Monday, February 21, 2011

Season Finale Win, Cortland Slips Back Into Fourth

The Cortland State Red Dragons traveled to Glastonbury, CT over the weekend to finish their regular season campaign. Sights were set high at the start of the weekend with a third place seeding in reach. A highly anticipated game against new found rival Oswego State, the only other SUNY team in D-III, would shatter the Dragons chance of third place. An evenly played scrimmage earlier in the season between these two teams set the stage for the 7 P.M. primetime match-up on Saturday. The SUNY squads played a very defensive first period that saw only 4 shots, 3 by Cortland, 1 by Oswego. The Lakers stepped up their play in the second period and found the back of the net first 4:27 into the period. Their lead grew to two, two minutes later on a power play goal. The second period ended 2-0 Oswego. A four minute power play emerged for the Lakers 1:28 into the third stanza. Billy Farr, Oswego's key man on the power play, wasted no time as he scored a goal 14 seconds into the power play. On the same power play opportunity for the Lakers, Mike Weber caught a breakaway pass from Gary Krupa. Weber took a snap shot from the hash marks and put Cortland on the board. With the score at 3-1 the Dragons hung with Oswego for the next seven minutes until the Lakers increased their lead to 4-1. One more goal by Oswego on a 3 on 0 break, sealed the win for them. Cortland dropped their first game of the weekend, 5-1. The Red Dragons hardly tested the Laker netminder, Chris Galante, peppering him with only 16 shots, their lowest output of the season. More shots would be essential if Cortland wanted to take down third place UMass-Amherst.

Once again, a defensive battle erupted early in the first period. The trend would continue until Mike Barbariantz scored from the point on a power play at the 5:55 mark. UMass would battle back scoring two straight goals. However, their 2-1 lead did not last until the end of the period as a shot ricocheted off the boards and laded on Cory Monks' stick who hammered it home to tie up the game. A goal by Nick Boffoli 12 seconds later on a pass from Sean Glynn, gave Cortland the 3-2 lead going into the break. Coming out of the intermission, the Dragons wasted no time building their lead. An soft shot by Brendan Joyce found its way to the back of the net. The score would stay the same for the next 5 minutes until Tommy Farr lifted the puck over the goaltender's shoulder. A 3 goal lead for Cortland forced the Minutemen to take a timeout to slow down the play. Following the time out, UMass cut the lead to two with four minutes left in the period. The third period started and UMass wasted no time tying up the game at 5, scoring two goals in the first two and a half minutes. A short handed and power play goal by the ECRHA's leading scorer of UMass gave them the lead. UMass completed the game winning 7-5. A crumbling defeat for Cortland left them scrambling for answers. After blowing a three goal lead to a top three team put the Dragons in danger of falling to fifth or sixth place in the league.

The game played before Cortland's season finale was between Oswego and UMass. A win or tie by UMass was essential for the Dragons to hold on to fourth place. A goal by UMass with 2:29 left in the game knotted up the game that ended tied, 5-5. The tie left the door open for Cortland to regain fourth place. A win by the Red Dragons would leave them tied in points with Oswego with 12, but Cortland would have more wins than the Lakers, the first tie breaker.

A win against Lehigh was the only way to come in fourth. The Dragons sensed the emergency situation and came out firing shots, and shut down the Mountain Hawks offense. Three goals were scored by Cortland in the first period. A quick goal by Lehigh in the beginning of the second period made the score 3-1. Two goals by Cory Monks on the same shift, gave Cortland a 5-1 lead. A breakaway goal by Tommy Farr made the score 6-1 at the end of the second. A four goal outburst by both teams in the final period of the season gave Cortland the win they needed, 10-5. Cortland's stars of the game were: #1 Al Grogan (2G, 2A), #2 Cory Monks (2G, 1A), and #3 Brendan Joyce (2G, 1A).

The Cortland Red Dragons finished the season at 6-6 for 12 points. They come in fourth place in the ECRHA's Division Three winning a tie breaker with Oswego, having 6 wins to the Lakers 5. A rematch is looming with rival Oswego, however. The playoffs begin on March 4th. As the fourth seed, Cortland will be placed in "Pool A" with number one seed undefeated Queens College, fifth seed Oswego, and eighth seeded Loyola. The winner of the pool gets a bye to the semi-finals with the second and third place teams playing crossover games with "Pool B" composed of Scranton, UMass-Amherst, Lehigh, and Ramapo.

With the regular season coming to a close, records have been broken for the Red Dragons. They scored the most goals in their short three year history netting 75, smashing their 2008-2009 record of 41 goals. They have more wins this year (6), than they did combined in their first two seasons. Tommy Farr gathered up the most points in a regular season with 23, beating his own record of 17 points in 2008-2009. Gary Krupa set a new record by recording the most assists by a Red Dragon, 14, doubling Farr's record of 7 set in 2008-2009. Mike Barbariantz and Harris Barton broke the record for most power play goals in a season with 4 each, breaking Barbariantz's own record of 3 set in 2008-2009. Lou Vetri set a new record for goaltending wins with 4, breaking Ross Midgen's record of 2 set in 2008-2009. Two rookies, Krupa and Al Grogan, also ended in the top five on the team in points with 21 and 11 respectively.

Personal and team accomplishments will have to be set aside for now as the Cortland Red Dragons will continue their quest to become champions. The schedule has already been set for playoff pool play. A Friday night 11:40 P.M. game against Oswego will kick off the festivities in Feasterville, PA. A noon game against Loyola on Saturday will be Cortland's second contest. Pool play will end when the Red Dragons look to avenge their 8-2 loss against Queens on Saturday evening at 5 P.M. The road to the playoffs has been a bumpy one for Cortland, but they will look to start off the playoffs on the right foot against rival Oswego on March 4th.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Final Regular Season Schedule Posted

The Cortland Red Dragons will be traveling to Glastonbury, CT the weekend of February 18th, 2011. The final quarter of the season will be a fight for third place all weekend long for Cortland, still searching for their first 3-0 weekend in the history of the University. The weekend will begin with a game against seventh place Oswego State (3-5-1) on Saturday night at 7 P.M. The game will feature a match up between the Barbariantz brothers and the Farr brothers. Fourteen hours after the puck drops for the Oswego game, Cortland will face off against third place U-Mass Amherst (7-2). The Red Dragons will be looking to over take third from the Minutemen, hoping they drop two out of their three games and Cortland goes undefeated. The final game of the regular season and the weekend will be against fifth place Lehigh (4-5). The game will take place at 2 P.M.
This is the final regular season event for the ECRHA. After the weekend, playoff match up's will be set in stone and the Red Dragons will be amped up to be a contender for the ECRHA's Division Three Championship Title.