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.