Dec 22, 2012 Kris Russell Uncategorized
More than two weeks since it last played on home ice, the Skaneateles ice hockey team made a spectacular return to Allyn Arena and maintained its place atop the Division II standings.
The Lakers dominated a strong New Hartford squad, 8-0, Friday night in a match-up of top league contenders. With that victory, the Lakers soared to 8-1 overall, and 6-1 in league play.
“We were happy with the consistency of our whole game,” Skaneateles coach Mitch Major said. “From defense, to goalie, to offense. We played three good periods tonight.”
The Spartans fell to 4-2-1. “We didn’t put our best foot forward,”New Hartford coach John Cunningham said. “You have to give (Skaneateles) credit. Their forecheck and physical play took us out of our game. I thought they played inspired hockey and we didn’t.”
In the first Skaneateles home game since it beat CBA/J-D 3-1 on Dec. 5, the first period offered no indication the game would turn into a rout. Neither team scored, though each side had eight shots on goal.
Then Skaneateles opened the scoring 5:45 into the second period. Tyler Stanton zipped a low wrist shot home from the point off a Mitchell Jones pass.
Jones scored the Lakers’ second 39 seconds later. He took passes from Josh Kuhns and Connor Hill and fired a a waist high wrist shot that worked its way through Spartans goalie Tyler Hansen.
Jake Cooney made it 3-0 at the 8:50 mark. He outworked a New Hartford defender and tipped home a shot during a scramble.
Any thoughts the Spartans had of coming back were extinguished 39 seconds into the third period. Owen Kuhns’ low shot, from a Taylor Haberstock pass, deflected past Hansen.
Haberstock scored the next two goals. His first was a shorthanded breakaway with 11:02 left. His second came with 7:25 to play when he knocked in an Owen Kuhns pass from close range.
And Owen Kuhns wasn’t done. The sophomore completed a nice solo rush on a Skaneateles power play with 3:06 left and then assisted on Ray Falso’s goal a minute later.
That the Lakers pulled away wasn’t a surprise to Major. “I felt like we played our game. We played physical,” he said. “I think it finally got to (New Hartford). It was just a matter of time.”
Skaneateles goalie Ethan Kupp made 23 saves to post his fifth shutout.
Major said he’s giving his squad “five or six days off for some family time” before preparing for their next game, a Jan. 2 home contest against local rival Auburn, who also lurks near the top of the Division II standings.
“Auburn-Skaneateles is always a fun game,” Major said.