So much of the Skaneateles ice hockey team’s ultimate fate in the 2013-14 season could hinge on what happens in Wednesday night’s trip to Casey Rink to face Auburn.
First place in the Division II American Conference is on the line, with the Maroons ably recovering from the 3-2 defeat it took to the Lakers at Allyn Arena on Dec. 20 – a game where it led 2-0 late in regulation, only to see Skaneateles stage a stunning late comeback.
This would be the Maroons’ last game of the regular season, while the Lakers still have another league game against Clinton Sunday afternoon and, in between, host the Division I Syracuse Cougars Friday night at Allyn Arena.
The immediate prelude for Skaneateles to the Auburn duel was Saturday night’s trip to Onondaga Nation Arena to face defending state Division II champion CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt, a team Auburn had already swept and the Lakers had stopped, also by a 3-2 margin, back on Dec. 17.
Now it was Skaneateles’ turn to earn a sweep, doing so by battling past the Brothers 3-1 in a game that did not feature any real scoring burst, but rather a consistent effort.
Skaneateles scored once in each of the first two periods and kept CBA/J-D off the board, too, gaining a 2-0 lead. Though Lucas Relkin would score in the third period to break up the possible Laker shutout, it was all that the Brothers could manage.
Owen Kuhns got two of the three Skaneateles goals, and Raymond Falso earned the other, assisting on one of Kuhns’ tallies. Patrick Major chimed in with a pair of assists. Jarrett McDonald was superb in goal, stopping 20 of the 21 shots he faced.
The game with CBA/J-D followed last Tuesday night’s visit to The Rink to face Ithaca, who had just entered the state Division I rankings at the no. 13 spot. Here, Skaneateles got a dose of its own comeback medicine, falling to the Little Red in yet another 3-2 decision.
Kuhns scored goals in each of the first two periods, pushing the Lakers in front 2-1. Yet Ithaca came back, tying it and the moving in front in the final period to overcome Kyle Oschner’s 23 saves. Charlie Estill, Jacob Grippin and Graham Mandl scored for the Little Red.