Michael Abdulky, Brandon Shirley and Wilson Geahart scored third-period goals and Ithaca High pulled away for a 5-1 victory over Auburn in a nonleague boys hockey game Thursday at Casey Park Rink.
Scott Partington and Eli Gordon scored first-period goals and junior goalie Brandon Kasel made 16 saves for the Little Red (5-1), which rebounded from its 2-1 setback to Syracuse in the final of the Baldwinsville tournament last Saturday. Ithaca is off until Friday, when it travels to Whitesboro.
Thursday’s game featured 15 penalties, nine on the host Maroons (3-2), including a major for cross-checking on Mike Foltz with 38 seconds remaining that resulted in his disqualification. Ithaca was whistled six times, including a 71/2-minute major on Michael Abdulky at the end of the second period following a verbal exchange with one of the referees.
“I’ve never been part of a game like that,” said Ithaca first-year coach Paul Zarach, whose counterpart on the Auburn bench was Mike Lowe, a former Ithaca assistant under Rich Armstrong. According to Zarach, Armstrong was listed in the program as an assistant for the Maroons, although he wasn’t on the bench Thursday night.
Partington and Gordon gave Ithaca a 2-0 lead in the first period, but Mike Gentile’s power-play goal later in the first made it a 2-1 game after 15 minutes. The second period went scoreless, and Abdulky’s major penalty at the horn in the second left Ithaca without one of its top offensive threats for the first half of the third.
Just 44 seconds after he left the box, Abdulky scored to give Ithaca a two-goal cushion, then he set up Shirley for a power-play goal at the 10:58 mark of the period. Just 11 seconds later, Gearhart put Ithaca ahead by four goals. The referees were kept busy after that, as the Maroons were called for six penalties in the final five minutes of play, including Foltz’s ejection in the final minute.
“It was inconsistently reffed; that’s the best I can say,” Zarach said.
“We didn’t adjust to the officials,” Lowe told the Auburn Citizen. “No officials call a game the same way. Every official is different and we didn’t do a very good job adjusting to how the game was called.”
Dom Cicchetti, Balazs Szegletes, Chandler Pfaff, Jacob Grippin and Parker Hubbell had assists for Ithaca, which outshot Auburn, 31-17. Nick Netti assisted on Gentile’s goal for the Maroons, who got 26 saves from junior goalie Mike Currier.