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Morrisville Women’s Hockey raises money on Make-A-Wish Night

Credit: Scott Kinville

The Mustangs dropped a 7-0 decision to Cortland on Friday night at the IcePlex but were big winners off of the ice.

SUNYAC rivals the Cortland Red Dragons (13-3-1 overall, 8-2-1 SUNYAC) and the Morrisville Mustangs (8-8-0 overall, 3-6-0 SUNYAC) met on Friday night in what was not only a big conference matchup, but a night that represented something much bigger than the game of hockey itself.

Friday night’s game was Morrisville’s Make-A-Wish Night, with all proceeds going to the Central New York chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It was a special night at the IcePlex, as Make-A-Wish was adorned on the glass above the boards, special uniforms for both teams, and a special pregame ceremony and puck drop featuring Alayah and her family.

Morrisville Mustangs teammates earn SUNYAC honors

Bitter rivals on the ice, the Mustangs, and Red Dragons have collaborated to raise funds and awareness for Make-A-Wish. The teams will meet again in Cortland on Saturday, where the foundation will once again be honored.

The genesis of the Make-A-Wish game in Morrisville begins with first-year head coach John Briggs. Briggs was an assistant coach at Cortland for two seasons before being named the Morrisville bench boss this season. On a recent episode of The Central New York Hockey Report Podcast, he explained how it all got started.

“Make-A-Wish (game) was something we started back at Cortland”, Briggs said. “One of the first things when I came over here from a community perspective was set up that Make-A-Wish Game. We’re lucky enough that Cortland comes to us for our Make-A-Wish Game, and then on Saturday we’re going to be traveling to them for their Make-A-Wish Game”.

“The actual game itself is fantastic. One of our big things is to raise awareness for what Make-A-Wish actually does”. You can listen to the entire episode here:

More important than the score and statistics, the game raised over $2700 for Make-A-Wish of Central New York.

Photo credit: Morrisville Athletics.

The Red Dragons got off to a hot start, opening the scoring forty-nine seconds after the start of the game. Natalie O’Brien beat Mustangs goaltender Emma Plett off a pass from Dany Donegan, and the visitors were off and running. Cortland took nineteen shots on Plett and netted two more goals before the first intermission. At the 12:11 mark, Katie Mahoney made it 2-0, when she got a third rebound off two Plett saves and put the puck in the net. Former Clinton High School standout Drew Kopek drew the primary assist.

Cortland’s Drew Kopek (#21) looks to make a play during Friday night’s game at the Morrisville IcePlex. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

Less than two minutes after the Mahoney goal, the visitors extended their lead to three. Mia Hlasnick redirected an Ainsley Delacourt shot from the point into the back of the Morrisville net. By the end of the first period, the Red Dragons held a 19-5 advantage in shots on goal.

Morrisville Emma Plett (#31) and Meadow Clarke (#15) guard their net during Friday night’s game. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

Coach Briggs must have had some inspiring words for his team during the intermission, as the Mustangs came out as a determined team in the second period. Although it was not reflected on the scoreboard, they controlled possession and spent more time in the Cortland zone than they did in the first period. Unfortunately for Morrisville, it was the Red Dragons who would score the period’s only goal.

With less than two minutes remaining, the Mustangs had trouble clearing their zone and the visitors made them pay. Kayla Persinger fired a shot from the left point through a heavy screen in front of Plett and in for her team’s fourth goal of the game.

Morrisville’s Kate Mabey prepares to play the puck during Friday night’s game. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

Cortland would add three more goals in the third period. The first came on the power play at the 5:03 mark when Jillian Hlasnick banked the puck off Plett and in from the left side of the crease. Less than two minutes later, Nicole Tulowiecki burst down the right side of the Morrisville zone and slid a centering pass for Morgan Raymond to redirect into the net. The seventh and final goal of the night came with 4:15 left on the clock and was indicative of how the night went for the home team. Fanny Aneborn’s shot from the top of the circle deflected straight up over Plett, hit the ice, and trickled over the goal line.

Cortland goaltender Molly Goergen made twenty saves to pick up the shutout victory. Plett made thirty-one saves for the Mustangs.

The teams meet in Cortland on Saturday at 3:00 pm for the Cortland Red Dragons Make-A-Wish Game. For more information about Morrisville Mustangs hockey, visit

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