The Cortland Red Dragons kicked off the 2011 part of their season in Feasterville, PA over the weekend. The All-Star Event had Cortland matched up against Loyola at 7 AM Saturday morning. The Red Dragons had beaten the Greyhounds 10-1 in the Pre-Season Event earlier in the season. However, this regular season match up would be much more even. Loyola jumped out to a 2-0 lead against an exhausted Cortland squad. The score would stay the same until Cortland found their energy at the end of the first period. Harris Barton scored at the 10:35 mark of the period and then Gary Krupa scored two goals one minute apart from each other to make it 3-2 Cortland at the end of the first. Cortland carried that momentum into the second period when Nick Boffoli scored 8 seconds into the period. Chris Poplarski netted a power play goal and Tommy Farr also found the back of the net in the second to end the period in favor of
Cortland 6-2. A carefully played third period saw the Red Dragons net four more goals (Farr, Poplarski, Barton (2)). Cortland fired 33 shots on the Loyola goaltender while Loyola had 32 shots on goalie Lou Vetri who came away with his fourth win of the season. Cortland ended their first game of the weekend with a 10-6 win. Cortland's stars of the game were: #1 Harris Barton (3 G, 1 A) and #3 Gary Krupa (2 G, 1 A).
The second game of the day came 15 hours after the Loyola game, 10 P.M. against 7-0 Scranton. Cortland once again came out sluggish and gave
up the first goal 1:36 into the game. However, Chris Poplarski fired one past the Scranton goaltender 57 seconds later. Scranton scored two more goals in the period before Bob Motto, fresh off his four game suspension, netted a goal on a play set up by Al Grogan and Tommy Farr. Cortland's momentum continued into the second period and scored two power play goals in the first four minutes of the period by Harris Barton and Mike Barbariantz to take the lead 4-3. Momentum shifted quickly and the Red Dragons saw their lead disappear in a span of 26 seconds by two goals from the scrappy Royals. Before the 2nd period ended, Al Grogan tickled the twine to tie the game up going into the second intermission. In the third period, the two teams traded power play goals early on and then Scranton turned on the jets and took the game from Cortland. They scored four more goals in the game, two of them coming from the man advantage, and took the nightcap 10-6.
Cortland netminder Ross Midgen fended off 26 out of Scranton's 36 shots. With four out of Scranton's ten goals coming on the power play, Cortland needed to play more disciplined against Ramapo on Sunday morning.
Discipline would be key against the Roadrunner's since they lost their last game on a last second no goal call against Oswego. In the process of losing to the Laker's, Ramapo also lost their two coaches due to suspension. This boded well for the Red Dragon's on Sunday morning. However, they once again gave up the first goal of the game on the power play. Cortland battled back and saw Chris Poplarski score a minute and a half later. The play shifted back towards Ramapo when they scored their second goal of the period. Bob Motto then scored his second goal of the season to take the Red Dragon's into
the break, tied at two goals apiece. Cortland continued momentum into the second period and scored two quick goals by Brendan Joyce and Chris Poplarski to put them up 4-2. A short handed goal by Ramapo made it 4-3 but Cortland quickly turned the tides when Gary Krupa scored on the power play. Two more goals by Ramapo
before the end of the period left the score tied at five and led the way for an exciting finish. Joyce scored his second goal of the game three minutes into the period to take the lead 6-5 which would last until the clock showed 1:52 remaining in the game, when Ramapo knotted it back up. Cortland battled right back and took the lead once again 15 seconds later when Al Grogan won the face-off to Tommy Farr who carried the puck down the boards and threw a pass to Grogan in front of the net who hammered it home. 7-6 Cortland 1:37 remaining. Ramapo then took a time out and pulled their goalie and scored the game tying goal with twenty seconds left in the game. Cortland then took a time out to regain their composure and put out Poplarski, Krupa, Farr, and Joyce to try and score one more goal. A face-off win by Joyce brought the puck back to Krupa who fired a pass to Poplarski who carried it down the rink and took a shot from the bottom of the circles past the Roadrunner's goalie to take the lead once more with 13 seconds on the clock. The following face-off was won by Ramapo and they had time for only one shot which was batted away by Cortland goalie Ross
Midgen to seal the win for Cortland 8-7 in thrilling fashion. Cortland's star of the game was #3 Brendan Joyce (2 G).
The win made Cortland 2-1 on the weekend, shooting them into sole possession of 4th place in the ECRHA's Division III with a 5-4 (10 points) record on the season. Through 9 games, Tommy Farr leads the team with 18 points (10 G, 8 A), followed by Gary Krupa with 17 points (6 G, 11 A), Chris Poplarski with 14 points (9 G, 5 A), Brendan Joyce with 12 points (5 G, 7 A), and rounding out the top five is Harris Barton with 9 points (5 G, 4 A). With games remaining against UMass-Amherst (7-2), Lehigh (4-5), and Oswego (3-5-1), Cortland has a chance to sneak into 3rd place overall. The last regular season set of games will be played in Glastonbury, CT the weekend of February 18th.
Over the weekend, the ECRHA's annual All-Star game was played. Representing Cortland in the DIII game was Gary Krupa and Tommy Farr. The fast paced, non-defensive game saw 21 goals scored. Tommy Farr scored in the first period on a pass from Queens College's Thomas Esposito. Gary Krupa assisted on a goal to Ramapo's Paul Cantanzaro and also netted one for himself in the third period. The game ended a 10-10 tie which called for a shoot out. Tommy
Farr shot second for his team and was robbed by the UMass goalie. A Scranton player scored the game winning goal and Krupa and Farr's side lost. On a side note, Tommy Farr's younger brother Billy Farr, was the lone representative from Oswego. They had one, one on one with each other and Tommy tried to toe drag around Billy but was stopped by the freshman. The Farr's will match up in Glastonbury in a few weeks as well as the Barbariantz', as Mike's younger brother Tyler plays for Oswego as well.
Cortland is amped up for the chance to come in 3rd place and will take the upcoming four week break in stride. The playoffs are right around the corner and the Red Dragon's are stepping their game up at the right time. Their record against ECRHA teams is 4-2, losing only to Queens and Scranton, the two undefeated teams in the league.