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Caz hockey finishes unbeaten regular season

Now the regular-season portion of the Cazenovia ice hockey team's quest for perfection has ended in success. But the really important parts lie ahead.

Two more wins on consecutive nights allowed the Lakers to improve to 20-0 and maintain that top state Division II ranking it has held for more than a month.

Though it had to wait for weather to clear out (again), Cazenovia had no trouble with the first part of this task, going to Fulton Wednesday night and dismissing the Red Raiders 8-3.

With yet another fast start, Cazenovia led 4-0 after one period. Fulton rose up and found the net three times in the second period, but the Lakers matched that total to maintain its comfortable margin.

Brian Gara remained impossible to contain, earning two goals and two assists. Connor Cannizzaro also scored twice, adding one assist as Joe Nardella earned three assists.

John Greacen, Sean Cannizzaro, Lucas Catania and Alan Baldwin notched single goals, with Sam Lewis and Todd Christensen notching two assists apiece. Mason Powell turned away 19 of the 22 shots he faced.

All that was now left was to handle Whitesboro one night later at the Morrisville State IcePlex. And on Senior Night, Gara flourished once more as the Lakers ripped past the Warriors 8-0.

The Lakers put things away in the second period, expanding upon a modest 1-0 advantage by pouring in five unanswered goals. By night's end, Cazenovia had taken 60 shots.

Gara, by himself, put the Warriors down by pouring in six goals as Nardella, Catania and Lewis each gained two assists. Catania and A.J. Davis recorded the other goals, while Sean Cannizzaro, Connor Race, Jeff Stowell, Joe Colligan and Kyle Murray found their way to the assist column, too.

Now Cazenovia gets a well-deserved rest. As the top seed in the six-team Section III Division II playoffs, the Lakers have a bye directly into the semifinals it will host at the IcePlex, needing just one win to advance to the Feb. 26 championship game at Utica Memorial Auditorium.

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