Cazenovia's ice hockey team has, for the moment, locked itself into second place in Division II East, right behind New Hartford to make the Spartans feel the pressure.
To keep that secure spot, though, the Lakers had to go through two tough road trips, either of which could add doubt fueled by Cazenovia's 6-3 loss to the state no. 1-ranked Spartans on Jan. 14.
In a hard-fought road battle at Whitesboro last Tuesday night, the Lakers used Joe Nardella's skills to push past the Warriors 3-2.
Each side scored once in the first two periods, a back-and-forth battle that went 2-2 until Nardella helped Cazenovia get the go-ahead goal in the third period. From there, the defense stuffed Whitesboro and maintained that fragile margin.
Nardella scored once and assisted on the Lakers' other two goals, by Carter Franz and Sean Dougherty. Chris Flynn and Pat Dundon scored on Whitesboro's behalf. Each of goaltender J.R. Vecciarelli's 26 saves proved to be important.
On Friday, Cazenovia goes back east, this time to Kennedy Arena to face Rome Free Academy, another playoff contender.