Fast finish gives Lakers home playoff game

In a four-day span, the Skaneateles boys ice hockey team would play three times, the results of those contests determining where it would get seeded for the Section III Division II playoffs.

And the Lakers won all three of them, in turn securing one more home contest as it will face CBA/J-D in the opening round of the Division II playoffs this weekend at Allyn Arena.

Of the three, the most one-sided effort came at the start, when the Lakers went to New Hartford last Wednesday night and used a big late-game surge to pull away and beat the Spartans 6-0.

New Hartford, winners of the last two state Division II titles, fell way down this season after a mass exodus of talent to graduation and the junior ranks. Yet the Lakers had only played them to a 2-2 tie in their first encounter a month earlier at Allyn Arena.

On hostile ice, the Lakers stayed patient, not getting a goal until the second period. It only led 1-0 going into the final period, but then ran away with five goals in that last frame as the cumulative pressure of 41 shots took a toll on the Spartans.

Brendan Major led the charge, scoring twice and adding a pair of assists. Jon Rogalia also had two goals, with Jacob Cooney gaining three assists. Dan Tarolli and Tom Jones got the other goals as Tyler Strods, Shane Holleran and Scot Longtin earned one assist apiece. Trevor Diamond didn't have to face much pressure, but still stopped all 16 shots he faced.

Now the Lakers looked for a regular-season sweep of Auburn Friday night at Casey Rink - and got it with spectacular ease, roaring to a 7-2 victory over the Maroons.

Quite unlike their Jan. 24 encounter, which the Lakers won 3-2 in overtime, Skaneateles took over in the middle stages, breaking a 1-1 first-period tie by slamming Auburn for four goals and seizing a 5-2 lead.

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