When the Skaneateles girls ice hockey team went out for Saturday's game against reigning state champion Beekmantown, perhaps it remembered how, a night earlier, the boys hockey side made a stirring late comeback to beat Auburn in overtime.
Remarkably, the same thing would happen here – except that it wasn’t on home ice, and it didn’t require overtime, either.
Trailing by two goals, unable to get on the board for the first two periods, the Lakers surged early in the third period and stunned Beekmantown 3-2, running its unbeaten streak to five in a row and giving itself a huge amount of momentum going into 2014.
For years, Skaneateles had squared off with Beekmantown without much success, and the Eagles’ run to a 2013 state title only added to its aura.
Even with the confidence gained from a 3-0-1 run leading up to this meeting, the Lakers found, at least in the early going, that Beekmantown remained formidable.
Quickly, the Eagles grabbed a 2-0 lead, and after that it continued to pepper the Lakers’ net, attempting to put the game away. Skaneateles held firm, though, as Amanda Lupo would get 27 saves and blank Beekmantown following that early surge.
Still, as the third period started, the Lakers trailed by that 2-0 margin, but more late-game magic was on the way.
Paige Postalwait, who had scored just one goal in her team’s first six games, found the net here, and so did Abbie Kuhns, which tied the game at 2-2. Caroline McGuigan and Sarah Sauda were credited with assists.
Not stopping there, though, the Lakers pressured again and, with 6:34 left, Postalwait, fed by Kuhns and McGuigan, put in the go-ahead goal. Lupo and the defense did the rest, keeping the Eagles from pulling back even and forcing overtime.
Skaneateles would return home and practice during the two-week holiday school break before returning to action on Jan. 6 at Oswego, followed by a road trip to Lake Placid and Saranac Lake on Jan. 10 and 11.