Here, Cazenovia found itself in real trouble, trailing in the fourth quarter – but led by Cannizzaro, the Lakers would escape and pull out a 9-7 victory over the Lancers.
Things started well, as Cannizzaro got both of his team’s goals in the first quarter to put Cazenovia in front 2-0. LaFayette fought back and tied it, 3-3, late in the first half, only to see Cannizzaro notch his third goal to create a 4-3 Lakers lead at the break.
Again, the Lancers tied it in the third quarter with Eric Liddy’s second goal. Again, Cazenovia responded and went back in front thanks to Cannizzaro, who forced a LaFayette turnover and fed it to P.J. Brown for the go-ahead goal.
Unfazed by any of this, LaFayette appeared to take charge early in the fourth quarter. Brian Phillips’ second goal pulled his side even once more at 5-5, and Nate Beresevoy struck for back-to-back goals that put the Lakers behind 7-5 with less than eight minutes left.
One more time, Cannizzaro sparked a rally. His goal with 5:40 left cut the Lakers’ deficit to one, and 35 seconds later Cannizzaro’s deft pass led to P.J. Brown converting the tying goal that made it 7-7.
More was needed, though, and after Colligan won a crucial face-off, the Lakers tried to move in front, thwarted twice before Kyle Brown, off a feed from Race, beat LaFayette goalie Elliott Lyons with 2:54 to play for the go-ahead tally.
Try as it could, the Lancers could not respond, even with a possession in the final minute, which ended quickly as Cross forced a turnover and Cannizzaro, on a fast break, converted his fifth goal with 14.6 seconds left to clinch it.
This remarkable opening week concluded with a battle Saturday against visiting Baldwinsville that stretched into two overtimes before the Lakers pulled out a 5-4 win over the Bees.