Jan 20, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
True, an important game was taking place Wednesday night when the Skaneateles ice hockey team hosted CBA/J-D at Allyn Arena.
But the main point of the night had nothing to do with sticks or pucks or slap shots. It had to do with honoring America’s soldiers.
For “Support Our Troops Night”, Skaneateles honored four United States Marines from Upstate New York, just returned from a year-long tour of duty that included six months’ service in Iraq.
Cpl. Mark Grady, a 2003 Skaneateles graduate, was honored along with Cpl. Jim Raschella, Sgt. Justin Kenyon and Staff Sgt. William Kendall, in a pregame ceremony as they all received plaques honoring their service.
Fans attending the game were handed miniature American flags, and had a chance to purchase $5 patches from the group New York State Hockey Players Support Our Troops. The Skaneateles Middle School Jazz Ensemble entertained in the lobby before the game and in between periods.
Amid all this was a game – and it was an exciting one, with all kinds of momentum shifts and a dramatic finish to regulation that resulted in a 3-3 tie.
Skaneateles and CBA/J-D are, along with Corocran and Cortland/Homer, fighting for first place in Division II West, and this game did little to clear up the picture.
The visiting Brothers struck first, just 1:33 into the game, as Harry Kalet scored off a feed from Nick Papayanakos. It remained 1-0 until early in the second period, when the Lakers’ Packy Jones tied it as Rory Callahan and Dan Tarolli earned assists.
Midway through the second period, CBA/J-D had back-to-back power plays and, on the second of them, Papayanakos grabbed a loose puck behind the net and sneaked it past Trevor Diamond, putting the Brothers back in front 2-1.
So it remained until a Skaneateles flourish early in the third period. Just 19 seconds in, Jim Rodgers hit a wrist shot that went through a screen past CBA/J-D goalie Dan DiStefano to tie it again, 2-2, and just 2:34 later Sean Cooney’s goal gave the Lakers its first lead of the night.
It looked like that 3-2 lead would stand, especially after Diamond made a superb save on Kalet, one-on-one, with 6:13 left.
But as regulation time wound down and the Brothers pulled DiStefano for an extra attacker, it got one more chance. Papayanakos took a shot – and when Diamond could not corral the puck, Nick Cosselman swooped in and put home the rebound with just 4.9 seconds left.
Stunned and furious, the Lakers went into the five-minute overtime period and had many chances to win, including a three-on-one break that misfired, a Jon Rogalia shot that clanged off the right post and a power play that CBA/J-D stopped.
ith four teams just one point apart at the top of Division II West, Friday’s game between Skaneateles and Corcoran at Meachem Rink gained more meaning as the Lakers attempted to repeat its 6-4 triumph from Dec. 15.
But the Cougars would not let that happen, relying on its star forward, James Cathers, as a catalyst to beat Skaneateles 5-2.
Neither side got on the board until the second period, when Corcoran seized a 2-1 edge. And the Cougars pulled away in the late going as Cathers, by earning a three-goal hat trick, reached the 100-goal mark for his career.
All Skaneateles could do in response was get Rogalia to score one goal and assist on Tarolli’s tally. Jones got shut out as John Bronk and Dylan VanHoltz earned assists. Diamond finished with 27 saves as Corcoran counterpart Jason Frier stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced.
So at the moment, the Lakers, with 17 points, are behind Cortland/Homer (20), Corcoran (19) and CBA/J-D (18), but will be favored to get four points out of home games this week against Central Square and Fulton.