CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt ice hockey players mob Sam Mueller after his goal late in the first overtime period completed a come-from-behind, 4-3 victory over Beekmantown in Saturday's state Division II semifinal at Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Forced to rush to the net, the Brothers started to get chances, and with 4:21 left in regulation off a two-on-one break, Ryan Durkin's back-handed shot zipped past Plumadore and cut the deficit to 3-2.
So it stayed until the final minute. Pulling Decker for the extra attacker, CBA/J-D made one more push, forcing a face-off with 15.6 seconds left. The Brothers won it, and amid a flurry of chances, Durkin, as he's done so many times in the post-season, delivered the big play, stuffing the loose puck into the net for a 3-3 tie. Doust picked up the assist.
They went to overtime, something that CBA/J-D had survived (three extra periods) in the Section III semifinal against Skaneateles. Newly energized, it continued to push into the Beekmantown end throughout the seven minute, 30 second extra frame.
Then, late in that OT, Mueller, taking advantage of an Eagle forward slipping to the ice, broke in with Durkin and flung a hard shot that beat Plumadore high, hit so hard that it stuck atop the net until the official released it, making the game-winning goal official and sending the Brothers to its first-ever state title game.
CBA faces a John Jay-Cross River side that made its own late comeback - five unanswered goals in the third period - to beat St. Lawrence 6-4 in the other semifinal game. Thus, both teams go into the final believing they are destined to win it all - and one of them will be right.