Dec 01, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
That the Skaneateles ice hockey team fell short in another Section III Division II championship quest in the 2012-13 season was painful enough.
But the fact that the defeat in the sectional semifinals took place on home ice, in triple overtime, to a CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt side that went on to an improbable state championship, only made the Lakers’ wounds sting even more.
Throughout the off-season, the Lakers nursed those wounds, knowing that 2013-14 brought a chance at redemption, and by the time it took the ice again during last weekend’s Queensbury Tournament, Skaneateles was more than ready.
Six seniors graduated from last year’s 15-2-5 squad that won the Division II regular-season title, but an abundance of talent is back, and hungry to go beyond regular-season success.
For the Lakers, the Queensbury Tournament wasn’t supposed to be the opener. Skaneateles was set to play at Ontario Bay last Tuesday night before the pending winter weather forced a postponement.
Still, the delay did nothing to hurt the Lakers, who went to the foot of the Adirondacks and put together a sensational effort, starting in last Friday’s opening round, where it came from behind to defeat Glens Falls 3-2.
As they entered the third period, Skaneateles trailed 2-1, but led by Tyler Strods, the Lakers put together the tying and go-ahead goals, and also pitched a shutout in those final 15 minutes.
Strods scored twice and assisted on the Lakers’ other goal, by Sam Clymer. Patrick Major got credit for a pair of assists as Ray Falso and Reece Eddy earned one assist apiece.
This put the Lakers into Saturday’s final against the host team from Queensbury. This time around, no rally was required as Skaneateles knocked off the Spartans by a 4-2 margin.
In both the first and third periods, the Lakers’ defense held firm, keeping Queensbury from finding the net. Kyle Oschner, seeing his second start as Ethan Kupp’s successor in goal, made 10 saves overall.
Skaneateles led 1-0 going to the second period, when Queensbury picked up both of its goals. The Lakers countered both of them, though, and tacked on an insurance goal in the final period.
Owen Kuhns, held without a point against Glens Falls, roared to life in this game with two goals and two assists. Major added three assists to go with his lone tally, while Strods earned the other goal. Eddy and Falso again notched single assists.
This season, Division II has added Cortland-Homer, and has gone back to a two-league format after using just one league a season ago. Skaneateles is in the American Conference with CBA/J-D, along with Cortland-Homer, Whitesboro and Auburn, while New Hartford, Clinton, Cazenovia, Ontario Bay and Oswego make up the National Conference.
In one of the season’s first marquee match-ups, Skaneateles does face Oswego Wednesday night in the home opener at Allyn Arena, right before facing Salmon River Friday at the Austin Park Pavilion. The Lakers don’t play another road game until a Dec. 13 visit to Whitesboro.