Jan 26, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
While there’s no question that the Skaneateles girls ice hockey team is the strongest Section III side heading into the post-season, it still had a slip-up right before the post-season that might prove beneficial in the end.
Having beaten Oswego 4-1 on Jan. 16 at Austin Ice Pavilion, the Lakers took control again in the rematch five days later at Crisafulli Rink, topping the Buccaneers by the exact same 4-1 margin to extend its win streak to eight games.
This game at the rink known as “The Fort” was originally set for Jan. 6, but got pushed back due to a weather postponement. In the two weeks that followed, Skaneateles went from a modestly improving squad to a confident, red-hot unit that was clicking in all phases of the game.
And in the rematch with Oswego, the Lakers displayed just how much it had improved, finding the net three times in the first period alone to counteract the goal by the Bucs’ Allie Rogers.
Then Skaneateles added to that 3-1 lead in the second period as Lynn Copeland led the charge, pouring in a pair of goals as Riley Donahue contributed a pair of assists. Sophie Kush and Morgan Matthews recorded the other goals, with Madison Singler, Caroline McGuigan and Allison Weiss also earning assists.
Though Oswego goalie Madi Singler prevented anything else from going in the net and made 31 saves, the Bucs found itself shut down throughout the last two periods, rarely getting shots against a stout Skaneateles defense as Amanda Lupo only had to make 14 saves.
With this win in the books, the Lakers saw Wednesday’s game with Ithaca postponed by the Arctic blast that closed most schools in the area.
And perhaps that postponement slowed down all of the momentum the Lakers had built up, for when it went back on the road Friday night, Skaneateles saw that eight-game win streak come to a halt in a 3-2 defeat to defending state tournament champion Beekmantown.
Back on Dec. 21, the Lakers beat Beekmantown by that same 3-2 margin, which proved a big boost of confidence for Skaneateles, as the subsequent win streak would show.
Here, though, Beekmantown kept Skaneateles off the board in the first period, and then matched goals in the second frame before finding the net twice in the final period, something the Lakers could not equal.
Kush notched one goal and assisted on the other, by Allison Weiss. Claire Michel and Sarah Sauda also picked up assists as Lupo put together a 30-save effort that wasn’t quite enough.
Less than 24 hours later, Skaneateles was on the ice again, facing Salmon River, and quickly bent back to its winning ways, rolling past the Shamrocks 6-2.
Attacking quite well, the Lakers grabbed a 3-0 lead by the end of the first period, and then made it 6-1 by the time they reached the third period, quickly learning the lesson of how important it was to establish control early before an opponent got confidence and momentum.
Grace Schnorr stepped up, with two goals and one assist, as Michel had a goal and two assists to lead a deep and versatile attack. Lauren Jones also had a pair of assists as Kush managed one goal and one assist. Kuhns and Weiss also found the net as Sauda and Paige Postalwait got one assist apiece.
Now comes the Section III playoffs, with semifinals and finals this week at Austin Ice Pavilion and the winner advancing to next weekend’s state final four at Alexandria Bay.