Dec 21, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Forget about the West Genesee ice hockey team resting during the holiday school break.
Instead of a well-deserved break following a blistering 8-0 start, the Wildcats area heading north, testing itself in back-to-back games next Friday and Saturday against Canton and Potsdam as it hits the midway point of its regular-season slate.
Before leaving, though, WG gave home fans at Shove Park one more reason to feel good Friday night as, led by Derek Farrell’s hat trick, the Wildcats picked apart Fayetteville-Manlius and, by a 5-0 margin, earned its third shutout of the winter.
F-M was playing just its third game of the season, and was 0-1-1, in no way did it resemble the strong Hornets side that beat the Wildcats in the 2012-13 regular season and would have made the Section III playoffs had it not played one extra game (21, instead of the maximum 20), which caused its removal from the post-season.
No controversy was found here, though, just another solid all-around effort as the Wildcats, off a nervous 2-1 win at Watertown IHC earlier in the week, led 2-0 after one period and doubled that margin to 4-0 by the time the second period was done.
Farrell, an integral part of WG’s top line with Ryan McDonald and David Procopio, got his turn to shine, finding the net three times for his first hat trick in a Wildcat uniform. McDonald contributed a goal and two assists, while Nick Mellen had one goal and one assist. Procopio got two assists and Mike Philippone added an assist.
On the other end, Mellen and his fellow Wildcat defenders messed up whatever F-M tried to establish, holding them to just six shots all night.
As West Genesee continued to set the pace, Syracuse stayed right behind them in the Division I American Conference standings with strong efforts in a two-week homestand.
The Cougars were in trouble Thursday night against Fulton, trailing with one period left before a late comeback helped rescue a 5-4 victory over the Red Raiders.
Right from the start, Fulton, belying its 0-4-1 record, played with confidence and purpose, battling to a 2-1 first-period lead. Then it stayed in front through a mid-game exchange of goals, the pace fast on both ends of the ice.
By that point, four different Fulton players – Austin Forte, Matt Billion, Kris Grow and Stanley Kubis – had earned goals, with Trae Sheldon gaining a pair of assists.
Still trailing 4-3 going to the third period, Syracuse finally toughened up on the defensive end, blanking the Red Raiders as the Cougars put in the tying and go-ahead goals.
Matt Matro led Syracuse’s attack, scoring twice and adding an assist. Collin Thompson had a goal and two assists, while Sean Eccles and Pat Farrell also found the net. Nate Carr chipped in with two assists as Jared Ristoff also got an assist.
This led to last Monday’s game for the Cougars against CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt, the reigning state Division II champions, though it had struggled in the first month of the season, going 2-4-3.
The Brothers would do enough here, though, to earn a 3-3 tie, erasing the Cougars’ early 2-1 lead and pulling even in the second period. Neither could team could score in the third period or overtime, though, as Tim Decker, with 35 saves, constantly thwarted Syracuse’s efforts to win it.
Mark Purcell and Liam Barry joined Pat Farrell in the goal-scoring column, with Farrell and Eccles earning assists. Sam Walsh recorded 29 saves, but still saw CBA/J-D get goals from Ryan Durkin, Kyle Barker and Pete Dziergas. Thus, Syracuse’s record is 5-1-1 going into Friday’s home clash with Cicero-North Syracuse.