Instead of the constant winning drumbeat enjoyed a season ago en route to a state championship, the Cazenovia ice hockey team is still searching for consistency in a tough early slate.
That problem arose again in last Tuesday night’s visit to Skaneateles, where the latest battle of Lakers teams went in the other side’s favor as Cazenovia took a 4-2 defeat at Allyn Arena.
They had met three times in 2010-11, including the Section III Division II semifinals, and Cazenovia won on each occasion, so Skaneateles was primed for at least a small measure of revenge.
Late in the first period, with the score tied 1-1, Scott Longtin’s goal broke the tie, putting Skaneateles ahead for good. It got more lopsided in the second period as Cazenovia fell behind 4-1, a deficit from which it was unable to recover.
This happened even though Cazenovia took more shots (29), as Brian Gara and Jeff Stowell earned the goals and Connor Race added an assist. Brendan Major, with three assists, led a well-balanced Skaneateles attack as four players – Longtin, Jake Cooney, Taylor Haberstock and Tyler Stanton – got the four goals and Trevor Diamond made 27 saves.
Cazenovia returned home to the Morrisville State IcePlex Friday night to face New Hartford, and found a much better result as it beat the Spartans 4-1.
The Lakers worked hard to take a 2-1 lead by the end of the first period, and for the rest of the night it blanked New Hartford as Joey Vecchiarelli stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced.
David Marshall stepped up to lead the Laker attack, scoring twice and adding an assist. Gara and Race earned the other goals, with Stowell and Connor Cannizzaro adding two assists apiece.
Tied for fourth with Clinton in Division II entering this week, the Lakers host Auburn Thursday and pay a Thursday-night visit to Fulton.