Of all the remarkable chapters in the CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt ice hockey team's 2012-13 season, what happened in Saturday's state Division II semifinal against Beekmantown at Utica Memorial Auditorium might have topped them all.
Trailing by two goals to the Eagles late in the third period, the Brothers made it all up, forced overtime - and won it, 4-3, on a goal by Sam Mueller in the final minute of the first extra period.
So a CBA/J-D side that was once 1-6 in December is now one win from the state title, which it will try to attain Sunday in Utica against John Jay-Cross River (Section I). Face-off is at 12:30.
Clearly, CBA/J-D adjusted better to the early-morning face-off in the semifinal game. It dominated the game's first 10 minutes, attacking Beekmantown and taking eight shots to the Eagles' one.
Beekmantown goalie Dustin Plumadore turned away most of the chances, but Braeden Doust put home a rebound 6:05 into the game and the Brothers had a 1-0 lead.
An early key, though, was that CBA/J-D didn't add to that margin. So when the Eagles started to pick up its pace late in the first period, it was still close, and Nate Foster started to take charge when he scored at the 12:04 mark to tie it, 1-1.
Now with the momentum, the Eagles controlled most of the second period, and now it was Brothers goaltender Tim Decker under assault. On a power play at the 6:44 mark, Foster connected with his second goal, and CBA/J-D trailed 2-1.
The real blow seemed to come with just 9.2 seconds left in the second period. Beekmantown continued to attack, and Foster, on an odd-angle shot, beat Decker to complete his hat trick and send the Brothers to the final period trailing, 3-1.
In a way, though, that may have helped CBA/J-D. Protecting a two-goal lead in the third, the Eagles got cautious, abandoning the attacking spirit that had worked so well in the game's middle stages.