Postseason push: Corcoran hockey poised for second half of league slate

— Purcell has leaned on his three senior captains, and the trio has responded with leadership and scoring punch. Forwards Steve Young (two goals in a 12-3 win over Greece Arcadia on Jan. 7), Andrew Jackson (team leader in assists) and Mike Downs have Corcoran, which last won a league title in 2009, on solid ground for a trip the sectionals, typically a destination for the top four teams in the league.

Eighth-grade goalie Liam Moore didn’t play in this past weekend’s Cicero-North Syracuse Tournament, where the locals dropped a 4-3 decision to Penfield in the first round before crushing Greece Arcadia in a consolation game, but he is the Cougars’ main man between the pipes. Seniors TJ Hodgson and Chris Luechung have also minded the goal.

Purcell said a duplication of his team’s 4-2 first-half performance in the league should punch its postseason ticket. Of course, he would prefer a 6-0 showing, and he stressed that the parity among the teams meant only the Cougars’ best effort would do each night. A potential stumbling block for the locals presents itself in two games still remaining with undefeated West Genesee, one of the top teams in the state. Corcoran, however, should find comfort in playing four of its last six in the friendly confines of Meacham Ice Rink, its home building.

“The kids have responded and learned a lot,” Purcell said. “It’s time to elevate their game now, and look forward to what’s ahead. I know I am.”

Brian Smith is a freelance reporter for The Eagle.

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