B'ville hockey slides into playoffs

Right until the end, the Baldwinsville ice hockey team wondered whether it would make the Section III Division I playoffs.

On its own, the Bees kept those hopes going when Eric Parah scored in overtime last Wednesday night to produce a 3-2 victory over Fayetteville-Manlius at the Cicero Twin Rinks.

For a long time in this game, the Bees were in trouble. F-M had a 1-0 advantage through two periods as Mike Poppleton, who would finish with 25 saves, kept everything out.

However, in the third period, B'ville got even as Parah and Kevin McMahon both scored, and Ben Blujus assisted with both goals.

Then, 2:36 into OT, Blujus again made the key pass, setting up Parah for the shot that eluded Poppleton -- and kept B'ville alive. In defeat, F-M teammates Nick Zappia and Chris Murphy each had one goal and one assist.

What followed was five long days of waiting out the massive snowstorms, so that Oswego could play Liverpool Monday night in the game that would determine their post-season fates, plus those of the Bees and West Genesee.

When the Buccaneers rallied to tie the Warriors 5-5, Liverpool bumped up into third place with 15 points and Oswego tied B'ville and WG with 14 points apiece.

This creates a three-way playoff for that fourth spot. Since they were second and third in the tie-breakers, B'ville will host WG tonight (weather permitting) at Lysander Arena. The winner visits Oswego the next night, and the survivor of that second game moves on to face regular-season champion Ithaca in the Division I semifinals.

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