Feb 11, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
What was shaping up as a possible championship push by the Fayetteville-Manlius ice hockey team is at a sudden and unexpected end.
Since it played one more game than the 20 that it was allotted during the regular season, it is unable to compete in the Section III Division I playoffs.
According to Section III ice hockey chairman John Cunningham, the fact that F-M had played that extra game was not brought up until Saturday, a day before the sectional meeting to determine the playoff pairings and game times.
By that time, it was too late. The game F-M made up on Saturday night, a 4-2 defeat to Rome Free Academy at Cicero Twin Rinks, was a league contest, but some RFA coaches noticed that F-M had announced its record as 12-7-1, meaning that it had already played the maximum 20 games allotted by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.
Called to the rink, F-M athletic director Scott Sugar said it had reported one game as a scrimmage, but the opponent had a score sheet that proved otherwise. Consequently, when the sectional meeting took place, Sugar, along with a pair of F-M coaches, self-reported the season-ending violation.
NYSPHAA rules dictate that if a team in any sport plays more than the maximum, it becomes ineligible for the post-season. This has happened a few times before, including a noted case with Holland (Section VI) in 2011 where school officials discovered, too late, that it had played 17 games instead of 16.
In this case, it meant that F-M, who plays 15 games within Division I, was only allowed five non-league games. But it played six, two against Cazenovia and one each against Oswego, Ithaca, Potsdam and Canton, a fact not discovered until just before the playoff meeting.
Cunningham said that it was an unfortunate situation for F-M’s players, coaches, parents and fans, who just a few days ago were feeling quite good.
When the Hornets beat Baldwinsville 7-1 last Thursday night at Cicero Twin Rinks, it thought it had clinched a first-round home playoff game, set for next Friday, against Central Square.
Instead, it has to watch B’ville play Central Square in the first round and wonder if a 13-7-1 season would have led to much more had it stayed on the ice.
In a statement on Monday, F-M superintendent Corliss Kaiser announced that the school would appeal the decision.
“”We have reached out to our school attorney, and we are launching an appeal,” Kaiser said. “It appears this was a scheduling error – something not caused by the students – and we feel strongly that the students should not be punished for something that was out of their control.”