The question facing the CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt ice hockey team is a particularly difficult one – namely, how does a perfect ending get topped?
With a roster full of underclassmen (18 freshmen and sophomores), the Brothers, in 2012-13, started 1-6, but somehow rallied to reach the Section III playoffs.
And then it somehow rallied, over and over again, to win the Section III Division II title and, not stopping there, rallied again at the end to earn a first-ever state championship, beating John Jay-Cross River 4-2 in the March 10 final at Utica Auditorium.
Given the depth and dimensions of this storybook run, anything in 2013-14, other than a repeat trip to Utica in mid-March, might qualify as a letdown.
Knowing this, CBA/J-D entered the new campaign doing all that it could to put the glory of last winter behind them and try and create some new memories.
Yet it was rough at the start. Visiting the Buffalo area for a season-opening tournament after last Wednesday’s planned scrimmage with Division I power West Genesee got cancelled, CBA/J-D went through a long drought in Friday’s opening round, taking a 5-0 loss to Williamsville North.
Long a Division I power, the Spartans took it right to CBA/J-D all game long, rarely allowing them to attack. Ryan Bradford, playing in goal, made 28 saves, but North got to him with two goals in each of the last two periods to get clear.
Forced into Saturday’s consolation game against Williamsville South, the Brothers rebounded in a big way, beating the Billies 4-1 as it got single goals in each of the first two periods and added two more tallies in the third period.
Peyton Fowler took his turn in net and stopped 19 of 20 shots. CBA/J-D’s attack was well-balanced as Braeden Doust, Ryan McKee, Jed Raby and Ryan McGuire each got goals, with Ryan Durkin and Pete Dziergas earning the assists.
League play for the Brothers would begin Tuesday night at Onondaga Nation Arena against Whitesboro, followed by a Friday visit to Cortland-Homer and a Saturday home test against Salmon River.