Lodged in third place in Division II, the Cazenovia ice hockey team’s only real chance to move up the top of the standings came when it faced the first and second-place teams in the league in consecutive games – and against them, it could only manage a single point.
First, the Lakers visited Crisafulli Rink Tuesday night to play Oswego, who led the league. There, one bad period turned things against Cazenovia in a 4-1 defeat to the Buccaneers.
The Lakers had confidence stemming from a 3-2 win over Oswego back on Dec. 9 at the Morrisville State IcePlex, and that did not dissipate through a scoreless first period in the rematch.
However, the Bucs took over in the second period, getting on the board with goals from Zach Zerrahn and Josh Sova to go ahead 2-0 before Brad Nardella put the Lakers on the board at the 8:59 mark.
It looked like Cazenovia would stay within that slim 2-1 margin going into the third period – but in the final seconds of the second frame, Dan Maniccia, off a pass from John Phillips, slid a shot past Cazenovia goalie Joey Vecchiarelli. The Lakers never recovered as Trent Yule converted on another power play with 8:23 left to seal it for the Bucs.
This gave new urgency to Cazenovia’s cause as, without Connor Cannizzaro in the lineup, it returned to the IcePlex Thursday night to face Skaneateles, looking to avenge a 4-2 defeat to those other Lakers at Allyn Arena a month earlier.
Cazenovia could not quite pull this off – but it still managed to break a long shutout streak Skaneateles possessed and did earn a single point through a 2-2 tie.
Going in, Skaneateles had not allowed a goal in regulation in five-plus games, in large part due to the tremendous work of goaltender Trevor Diamond, who would also blank Cazenovia here in the first period as Jake Cooney’s tally put the visitors up 1-0.