In its chase of state no. 1-ranked Cazenovia in the Division II regular-season standings, the Skaneateles ice hockey team took a step backwards.
The Lakers visited Clinton last Tuesday night and, in a hard-fought battle at historic Clinton Arena, the Warriors prevailed by a score of 3-2.
Clinton hit first, seizing a 1-0 lead in the first period. In each of the next two periods, Skaneateles would score, as Dan Tarolli and Jacob Cooney got credit for the goals and Mike Benson, Tyler Stanton and Jon Rogalia earned assists.
Each time, though, the Warriors answered, taking twice as many shots as the Lakers. Will Blazer led Clinton with two goals, with Tucker Franz getting the other tally to negate another fine effort by Skaneateles goalie Trevor Diamond. All told, Diamond had 33 saves.
And when the Lakers got a chance to recover Friday at Allyn Arena against winless New Hartford, it saw a late lead slip away in a 2-2 tie against the Spartans.
New Hartford saw most of the players that produced back-to-back state Division II titles in 2009 and 2010 depart, and everyone was looking to get payback on them, Skaneateles included.
All looked to be fine for two periods, as goals by Rogalia and Brendan Major put Skaneateles ahead 2-0. Tarolli, Benson and Stanton earned assists.
But New Hartford roared to life in the third period, tying it on goals by Eric Fitzgerald and Kris Martinelli. Diamond finished with 23 saves and kept the Spartans off the board in overtime to salvage the tie.
Skaneateles meets its neighbors from Auburn at Allyn Arena Wednesday night before making a Friday trip to Fulton.