Monday, August 5, 2013

Championship Series, Games 1-3

Apologies for the hiatus, it has been a busy few weeks.  

After the Newtown Golden Eagles swept the Six Nations Slash 3-0 in the semifinals, they moved on to meet the Onondaga Redhawks in the best of seven Championship Series.  Games one through three took place this past weekend.

Game one took place at the Gil Lay Memorial Arena at 8:30pm Friday evening.  The opening game set the tone for the series as it was fast paced, physical, and entertaining.  The teams struggled to gain any ground on eachother early as it went back and forth the first two periods.  Newtown managed to reach a 4 goal lead but it would be short lived as Onondaga scored 3 goals in less than one minute to pull within one.  The Redhawks tied the game up briefly when Newtown scored what they hoped to be the game winner on a quick stick from Rudi George.  As was the case with the rest of the game, the lead was short lived and Onondaga tied it up with 40 seconds left in regulation.  Newtown pulled goaltender Clint Jones, for the man advantage at the end of the game but failed to find the net and regulation ended in a 13-13 stalemate.  Overtime was much like the first three periods.  For those that don't know, CanAm overtimes are played out till the end, no golden goals here.  Onondaga scored the first goal of the period, followed quickly by an answer from Newtown, but it was the Redhawks who recorded the final tally and took the win.  Morgan Montour led all scorers with 4 goals.

Game two was the next night at 7:30pm on the blue floor of Tsha'hon nonyen' dakhwa, the Redhawks home arena.  Nothing different this time around as the game was intense and closely contested throughout.  The goal of the game came at the end of the second period  when the Redhawks pulled their goalie for the man advantage and the last shot.  An errant pass bounced the way of the NGE and defender Josh Kacprzak launched a full field shot from the defensive zone, hitting nothing but the back of the empty net with 0.3 seconds on the clock.  Many thought it lucky, but his teammates confirmed it is a shot he tries again and again during water breaks at practice.  The goal was a momentum builder that put the NGE up 4 at the end of the period and came out in the third knowing it would not be easy.  The veteran Redhawks came out firing and narrowed the lead to one goal before a defender incurred a 7 minute penalty that put the Golden Eagles at a man advantage for the remaining 5:45.  They quickly capitalized with a power play goal from Kori Halftown which boosted their lead to 2.  Still a man down, the Redhawks scored a quick short-handed goal in transition and the lead was back down to one.  The Golden Eagles spread the floor with their powerplay offense to chew some clock, but still had the 30-second clock to contend with.  After a loose ball in the corner LeRoy Halftown caught a pass in the middle of the arc and scored on a sidearm shot to put the NGE up by 2 with 21 seconds left.  The score would remain 11-9 Newtown and the series tied at 1 a piece. Newtown had 8 players with one goal each.

Game three continued the trend as the fans in attendance got their money's worth each game of this series' opening weekend.  The Sunday afternoon contest started off slowly as it was 2-2 for half of the period with the Redhawks adding two more tallies late to take a 4-2 lead into the first break.  Newtown won the battle of second period scoring 5 to the Redhawks three and making it a tie ballgame in the process.  The third period started with a bang for Onondaga and they led by 4 with an 11-7 score.  Newtown began to pull their goalie for the advantage and chipped away with two 6 on 5 goals but it would not be enough.  The Redhawks added an empty netter to make it 12-9 and ran the clock out for the win and the 2-1 series lead.

Game four of the series is set to faceoff at 8:30pm Friday night at Tsha'hon nonyen' dakhwa.  For those fans travelling to the game, your best bet is to skip exit 39 and stay on the 90 to exit 36.  Once on 81 South follow the signs for the detour to take 481 back to route 81 and the Nedrow exit where the arena is located.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Onondaga, All-Stars, and Tonawanda Recap

The top two teams in the league met on the blue floor at Onondaga as the Golden Eagles took on the Redhawks in a Friday night faceoff.

Emotions ran high for both teams as a physical and fast paced contest picked up from the opening whistle.  Neither team would lead by more than one and back and forth scoring would be the story of the game.  Chancey Hill scored one of his two in the first and it remained 1-1 for some time.  Team leading scorer Preston Lay netted both of his goals in the first period and Drew Stevens scored in tight and the teams headed to the dressing rooms tied at 4 for the first intermission.

The second period would prove much like the first as the teams went goal for goal again.  Josh Becker scored both of his goals in the second period, followed up by a post-and-in goal from Rudi George to go along with his three assists.  The period ended 7-7 with each team 20 minutes away from victory or defeat.

The trend continued as Kori Halftown found the net for both of his goals in the third.  Chancey Hill scored what would be the eventual game winner on an assist from Halftown from behind the net.  Leading 10-9 in the final minutes the Golden Eagles knew trying to run the clock out was not an option as they tried to gain some insurance but came up short.  The one goal lead was preserved by goaltender Clint Jones and a defense who held their opponent to less than 10 goals for the 11th time this season. With the victory Newtown clinched first place for the regular season and home field advantage for the duration of the playoffs

(Left to Right:) Clint Jones, Preston Lay, Jake Davis,
Linden Stevens, and Justin Gill
The Golden Eagles were proud to send forward Preston Lay, transition man Justin Gill, forward and faceoff man Linden Stevens, defender Jake Davis and goaltender Clint Jones up to Six Nations for the leagues annual All-Star game which was held at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena on the Saturday between the Onondaga and Tonawanda games. Congratulations on a great regular season.

Clinching first place on Friday did not mean the Golden Eagles would take Sunday off as they welcomed the Tonawanda Braves to the Gil Lay turf for the final game of the regular season.

The first period got off to a slow start on the scoreboard but a fast pace on the floor as the teams were playing a running game but not finding the net.  The ice was broken when Bobby DeFreze picked up a rebound in the corner and sent a behind-the-back pass to a cutting Preston Lay who finished inside.  That first goal would stand alone for the majority of the first till the ball started finding the net in bunches.  The last few minutes saw two goals from Morgan Montour,  an outside score from Josh Becker, a breakaway goal from Josh Kacprzak, a goal from Rudi George, and a powerplay goal from veteran Trace White.  The flurry of scoring left the Golden Eagles up 7-2 at the break.

The second period led to more of the same as Lay opened the scoring again, Kori Halftown put one post-and-in on a sidearm shot, DeFreze put in two in a row, and Montour hit the third of his game-high four.  Corey Henry and the defense allowed a single goal and the game paused at 12-3 for the final break.

Halftown opened the third with a goal to cap off his two goal day.  After a couple penalties led to some powerplay goals for the Braves the NGE settled back in and finished strong.  Second year lefty Jonny Gill found the net, followed by Montour's fourth and Becker's second.  Standout rookie LeRoy Halftown closed out the game and regular season scoring as the Newtown Golden Eagles finished the game 17-6 and the season 15-1-0.  

Stay tuned for a regular season wrap-up and playoff preview!
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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Six Nations and Rochester Recap

Newtown won a closely contested road game against the Six Nations slash this past Saturday as they hit the ILA turf for a 7pm faceoff.

The Golden Eagles trailed for much of the game but were able to pull off a one goal victory in the closing moments as defenseman Lyle Stevens caught an outlet from goalie Clint Jones on a breakaway but was checked from behind while shooting.  Leading scorer Preston Lay trailed the play and capped off his hat-trick by scooping up the rebound and finding the net.

Six Nations requested a measurement on Jones's pads, but when they were found within the legal limits, found themselves on the receiving end of the two minute penalty they hoped would be Newtown's.  The NGE finished the game man up and left with a 12-11 victory

Game Notes: Preston Lay continues to lead the way for the Golden Eagles with another hat-trick performance.  Kori Halftown  added a hat-trick of his own and Linden and Brian Stevens added two each.  Tyler Strassburg and Jonathan Gill each added one a piece. Josh Becker added four helpers. The team had 14 minutes in penalties.


The NGE were back at home Sunday as they met the Rochester Greywolves at the Gil Lay Memorial Arena for a 3pm matinee.

It was all Newtown in this potential first-round playoff preview as the first place Golden Eagles controlled play from start to finish.  Bobby DeFreze notched an opening period hat-trick against his former team but was not the high scorer of the first as Preston Lay continued his hot-streak with four goals in the period and seven in the game.  Heading into the second with a score of 10-1, Rochester packed their zone defense in tight and Newtown took their foot off the gas.  The game would end 17-4.

Game Notes:  Faceoff man Linden Stevens dominated the draws and goaltender Cory Henry added a long outlet pass assist to his 4 goals allowed performance. Morgan Montour added two goals and four assists and Brian Stevens did not find the net but notched 6 assists to help his team to victory.  The team had 18 minutes in penalties, killing 2 out of 3 four minute penalties incurred.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Newtown vs. Pinewoods and Tonawanda Makeup Game

On Saturday night the Golden Eagles met the Pinewoods smoke on the Gil Lay Turf for their fourth matchup of the season dating back to the Kevin White Memorial.  The records go out the window as these longtime rivals always play a clean and hard fought game.

Donald Stevens (3,1) opened the scoring with a lefty goal from a tight angle.  Bobby DeFreze (2,2) followed closely with an unassisted goal off a bouncing loose ball in the middle of the offensive zone.  After a break in the scoring Tyler Strassburg (1,1) scored his goal towards the end of the first, closey followed by a goal from newcomer Josh Becker (3,1) and Donald Stevens again.  The period would end 5-0 as Cory Henry and the defense held fast.

Linden Stevens (1,4) opened the scoring for the NGE in the second period.  Kori Halftown (1,3) found the net to make it 7-1.  Leading scorer Preston Lay (2,5) added both of his goals back-to-back at the end of the second and the period would end 9-3.

Butch Jimerson Returns to the Lineup
Jake Davis (1,0) and Josh Kacprzak (0,1) ran a 2-on-1 break to perfection and Davis buried the shot to break the score into double digits for Newtown. Rudi George (1,1) added a goal a hard overhand shot. Becker and Stevens would go on to cap off their hat-tricks and DeFreze added his second of the game. Rookie LeRoy Halftown (1,1) topped off the scoring for the NGE with a low-to-high rip, making it 16-5 and sealing a well earned victory for the Golden Eagles.

Game Notes:  Cory Henry and the defense held the Smoke to just 5 goals, adding to their league leading Goals Against Average. Roy Isaac, Trace White, Levi Thomas, and Craig Stevens all contributed to another game under 6 goals.  Justin and Jonathan Gill each contributed one assist each.  Butch Jimerson played in his first game since the Kevin White Memorial after recovering from a broken hand. The team had 11 minutes in penalties.


In a rare Wednesday night game under the lights of Logan Field, the Golden Eagles met the Tonawanda Braves on the turf to makeup a game cancelled earlier in the season.  With 29 players suited up for warmups, the NGE gave nine men the night off with a few pivotal games and playoffs right around the corner.  Clint Jones got the start but played limited minutes as Newtown opted to give their starter a rest and Cory Henry some more in-game experience.

Goals would be hard to come by this contest and the Golden Eagles did not break the ice until 10 minutes into the period.  Josh Becker (2,5) opened it up with an outside shot to make it 1-0.  Tracy White (1,2) found himself on powerplay duty for the night and capitalized with an outside shot of his own to make it 2-0 Newtown at the end of the first.

The Man-Down and Powerplay units would get their work in for both teams as penalties were called frequently, from both teams playing hard, not cheap.  Linden Stevens (3,1) added a powerplay goal off a rebound from the post.  Preston Lay (1,2) buried inside in traffic, faking and scoring while absorbing a check.  The period would end 4-1 in favor of Newtown.

The offense found the net five more times in the third to keep the Braves at bay.  Linden Stevens capped his hat-trick, Josh Becker put in one more and Tyler Strassburg (2,0) added two to make the final score 9-5 Newtown.

Game Notes:  The defense held a team to 5 goals for the second game in a row, bolstering their league leading Goals Against Average.  The Man-Down unit overcame 28 minutes in penalties.  Drew Stevens and Josh Kacprzak each added an assist. The goaltenders were excellent for both teams.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Newtown Suffers First Loss of the Season

The Golden Eagles undefeated effort was cut short this past Sunday as they met the Tuscarora Tomahawks in a makeup game at Smokin' Joe's Arena outdoor box.

After a weekend filled with rain it was hot and muggy for the contest that faced off at 5pm as the sun was shining brightly on the turf.  Newtown's offense struggled in the first and goals would be hard to come by for the unit all game.  The lone bright spot of the first period was the powerplay unit going 2 for 2, but these would be the only goals on the board as the period ended 4-2 in favor of the host team.

Trailing by as many as five, Newtown fought back but could not close the gap to less than 3 in the second.  The second period would end 9-6.  The NGE scored the opening goal of the third period to narrow the lead to two goals but that would be the closest they came.  Down 12 to 7 with six minutes on the clock Newtown began to pull goaltender Clint Jones for the extra man on offense.  Their first and second attempts were successful, scoring six on five twice in a row to cut the lead to 3.  It was too little, too late however, as the Tomahawks were content to spread the floor and run the clock out.  After two missed attempts at an empty netter the final score remained 12-9.

The Golden Eagles look to get back on the winning track this Saturday as they face their crosstown rival Pinewoods Smoke in a 7:00pm contest at the Gil Lay Arena.

Game Notes: Donald Stevens (4,1) led the way with four goals on the day. Linden Stevens (1,3), Bobby DeFreze (1,1), LeRoy Halftown (1,2), Drew Stevens (1,0) and Chancey Hill (1,2) all chipped in one a piece.  The team had 25 minutes in penalties.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Newtown vs. Allegany

This one was all Newtown from start to finish as the NGE took the win 30-6.  Nearly every player made their mark on the score sheet including goalie Neil Schindler (0,2) making his third start of the year and team captain Justin Gill (0,3) returning for his first regular season game after suffering a separated shoulder in the preseason. Starting goalie Clint Jones was in uniform but had the night off.

Preston Lay (5,2) added seven points to his league leading goal and assist totals as did Rudi George (4,3).  Rookie LeRoy Halftown (4,6) continues to play well on the left side as he led the team with a 10 point night.  Older brother Kori Halftown (3,2) and defender Jake Davis (3,3) each added a hat-trick to the effort.  

Bobby DeFreze (2,3) added two scores, as did transition man Lyle Stevens (2,2) and first-year forward Tyler Strassburg (2,1).  Roy Isaac (1,1), Levi Thomas (1,0), and Josh Kacprzak (1,2) tallied one a piece.  Donald Stevens (1,5) found the net once but added five assists and in similar fashion draw-man Linden Stevens (1,4) added one score and four helpers.

Ross John (0,1) and Morgan Montour (0,3) contributed with assists. Trace White and CJ Stevens contributed solid defensive work all night.  The last two periods were running time and the teams were shaking hands post-game by 9:30pm, making for one of the quickest contests of the year.  Allegany played hard and both teams played a clean game.

The Golden Eagles prepare this evening for a rare weeknight game tomorrow against the Tuscarora Tomahawks at Smokin' Joe's Arena in downtown Niagara Falls, NY.  The game will be played at 8:00pm in the outdoor rink, barring any weather issues.  The last time these two teams met the NGE had five players serving suspensions from the prior game but were able to pull out a 12-9 victory.  Should be another exciting match up!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Weekend Recap: at Buffalo Creek, at Rochester

In their third double-header weekend in five weeks, the Newtown Golden Eagles hit the road for a weekend of regular season away games, Friday night at the Cazenovia Ice Rink against the Buffalo Creek Thunder and a Sunday matinee at the Canandaigua Civic Center against the Rochester Greywolves.
Friday night's contest was a chippy one from start to finish as is often the case when these two teams meet.  Newtown jumped out to an early lead as LeRoy Halftown (5,2) found the net twice to go along with a single goal from Brian Stevens (1,1) and a first period hat-trick from Preston Lay (4,2).  The NGE would hold a 6-2 lead at the end of the first.

The second period was more of the same.  Although the Golden Eagles found themselves man-down multiple times during the period they managed to keep finding the net as LeRoy Halftown scored three more and defender Ryan Maciaszek (3,2) added two transition goals. CJ Stevens (1,0) added his second of the season on an odd-man rush.  After dominating the draw circle for most of the game Linden Stevens (2,4) added two tallies and Preston Lay capped off his four goal night.  The period ended 15-6 NGE.

The third and final period showed Newtown's versatility as they had Kori Halftown (1,2)Chancey Hill (1,2), Rudi George (1,0), and Morgan Montour (1,1) all add one a piece.  Maciaszek ended the game with an empty netter in transition and the final read 20-10 Newtown.  The NGE then looked ahead to their next road contest in Rochester just 36 hours away.
Sunday afternoon the Golden Eagles made their way down I-90 to Canandaigua, NY to take on the recently relocated Rochester Greywolves.  Newtown struggled to find the rhythm on offense for the first half of the period but managed to get running by the end.  LeRoy Halftown (2,2) opened the scoring, Linden Stevens (1,2) added one along with Donald Stevens (1,3) and Morgan Montour (4,2) put in his first of four.  The Golden eagles led 4-1 at the break.

Chancey Hill (1,2), Rudi George (1,1), Ryan Maciaszek (1,1) and Tyler Strassburg (1,2) all added their goals in the opening half of the second. Bobby DeFreze (3,0) found the net for his first of the game on a 2-on-1 setup by a draw win by Linden Stevens and an assist from LeRoy Halftown. Brian Stevens (1,4) added a powerplay goal from the point and Montour buried from the slot to end the period 11-4 Newtown.

Linden Stevens kept dominating the faceoff circle for the second game in a row and although Rochester was dropping extra guys in the defensive zone for draws, the Golden Eagles kept finding lanes to squeeze passes through and setup scorers on the crease.  LeRoy Halftown capped off his scoring as did DeFreze with two more inside finishes.  Montour finished a display of outside shooting with two more to end the game, the last one coming with just 12 seconds left on the clock.  The defensive unit tied it's lowest goals against of the season with solid contributions from Levi Thomas, Ross John, Darby Leroy, Craig Stevens, CJ Stevens, Josh Kacprzak, and Jake Davis.  The effort was anchored by goaltender Clint Jones who also added an assist. Newtown took the contest 16-2 to advance to 8-0 at the halfway point of the season.

The team looks forward to a single home game this weekend as they will take on the Allegany Arrows at the Gil Lay Arena, Saturday 7pm.