Hockey Lakers stunned in sectional final

Third-period rally pushes Auburn past Skaneateles, 2-1

In a span of less than six minutes, what looked like the Skaneateles boys ice hockey team's first Section III Division II championship in six years was undone - and by its biggest rival, no less.

Auburn, who had never won a sectional title before, withstood the Lakers' furious assault of the first two periods and, with a pair of third-period goals, rallied to prevail 2-1 in Saturday's sectional final at Utica Memorial Auditiorium.

"The puck didn't bounce our way today," said Skaneateles head coach Mitch Major. "But I couldn't be more proud of our guys."

Skaneateles, whose last sectional championship was earned in 2008, at least had some history of finishing on top. By contrast, Auburn's only sectional title game appearance came 25 years ago, in 1989, and it had lost that game 8-1 to Rome Free Academy.

It was up to the Lakers to not just prevent the Maroons from breaking through, but to play a lot better than it did when it lost to Auburn 4-0 earlier in the month at Casey Park.

And right from the outset, Skaneateles applied most of the pressure, knowing that in both of its regular-season encounters with Auburn it could not generate scoring opportunities. It was helped by Auburn surrendering the puck in its own end, increasing the Lakers' puck possession.

Late in the first period, after killing off Auburn's first power play, the Lakers got a man advantage of its own, peppering goalie Brandon Entenmann, who made two glove saves, part of an eight-save effort that kept it 0-0 going into the first intermission.

That scoreless tie only lasted 2:17 into the second period. Even after the Maroons killed off a second Laker power play, Skaneateles maintained the pressure and forced another turnover as Raymond Falso wrapped around the net and shot one high, over Entemann's shoulder for a 1-0 lead.

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