Feb 16, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Charged with both intensity and emotion, the CBA/J-D ice hockey team set out to accomplish, in the opening round of the Section III Division II playoffs, what no one else has done this winter – namely, win at Auburn.
And the no. 5 seed Brothers pulled it off, edging the no. 4 seed Maroons 3-2 Friday night at Casey Rink with a combination of strong early offense and tenacious defense in the late going.
As a result, CBA/J-D will get a chance to avenge two regular-season losses to top seed Skaneateles in Tuesday night’s Division II semifinal at Allyn Arena at 7 p.m. The winner there gets New Hartford or Oswego in next Saturday’s sectional final at Utica Memorial Auditorium.
All week long, CBA/J-D head coach Mike McKie dealt with a heavy heart. His father, David McKie, died on Tuesday at age 84, just one day after his fiancee’s father, Pat Murphy Jr., passed away.
So it was assistant coach Shaun Norfolk and the rest of the staff, plus the players, that had to work hard all week as McKie dealt with his family issues. Their task involved topping an Auburn team it lost to, 2-1, when it went to Casey Rink early in the season, but beat 4-0 in the rematch at Onondaga Nation Arena Jan. 4.
Instead of scoring flair, CBA/J-D used grit and determination to land both of its goals in the first period, twice slipping rebounds past Auburn goaltender Jeff Gardner as it slipped into a 2-1 lead. Ryan Durkin and Scott Firman got the goals.
Another rebound goal in the second period, where Lucas Relkin made his way to the front of the net and snared the puck from Gardner after he couldn’t contain Durkin’s initial shot, made it 3-1. Relkin, Firman and Durkin also earned one assist apiece as Sam Mueller and Kane Alletzhauser got credit for assists, too.
Auburn was far from done, though, especially when CBA/J-D’s aggression backfired in the form of a string of penalties during that second period, leading to a five-on-three that spilled over into the third period, where Jake Wood scored just 27 seconds in to cut the Brothers’ lead to one.
That left a lot of time for the Maroons to pull even, and with 11:09 left, Auburn thought it had tied the game, only to see its goal disallowed for an offsides call, though the whistle did not blow until after the puck had gone in the net.
Angry at this, Auburn spent the remaining part of the game in an all-out attack. But CBA/J-D’s defenders kept turning them away, and goaltender Tim Decker was sensational, stopping 28 of the 30 shots he faced, including several key late saves.