Feb 16, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
So the CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt ice hockey team headed on the road for the entirety of the Section III Division II playoffs, not considered as a favorite, but still respected as a squad that, at its best, could provide a real danger to favored home sides.
Stop if this sounds familiar.
Yes, it’s the exact same template the Brothers used to make its stunning, dramatic run to the state Division II title a winter ago, only this time CBA/J-D hasn’t played as well in the latter portion of the regular season as in 2013, which makes a similar state championship run even more improbable.
All the Brothers, with an 8-8-4 record entering the sectional tournament, had to do, at first, was get one road victory – which it did Saturday when it ventured to New Hartford and rushed past the Spartans 4-1 in the Division II quarterfinals.
Physical play at the start benefited CBA/J-D, who went on the power play and, barely four minutes into the first period, took a 1-0 lead when Lucas Relkin, taking advantage of an odd puck bounce off the board, ripped a shot past Spartans goalie Mike Cuchiarale.
New Hartford attacked hard the rest of the period, but none of its eight shots got past Tim Decker, who kept it 1-0 with the same sort of net magic he displayed in that state title run a season ago.
Early in the second period, though, the Spartans did tie it, 1-1, as Cullen Moran’s one-timer, a shot similar to Relkin’s, eluded Decker and found the net. But that was all Decker would allow in a game where he turned away 25 of the Spartans’ 26 shots.
More penalty woes for the Spartans struck as it took a four-minute major, and Ryan Durkin scored to put CBA/J-D ahead for good. It stayed 2-1 until the third period, when yet another power play led to yet another Brothers man-advantage goal, this one by Ryan McKee.
Durkin added an empty-netter in the final minute, and the Brothers were on its way to Tuesday’s Division II semifinal against Auburn, a team CBA/J-D lost to twice in the regular season.
Yet it’s also the place where that state championship run started a year ago, and the Brothers hope that magic replicates itself and a place in Saturday’s final at Utica Memorial Auditorium against Skaneateles or Oswego takes hold.
Meanwhile, Fayetteville-Manlius, whose well-earned playoff spot was taken away for playing one too many regular-season games in 2013, did get to participate this time around in the Division I sectional tournament.
But it didn’t last long for the Hornets, who fell to Rome Free Academy at Kennedy Arena last Friday night by that same 4-1 margin. Unlike their Jan. 14 meeting, which F-M lost in overtime, the Black Knights didn’t wait to seize control.
RFA got a 2-1 second-period lead despite Tommy Ryu’s unassisted goal, and then added a pair of insurance goals in the third period, just like CBA/J-D did. Keegan Richie scored twice for the Black Knights as Hornets goalie Ben Napierala recorded 38 saves.