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Hockey Lakers blank Solvay in Division II playoffs

At least the Cazenovia ice hockey team left no doubt as to its particular aspirations in its Section III Division II playoff debut.

Dominating on both ends of the ice, the Lakers took it right to Solvay in last Friday night's opening-round game at the Morrisville State College IcePlex, winning a 5-0 shutout.

With that win, Cazenovia advances to Wednesday night's Division II semifinal against Corcoran at Meachem Rink. The winner gets New Hartford or Skaneateles in Sunday's 1 p.m. title game at the Onondaga County War Memorial.

Going in, the Lakers, still no. 3 in the state rankings with an 18-2-1 mark, knew that its defense would have to be tough against Solvay, a potent squad that had, in Tim Burgess, the top scorer in all of Division II hockey.

From the moment the puck dropped, though, Burgess and his line mates rarely saw open ice, tailed to every corner by Cazenovia defenders. And when Solvay did get something on the net, J.R. Vecchiarelli picked it up, earning 18 saves.

Cazenovia, by contrast, took more than twice the number of Solvay's shots -- 45 in all. That got rewarded with a pair of goals in each of the first two periods, plus another one at the end.

Sam Lewis picked a great time for a three-goal hat trick, while Brian Gara earned the other two goals. Tom Nardella, Sean Cannizzaro and Carter Franz each had two assists, while Sean Dougherty and Tom Colligan also got assists.

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