Apr 06, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In every possible way, from the way two schools and a community honored an unlikely state champion to the action that followed on the field, it was a special Friday evening at Alibrandi Stadium.
A ceremony to honor the combined CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt ice hockey team was followed by a boys lacrosse classic that spilled into overtime before the Red Rams prevailed, 15-14, over the Brothers.
This game was put on the schedule long before March 10, when the CBA/J-D hockey team beat John Jay-Cross River at Utica Memorial Auditorium to claim the state Division II hockey crown.
So it only made sense that this game would serve as a public occasion to honor the hockey heroes. Before the face-off, most of the 23 members of the team, plus the coaching staff, gathered at midfield.
Joining them were representatives from the offices of State Senator John DeFrancisco and the Town of DeWitt, along with Onondaga County Legislator Dan Liedka, all of whom read proclamations praising both the team’s winning performance and the way it bonded two very different school communities together.
Then each of the players and coaches received their own commemorative plaque, once more hearing the cheers from the fans that had watched them rise from a 1-6 start to the pinnacle of a state title.
Once that was done, the attention switched to lacrosse, where J-D, who had scored 40 goals in its first two games (wins over Whitesboro and Homer), met a CBA side debuting under new head coach Ric Beardsley after its scheduled opener against LaFayette last Tuesday got snowed out.
It started out like another J-D romp, thanks to senior Jordan Evans. Off a 10-goal performance against Homer a week earlier, Evans scored three times and assisted twice on Griffin Feiner’s tallies in the first quarter as the Rams sped to a 5-1 lead.
But the second quarter mostly belonged to the Brothers. Cody Radziewicz switched from attack to midfield and ignited a 6-0 run where he scored twice and Jack Zerillo chimed in with a three-goal hat trick.
J-D, now trailing 7-5, shook this off and, in the last 1:20 of the half, made its second spurt, Evans hitting on his fourth and fifth goals with Feiner converting again in between, giving the Rams an 8-7 edge going to the break.
Remarkably, neither team would get a lead of more than one goal the rest of the way. In the third quarter, CBA would tie the game four different times and, every time, the Rams would score in response, Feiner working his total to six goals before Alex Brunner found the net and squared things again at 12-12.
So they went to the fourth quarter, and the trend reversed. Now it was the Brothers grabbing the lead twice, and neither time hanging on to that slim edge. Braeden Gait’s goal with 4:51 left would put CBA in front for the last time, at 14-13.
As they had done all night, Evans and Feiner would team up to save the Rams. After killing off a man-up situation for CBA late in regulation, the Rams worked the ball to Evans, who found Feiner up front as he beat Andrew Koscos with 1:53 left in regulation.
After Evans saw his chance to win it in the final seconds of regulation go wide, the game went to overtime, where both teams had shots to win it amid the same frenetic pace as the first four quarters.
Mike Engstrom, for J-D, and J.R. Zazzara, for CBA, both saw game-winning shots stopped, but 1:57 into the extra period Evans found Feiner one more time, and the J-D junior one-timed it past Koscos to end it with his eighth goal of the night.
Evans again reached double digits in points, earning four goals and six assists. Ryan McKee added a pair of goals as, in the net, Joe Shapiro recorded 14 saves, one less than Koscos.
Radziewicz finished with five goals and one assist to pace the Brothers, just ahead of Zerillo’s total of four goals. Andrew Romagnoli added two goals and one assist.