Kentucky native Blank becomes contributor for Syracuse

first_img Published on October 7, 2013 at 9:48 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ Hard worker. That’s been the one universal term that Morgan Blank’s coaches have used to describe the freshman forward. “Morgan is one of the hardest working players that I have ever coached,” Blank’s former Pittsburgh Penguins Elite coach Kate Binnie said in an email to The Daily Orange. “She put in relentless hours at the gym getting stronger and faster.”The work Blank has put in seems to have paid off as the Fort Mitchell, Ky. native is now a freshman playing Division I ice hockey at Syracuse. Kentucky, of course, is better known for its fried chicken than its development of hockey players. But, surprisingly, Blank grew up in a hockey family.“My older brother and twin brother both played,” Blank said.Two boys playing youth hockey is not that strange — even if they are playing in Kentucky. But a small southern girl like Blank getting into this winter sport was far from normal.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“My twin brother during tryouts one year didn’t want to try out,” Blank said. “And I’m like, ‘I’ll try out.’ And he then said, ‘Girls don’t play hockey.’”That drive that pushed Blank to prove her brother wrong is the same drive that has fueled her these past few years. It’s the same drive that has earned her playing time as a freshman on a team with 12 other forwards.“She’ll play,” Flanagan said. “She’ll definitely get some ice time.”It may not be a starting role, but it’s certainly an opportunity, and Blank has shown throughout her career that all she needs is an opportunity. She made the most out of that a year ago when her brother decided to not try out. She made the most of her spot on Binnie’s Penguins Elite squad, scoring 45 points on 24 goals and 21 assists during her senior year. And she’s making the most out of this one so far.“(Blank’s) an incredibly great kid. She’s smiling all the time, and brings an incredibly great component to our locker room,” Flanagan said. “I’m pleasantly surprised with what she’s done in practice so far.”Flangan even went as far as to compare the young Blank to senior captain Margot Scharfe, who has played in every game of her SU career and was named to the All-College Hockey America second team.Blank and Scharfe are both primarily defensive forwards who have the ability to score when necessary.“They’re both smart players, aggressive and work hard,” Flanagan said.Binnie said that this past year, Blank has played for a men’s team as well as the Penguins. Every weekend, she would travel four hours to practice with the Penguins and one hour to practice with the men’s team.“(Blank) always gives 100 percent. She never takes a game, period, or even a shift off,” Binnie said. “She will outwork anyone on the ice.”  Commentslast_img read more

Skaneateles gets revenge on Cazenovia behind Pat Hackler’s 4 touchdowns

first_img Comments Published on November 3, 2018 at 7:27 pm Contact Adam: adhillma@syr.edu | @_adamhillman Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Earlier this week, in preparation for Saturday’s rematch against Cazenovia, Skaneateles coach Joe Sindoni sat his team down in the film room. Instead of showing them highlights of this current iteration of Cazenovia, he rewound the clock to 2016, replaying the 51-0 Cazenovia win over Skaneateles in the first round of sectionals. “This group was formed by a very bad loss to Cazenovia two years ago,” Sindoni said. “They were freshman and sophomores and they played Caz, who won the sectionals that year, and they really put it on us. I said to the kids ‘That’s who you want to be. Here’s what you have to do to get there.’”On Saturday afternoon in the Carrier Dome, Skaneateles (10-0) enacted revenge against Cazenovia (8-2) in the Section III Class B championship, winning 41-10. From the first drive, when junior Nick Wamp caught a Pat Hackler 14-yard pass in the front right corner of the end zone, Hackler and Skaneateles dominated Cazenovia. The duo connected on another touchdown on the day, a 19 yard strike where Wamp “Mossed” his defender, Hackler said. “We’ve played together since we were six,” Wamp said. “We’ve always had that connection and we’re great friends.”On the second Skaneateles drive of the game, Hackler stood in the shotgun. He took a three step drop and fired a pass over the middle. Wamp outraced two Cazenovia defensive backs and hauled in the 52-yard catch, down to the Cazenova 27-yard line. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThree plays later, Hackler evaded multiple tackles on a quarterback draw, high-stepping his way into the end zone for the second Skaneateles score of the game.Pat Hackler (10) threw three touchdowns and ran for another in the Skaneateles win. Max Freund | Asst. Photo EditorOn its only three drives of the first half, Skaneateles scored three touchdowns. Yet Cazenovia still had an opportunity to cut the Skaneateles lead to one possession before the end of the second quarter. In the final minute of the first half, Cazenovia senior James Pavelchak hauled in a crossing route from senior quarterback Drew Johnson at the 28 yard line. The wide receiver outran two Skaneateles linebackers and sprinted toward the left side of the end zone. As he and Hackler converged near the out of bounds line, Pavelchak outstretched the ball toward goal line. The two seniors stared at the referee for a decision: Pavelchak was one yard short with only four seconds remaining. On the next play, Skaneateles smothered junior running back Ryan Romagnoli for a two yard loss, forcing Cazenovia head coach Jay Steinhorst to call a timeout. Instead of risking an empty possession to throw for the endzone, Steinhorst elected to kick a field goal, cutting the lead to 20-10.   “It looked like they had scored at the end of the half. To make that play and force them into a field goal there, that was a big win for us,” Sindoni said. “It saved them from having a little more momentum at the half.”In the second half, Skaneateles capitalized on a Cazenovia error. On the second Cazenovia drive of the half, Hackler stepped in front of a deep throw and returned it within 35 yards of the end zone. As he walked toward Sindoni to receive the ensuing play call, the Skaneateles student section shouted, “That’s our quarterback.”Skaneateles outscored Cazenovia 21-0 in the second half, a sign of his defense’s courage, Sindoni said.“I thought our defense showed a lot of resiliency,” he said. “My defensive coaches made adjustments and they worked.”As the clock ticked to zero, Skaneateles didn’t sprint on the field and rejoice. No one mobbed Sindoni or Hackler. Senior Will Frank, a few minutes after the game ended, remarked, “I just want the T-shirt.” Skaneateles didn’t want to celebrate the win. They were looking ahead to next weekend’s matchup against five-time state champion Chenango Forks. “We have a bigger look on the season,” Hackler said. “Our mindset is on Forks honestly.” last_img read more