6-4 lead into the third. They came out strong in the final stanza scoring two goals in three minutes. Once again, penalties proved to be costly as Cortland took three allowing two power play goals. The Red Dragons held tight to a close lead as the slipped away with an 8-6 win. Scorers were: Tommy Farr (2G, 1A), Mike Barbariantz (1G, 2A), Chris Poplarski (3A), Brendan Joyce (1G, 1A), Gary Krupa (1G, 1A), Sean Glynn (1G), Harris Barton (1G), and Nick Boffoli (1G). Cortland had one star of the game: #2- Tommy Farr.

The final game of the weekend was played against Drexel. If the previous games of the weekend
were any indication on how this game would turn out, Cortland would have to stay out of the penalty box. This proved to be the tallest task of the game for the talented Red Dragon squad.
They let the refereeing get to them from the start of the game. A bench minor for too many men on the ice caused Drexel's first goal of the game. Cortland battled back to make the score a 2-1 deficit at the end of the first off a shot by Tommy Farr that snuck by the netminder. A Brendan Joyce Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty carried over into the second period and Drexel capitalized by netting their second power play goal of the game. The two teams battled until Chris Poplarski scored a short handed goal at the 10:28 mark. That one goal deficit was erased by Drexel's third power play goal of the game coming 22 seconds after Poplarski's short handed goal. This sent Drexel into a 4-2 lead at the intermission. With time and man power of the essence, the Red Dragons lapsed into their old way of gathering up penalties. In the span of 36 seconds Cortland gathered 41 penalty minutes one minute into the
third period. Tommy Farr received a Slashing penalty, Chris Poplarski received a High Sticking penalty, Harris Barton received a Roughing penalty, a Game Misconduct, and a Game Ejection, and Bob Motto received an Intent to Injure penalty, and a Match penalty resulting in a Game Disqualification. This left Cortland two defensemen short and on a four on two penalty kill for five minutes. Miraculously they killed off this five minute four on two and didn't allow Drexel to net another goal for the remainder of the game. A goal was scored by rookie defenseman Mike Weber on a pass from Tommy Farr after the teams were back to even strength. With Ross Midgen pulled from the net so Cortland could be with an extra attacker, they pounded the Drexel goaltender with a flurry of shots but it was to no avail. Weber hit the post while the goalie was down with three seconds left and that sealed the win for Drexel. The Red Dragons skated away with a 4-3 defeat. Scorers for Cortland were: Tommy Farr (1G, 1A), Chris Poplarski (1G), Mike Weber (1G), and Gary Krupa (1A). Cortland's star of the game was: #1- Tommy Farr.

After the first weekend of play, Cortland finds themselves with a 1-2 record for a total of 2 points. This leaves them tied for 5th in the standings with four other teams. Chris Poplarski led the team in scoring with 7 points on the weekend, continuing where he left off
last season. Gary Krupa led rookies in scoring with 6 points on the weekend, showing that the talent level of the Red Dragons has improved tremendously since last season. Penalties certainly hindered the teams progress as they could not get anything done a man or two short most of the time.

Heading into their next set of games Cortland will be without Harris Barton (3 games) and Bob Motto (4 games) for their actions in the Drexel game. The Red Dragons will be playing in Old Bethpage, NY at Skatesafe America on November 20th and 21st. They will face Syracuse at 7 A.M. on the 20th and Queens College at 1 P.M. on the 20th as well. They will finish off the weekend against rival Ithaca College at 1 P.M. on Sunday the 21st. Stay tuned for how the Cortland squad fares in their next set of games.

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