About the only certain thing about the Hamilton ice hockey team's Division II playoff quest is that it will come down to the final games of the season.
In a big turnaround on Friday night, the Emerald Knights went back into fourth place with a 3-2 victory over Utica Proctor at Utica Auditorium, just as Clinton, who occupied the fourth slot, lost 5-1 to Rome Free Academy.
Despite a 2-13-1 mark, Proctor would make Hamilton sweat all night. Steadily, the Emerald Knights seized a 2-0 lead through single goals in the first two periods, but it needed one more tally in the third period to fend off Proctor's late rally.
Kinnon Nolan-Finkel had one goal and one assist, as James Smith and Alex Brink also scored. Nate Pearson and Tom Arcuri countered with goals on Proctor's side, but thanks to Brady Carroll's 18 saves, the Emerald Knights would hang on.
Overall, Hamilton is 8-8-1 (6-5-1 league), one point ahead of Clinton for that fourth and final playoff spots. And it gets to be home at Starr Rink the rest of the way, though the opponents (Whitesboro and Cazenovia this week, RFA next Thursday) are far from pushovers.