Cazenovia returned home to the Morrisville State IcePlex Monday to face Cicero-North Syracuse, but more was happening beyond the action on the ice.The game served as a fund-raiser for two scholarships set up by the Laker program.
One is the Neil Bailey Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of the Cazenovia High School senior who lost his life in a car accident in 1998 and was the brother of Kyle Bailey, the current C-NS hockey coach. Given annually, the Bailey award honors a player for his work ethic and sportsmanship.
Also, the Brian R. Gara Memorial Scholarship, newly established, will be given to a Cazenovia player demonstrating passion for education and hockey, along with a sense of humor. It’s given in memory of Gara, the captain of the Lakers’ 1982 Section III championship team, who passed away last July.
As to the game itself, the Northstars, despite an 0-6 record, managed to lead the game twice, but the Lakers rallied both times to salvage a 2-2 tie.
They were scoreless until the second period, when C-NS, after many missed opportunities (including a five-on-three situation), got in front with Luke Newell's goal. Barely a minute later, though, it was 1-1, as Brenden Whalen got free on a breakaway and put one past Northstars goalie Brandon Gloska.
Early in the third period, at the 2:31 mark, C-NS's Matt Siegel converted on a breakway, and Cazenovia trailed 2-1. Again, the Lakers bounced back, as Jake Stowell, taking deft passes from Whalen and Colin McGaugh, put home the tying goal midway through the period.
Despite all kinds of chances in the remaining minutes of regulation and overtime, including a flurry in the final seconds, it would stay even. Cazenovia would take a 1-3-2 record to this weekend's Cortland-Homer Tournament.