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Skaneateles beats Caz, goes to Division II hockey final

Lakers to face Oswego after upending state champs

A shot gets by Cazenovia goaltender Joey Vecchiarelli during a recent game against Clinton at the Morrisville Iceplex. Although he stopped 17 shots against the Skaneateles Lakers, Cazenovia lost 5-2 on Feb. 21. Vecchiarelli logged a total of 420 saves for the 2011-12 season.

A shot gets by Cazenovia goaltender Joey Vecchiarelli during a recent game against Clinton at the Morrisville Iceplex. Although he stopped 17 shots against the Skaneateles Lakers, Cazenovia lost 5-2 on Feb. 21. Vecchiarelli logged a total of 420 saves for the 2011-12 season. Photo by Pierce Smith.

— Skaneateles took Cazenovia’s best early shot, survived, and eventually wore down their fellow Lakers, 5-2, Tuesday night in the Section III Division II ice hockey semifinal at Allyn Arena.

The win earned no. 2 seed Skaneateles (13-2-6) a berth in Saturday's title game at Utica Memorial Auditorium. Top seed Oswego will be the opponent after the Buccaneers defeated CBA/J-D 5-3 in Tuesday’s other semifinal.

Cazenovia (12-8-2) looked the team more likely to take the drive down I-90 the way the game started. The defending Division II state champions swarmed the hosts early, and got their reward when Jeff Stowell’s slapshot was tipped past Skaneateles goalie Trevor Diamond at the 4:14 mark.

Then Cazenovia went looking for more, but got caught on a counter 42 seconds after Stowell’s goal. Connor Hill neatly completed a 2-on-1 rush to tie the game at 1-1.

The visitors continued to create better chances, and once again took the lead. David Marshall got the goal at the 8:17 mark, banging home a rebound.

Yet again, Cazenovia couldn’t turn its territorial edge into another goal. And yet again Skaneateles made the visitors pay as, at the 12:15 mark, Mitchell Jones cruised into the slot, took a pass from Jon Rogalia, and ripped home a wrist shot.

The teams went to their locker rooms tied 2-2. Cazenovia outshot the hosts, 14-8, but both coaches said the score didn’t accurately reflect what happened on the ice.

“We knew the toughest period was going to be the first,” Skaneateles coach Mitch Major said. “I would say they had the better of the play.”

“Sometimes it just doesn’t work in your favor,” Cazenovia coach John Davignon said. “I think we were the better team but we didn’t get some bounces and that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Skaneateles found a better pair of skating legs in the second period, and took advantage the way Cazenovia failed to earlier.

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