Skaneateles Perhaps there are more conventional, and less stressful means, to win a game than the one the Skaneateles boys ice hockey team devised on Friday night in its showdown with neighbor and rival Auburn at Allyn Arena - but none could be more exciting.
In an ending straight out of fiction, the Lakers, trailing the Maroons by two goals late in the third period, closed the gap, tied it with at the end of regulation - and won it, 3-2, when Patrick Major poked in the decisive goal with just five seconds to play.
The long-standing Skaneateles-Auburn rivalry provided enough fuel for the occasion. Adding to it was the fact that the Maroons, with a victory, would tie the Lakers for first place in the Division II American Conference.
Owners of a three-game win streak, the Lakers drew a huge crowd to the Community Center, most of them decked out in white as part of a "White Out" promotion. For much of the game, though, the home fans didn't have much to cheer about.
Auburn, coming off a 1-0 defeat to Whitesboro two nights earlier, struck quickly against a stunned Laker defense. Goals by Jake Duffy and John Orlando had Skaneateles trailing, 2-0, by the end of the first period. Mike Foltz, Casey Komanecky and Sean Lattimore each earned assists.
And it stayed 2-0 for a long time. Partly that was because the Lakers' defense, so stingy for much of December, resumed its top form at the start of the second period, turning away everything Auburn threw at them as Jarrett McDonald racked up 22 saves.
Meanwhile, the Lakers took more shots, but were not finding any success, either, as Maroons goalie Mike Currier put together a sensational effort that would lead to 29 saves.
Deep into the third period, the Lakers stared at that two-goal deficit, but somehow stayed patient, not realizing just how much that patience would pay off.