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Caz hockey stuns Auburn, remains in playoff fight

Lakers' hopes hinge on Whitesboro meeting

— All through a frustrating winter, the Cazenovia ice hockey team knew that it had the capability to knock off any top Division II foe, a valuable asset should the Lakers make it into the six-team Section III tournament.

But that breakthrough moment never really arrived until last Tuesday night, when the Lakers hosted Auburn at the Morrsville State IcePlex and put a serious dent in the Maroons’ first-place hopes, winning by a score of 4-2.

The key was that, unlike so many other times this season, Cazenovia started well, keeping Auburn off the board as it raced out to a 2-0 first-period lead.

Then the Lakers kept on playing well, withstanding the Maroons-mid-game charge as it pulled within 3-2 on goals by Mike Foltz and Billy Farrington.

During a tense third period, the Lakers pitched a shutout, mostly by keeping the puck in Auburn’s end as it ultimately took 50 shots to Auburn’s 15, and only a great effort by Maroons goalie Jeff Gardner (46 saves) kept it tight.

Billy Rankin, with two goals, led the way for Cazenovia’s attack. Joe Colligan and A.J. Davis each had one goal, while Jeff Stowell, Jake Stowell, Connor Race and Connor Cannizzaro all earned assists.

Snow postponed last Friday’s game at Fulton, adding to the Lakers’ challenge.

Cazenovia will make up that game Monday night, right before a home clash with Whitesboro Tuesday that might determine who gets that sixth and final playoff slot. Cazenovia concludes the regular season by visiting Oswego next Thursday night.

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