Feb 22, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
On the brink of forcing overtime and having an opportunity to reach the Section III Division II finals, the CBA/J-D ice hockey team saw that chance slip away in a painful manner.
The Brothers, tied with top seed Oswego in Tuesday’s semifinal at Crisafulli Rink, were victimized by two goals late in regulation, falling to the Buccaneers 5-3.
For more than 44 minutes of ice time, CBA/J-D had shown no signs of nerves or intimidation playing at the rink known as “The Fort” for its proximity to Fort Ontario. Also, it appeared to pay no heed to the pair of 4-2 defeats it had taken to Oswego during the regular season.
Instead, the Brothers earned a majority of the scoring opportunities in the first period, keeping the rusty Bucs (who hadn’t played in two weeks) on the defensive. But it could not convert, thwarted by Oswego goalie Chase Izyk, who stopped all 11 shots he faced.
So it was still 0-0 when, 5:30 into the second period, Scott Firman broke through, beating Izyk to put CBA/J-D ahead 1-0 as deft passes from Ryan Durkin and Brendan Flanagan set things up.
That lead didn’t last too long – just 12 seconds, the amount of time it took Oswego to win the ensuing faceoff and, off passes from John Phillips and Cody Mariano, have Josh Sova beat Tim Decker to tie it, 1-1.
Fueled by that, the Bucs began an all-out attack, going ahead 2-1 on Mariano’s goal, but Decker kept it from getting worse, and CBA/J-D seized back the momentum when Flanagan scored just 25 seconds before the period ended.
So it was 2-2 going to the third period, and it took just 31 seconds for Oswego to go back in front, Mariano poking home a rebound of Trent Yule’s shot from the left points.
Making a second comeback, the Brothers pulled even 3-3 with 6:36 left when Nick Papayanakos took a perfect feed from Sam Mueller, flew in and beat Izyk with a backhand.
Now the tension built, and CBA/J-D had power-play chances late in regulation, only to see Izyk turn away Firman’s close-up shot, his 26th save of the night.
Thoughts began to drift to a possible OT period – until, with 34 seconds to play, Oswego again swarmed around Decker, who to that point had matched Izyk with 26 saves of his own. Yet Decker could do nothing about Tyler Grimshaw swarming in and jarring a loose puck past him for what proved to be the game-winner.
In a desperate attempt to tie it again, CBA/J-D pulled Decker and tried to attack, but instead Sova notched an empty-net goal, creating a two-goal margin in a game that was, in actuality, far closer.