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New Hartford takes down Cortland-Homer 6-1

Credit: Scott Kinville

Gavin LaPolla’s two goals lead the New Hartford Spartans over the Cortland-Homer Golden Eagles.

On Wednesday night, the ninth-ranked New Hartford Spartans hosted the Cortland-Homer Golden Eagles in Section III Divison II action at the New Hartford Recreation Center. The Spartans would not be kind hosts, as they defeated their visitors 6-1.

New Hartford flew out of the gates, outshooting the Golden Eagles 8-2 through the first five minutes. That pressure would pay off, as they put the first goal on the board with 11:03 remaining in the first period. Dylan Joy charged down the right side of the Cortland-Homer zone and sent a centering pass to Gavin LaPolla, who re-directed the puck past goaltender Jack Mederios.

New Hartford’s Anthony Falvo (#42) clears the zone during Tuesday night’s game. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

Cortland-Homer weathered the storm and applied some pressure of their own in the latter half of the period. They had two great chances in the closing minutes but were denied both times by New Hartford goaltender Derek Joy. The first period ended with the score 1-0 and the Spartans holding a 14-13 advantage in shots on goal.

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As they did in the first period, the Spartans opened the second period by applying a lot of pressure on the Golden Eagles’ defense. Mederios stopped LaPolla on a breakaway and Sean Elbrecht on a point-blank chance to keep his team in it. Cortland-Homer was awarded the game’s first power play with 7:45 remaining in the second, but the home team was able to kill it off.

Cortland-Homer goaltender Jack Mederios makes a save on Gavin LaPolla during Tuesday night’s game. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

Shortly after they killed the penalty, the Spartans took a two-goal lead when LaPolla wired a shot from the right circle past Mederios and in. It was his second goal of the game and would prove to be the game-winning goal.

New Hartford thought they had taken a three-goal lead with 1:38 left in the period but the referee waived it off. With eight seconds left they scored again and this time the goal stood. Daniel Achen fired a shot from the right point that made it through a screen and in to give the Spartans a 3-0 lead going into the second intermission.

New Hartford goaltender Derek Joy (#35) tracks the puck in front of his crease while Chad Hull (#21), Bodey McGrath, and Liam O’Connor attempt to gain possession. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

The Spartans added a fourth goal with 10:21 left in the third period when Chad Hull snapped a shot from the right point past a surprised Mederios. Derek Joy’s shutout bid was broken a minute and a half later when Gabe O’Connor beat him with a shot from between the circles.

Less than a minute after the O’Connor goal, the Spartans answered right back. Captain Rowan Gall’s shot from the left point found the back of the net to give his team a 5-1 lead. With less than a minute to go, William Picolla roofed a shot from the bottom of the left circle to put the exclamation point on New Hartford’s 6-1 victory.

Notes: New Hartford outshot Cortland-Homer 45-27…With the win, New Hartford improves their record to 12-1-1 overall and 8-1 in league play…Cortland-Homer now has an overall mark of 3-11 and is 2-7 in league play.

In this episode, the head coach of the Morrisville Mustangs Women’s Hockey Team John Briggs joins the show. We discuss his hockey roots – including his figure skating background and playing hockey in the U.K. We then talk about his coaching career, taking over at Morrisville, the Mustangs season so far, the SUNYAC and Friday night’s big Make-A-Wish game against Cortland St. To learn more about the Make-A-Wish game or to donate, visit the Morrisville Mustangs Women’s Hockey Instagram page (morrisvillewih), or email coach Briggs at

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