Every time the Cazenovia ice hockey wants to move closer to the top of the Division II East standings, it hits a bit of a snag.
When the Lakers hosted Rome Free Academy Friday night at the Morrisville State College IcePlex, it sat three points behind the Black Knights for second place in Division II East. A win here would give Cazenovia a great chance to host a playoff game next month - and avenge a 6-3 defeat it suffered to RFA at Kennedy Arena on Dec. 15.
But it didn't quite happen. Despite overcoming an early two-goal deficit, the Lakers could only manage a 3-3 tie with RFA, leaving things exactly where they were before.
Much like the 3-3 tie with first-place New Hartford on Jan. 12, Cazenovia would dominate the game's flow, only to go unrewarded.
In this case, the Lakers had to be aggressive, since RFA bolted to a 2-0 first-period lead, pushed there by T.J. Reilley, who would finish with two goals and one assist.
Cazenovia would answer in the second period by getting two goals of its own to pull even, 2-2. Then the two sides would exchange goals in a tense third period, and five minutes of overtime would not settle the issue.
Brian Gara, with one goal and one assist, led a balanced attack where Sam Lewis and Sean Cannizzaro also scored. Most of the time, though, shots disappeared into the pads and gloves of RFA goalie Anthony D'Urso, who had 33 saves, triple the number of Laker counterpart Mason Powell.
At 9-3-2 on the season, the Lakers play four of its last five games on the road, including trips this week to Utica Proctor and Westmoreland.