With the way it has played throughout the year, the CBA/J-D ice hockey team has forced its way into the conversation of which side can end up on top of the Division II West rankings.
At the very least, the Brothers became a larger factor after going to Allyn Arena Wednesday night and, with maximum drama, pulling out a 3-3 tie with the first-place Lakers.
Down 3-2 as time was running out in regulation, CBA/J-D pulled its goaltender, Joe DiStefano. With the extra attacker, the Brothers got one more chance to tie it.
Nick Papayanakos took a shot from the left point -- and as the puck slipped away from the grasp of Laker goalie Trevor Diamond, Nick Cosselman swooped in and pushed a rebound shot into the net with just 4.9 seconds left.
Now in overtime, CBA/J-D had to hang on as the Lakers made an all-out assault. Once, a shot by Jon Rogalia clanged off the right post, and the Brothers had to kill off a power play, too. But it held on for the point as DiStefano finished with 26 saves.
Right from the start, CBA/J-D showed how much it had improved from the 3-0 defeat it took to the Lakers back on Dec. 11 at Onondaga Nation Arena.
Harry Kalet scored 1:33 into the game, and the Brothers controlled the flow of play for most of the first period, but was unable to add to its 1-0 lead.
Skaneateles tied it early in the second period on Packy Jones' goal, only to have Papayanakos answer on the power play midway through that frame to put CBA/J-D back up 2-1.
Once again, the Lakers rallied, getting goals from Jim Rodgers and Sean Cooney early in the third period to go in front 3-2. Kalet had a chance to tie it on a breakaway with 6:13 left, only to have Diamond make a terrific save, which set up the final sequence.
A night earlier, A day earlier, Fayetteville-Manlius hosted Oswego at the Cicero Twin Rinks and played the Buccaneers to its own 3-3 tie.
The Hornets trailed, 1-0, when it scored twice in the second period to move in front 2-1. In response, Oswego made its own comeback in the third period to pull even, and neither side would convert in overtime.
Jimmy Angelicola and Trevor Chase both gave the Hornets a goal and two assists, with Anthony Angello earning one goal and one assist. Tyler Palmerton stopped 33 of the 36 shots he faced.