When the CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt ice hockey team made the trip to Casey Rink to face Auburn last Wednesday night, it must have conjured up some vivid memories.
It was, after all, at Auburn that, 10 months earlier, the Brothers’ improbable post-season climb to a state Division II championship began with a first-round Section III playoff win over the Maroons, one that offered no real hint at the glory that lay ahead.
Here, though, the result proved quite different. CBA/J-D took more shots than Auburn, but none of them went in the net, and the Maroons would break through a couple of times to prevail by a 2-0 margin.
CBA/J-D was still without goaltender Tim Decker, recovering from knee surgery. Ryan Bradford took his turn in the net, and he stopped everything in the first period as the two sides played to a 0-0 standstill.
But one minute into the second period, Auburn broke through. Billy Farrington roamed behind the Brothers’ net, and then fed the puck to the middle, where Jake Orlando chipped a shot that eluded Bradford.
Now trailing 1-0, CBA/J-D picked up its pressure, but found itself unable to solve the Maroons’ defensive riddle. When shots weren’t getting deflected away, Brendan Entenmann was stopping them as he finished with 19 saves on the night.
Auburn doubled its margin with 10:22 left when, on a power play, Nick Netti moved around a defender and, off passes from Mike Foltz and Danny Entenmann, fired a shot home. Despite heavy CBA/J-D pressure down the stretch, the shutout would hold.
Ironically, when CBA/J-D came back home to Onondaga Nation Arena Friday night, it would face John Jay-Cross River, the side it beat for the state Division II title at Utica Auditorium three weeks after its playoff run began at Auburn.
This time around, John Jay would prevail, 3-2, as the Brothers fell to 2-3-2 on the season. But at least CBA/J-D got to play – unlike Fayetteville-Manlius, who saw its game with Ithaca on Saturday postponed by the threat of another winter snowstorm.