Skaneateles Two long weeks, plenty of rest, and the last-minute revision of a weekend slate did nothing to slow down the Skaneateles boys ice hockey team, nor did it curtail its newfound, uncanny ability to deliver the big plays right when they are needed the most.
In Friday night's opening round of the Duke Schneider Memorial Tournament, the Lakers trailed Canandaigua late in the third period, only to score twice in a span of 22 seconds to turn a possible defeat into a satisfying 2-1 victory that, by the end of the weekend, had helped propel Skaneateles to the tournament title.
The win resembled what took place on that same home ice Dec. 20, when Skaneateles, no. 9 in the latest state Division II rankings, rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final minutes of regulation and beat rival Auburn 3-2 on Patrick Major's goal with five seconds left in overtime.
Following that, the Lakers alternated between practice and rest before suiting up for the Schneider Tournament - which ended up taking a very different shape from its original intent.
At first, Skaneateles was to face Clarence (Section VI) in Friday's opening round after another Section VI squad, Williamsville South, played Canandaigua. But weather issues kept Williamsville South from making the trip, reducing it to a three-team field.
As a result, the schedule was changed. Now Skaneateles would face Canandaigua on Friday, with the Braves turning around to take on Clarence Saturday before a game between the Lakers and Red Devils on Sunday to close things out.
Just as with Auburn, the Lakers would find plenty of early frustration against Canandaigua. Twice in the opening period, Skaneateles picked up power plays, but did not convert either of them.
Keeping up the pressure, the Lakers harassed the Braves early in the second period, but it remained 0-0, and after it killed off a third Skaneateles power play, Canandaigua broke through with Connor Heeb's goal with just 23.6 seconds left in the period to go in front 1-0.