The Canton Boys Varsity Hockey team ran into two tough opponents on their Cortland/Ithaca trip, and came up winless.
On Friday night the Bears faced a talented, hardworking Cortland team, and it seemed the Bears had not yet shaken out their bus legs when the game started.
Cortland jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, but the Bears then cut the lead to 2-1 when junior forward Trey Bessette tipped in a shot from junior defenseman Peter Coakley, also assisted by sophomore forward Rhett Palmer.
Right when it looked as though the Bears might rally, Cortland netted another goal to make it 3-1 Cortland headed into the second.
The second period was all Cortland, who scored three unawnsered goals to make it 6-1 headed into the third.
The Bears came alive a bit in the third, and the scoring in the third period was even at 2-2. Canton’s goals were scored by Palmer, assisted by senior defenseman Zach Frank, and by senior forward Robert Reed, which was unassisted. In the end the Bears fell 8-3.
The Ithaca game was much more indicative of how the Bears have been playing lately, strong and relentless. The Bears struck first when senior defenseman Connor Snell netted his first career goal, assisted by senior forward Nick James and sophomore forward Daniel Mahoney. Ithaca then responded to make the game 1-1 headed into the second.
Ithaca came out hot in the second, scoring two unanswered goals before the Bears could settle in, and that’s how the period would end, giving Ithaca a 3-1 advantage going into the 3rd period.
Canton responded in the third when Mahoney scored to make it 3-2, assisted by Bessette. Canton looked on the verge of scoring when Ithaca buried another one on a questionable offside no-call.
Ithaca would add an empty net goal to seal the 5-2 loss for Canton.
Even with their non-league struggles thus far, Canton is remaining positive. Junior defenseman Peter Coakley said, “I don’t think our record reflects how we have been playing these games, the hard work we’re putting in. As a young team we aren’t far from winning these hard fought games.”
So the Bears are staying positive as they prepare for two more tough non-league games against Lancaster and Mcquaid Jesuit (Rochester) next Saturday and Sunday in the Massena Tournament.
Editor’s Note: Photos come courtesy of Amy Hunt.