The Skaneateles girls ice hockey team earned a share of the state championship on Saturday at Clayton Recreation Park Arena, playing Potsdam to a 1-1, four-overtime tie, after which the Lakers and Sandstoners were declared co-champions.
By now, all the players were going all-out, and were tired. So the break to clean the ice before the third OT period gave the Lakers and Sandstoners a much-needed chance to refresh and regroup before the final push.
Yet a third OT period came and went without a resolution. And when the fourth and final extra period ended on even terms, Skaneateles and Potsdam gladly shared the state crown that both of them so desperately wanted for themselves.
As she had done all season, Lakers goaltender Amanda Lupo turned in a sensational effort in the net, stopping 44 of the 46 shots she faced in this marathon. Molnar picked up 28 saves.
All of this was set up by the Lakers’ impressive effort in the state semifinals the night before. Against defending champion Beekmantown, Skaneateles blew the game open in the third period, going on to defeat the Eagles 6-2.
These two teams had met twice in the regular season, splitting a pair of 3-2 decisions. And for a long while, the third and most important encounter was headed in that same direction.
Despite not having a lot of early chances, Skaneateles went in front 1-0 in the first period, only to have the Eagles score three seconds before the period ended. Instead of getting rattled, though, the Lakers again took the lead on Madison Singler’s second-period tally.
Up 2-1 going to the third period, the Lakers saw Beekmantown go on a power play and convert on it early in that frame, pulling even again, 2-2. Lupo would not allow anything else, though, picking up 29 saves and giving her teammates a chance to reclaim control.
And once it reclaimed the lead 3-2, Skaneateles proceeded to overwhelm the Eagles with its depth and add three more unanswered goals in the waning minutes, turning a tight game into an impressive victory.