From the time the Baldwinsville ice hockey team played Rome Free Academy to a 2-2 tie on Dec. 23 at Kennedy Arena, it did not see game action again for nearly two weeks.
It wasn’t intended that way. After some holiday rest, the Bees were set to meet Fayetteville-Manlius on Thursday at Cicero Twin Rinks for its first contest of 2014.
But weather forced postponements on both occasions, meaning that B’ville went 12 days before competing again, doing so in last Saturday’s game against Fairport (Section V) at Thomas Creek Ice Arena.
And it turned out to be a classic, B’ville falling to the state Division II no. 12-ranked Red Raiders 5-4 as a furious rally in the third period fell just short.
It started quietly enough, Fairport scoring the lone goal of the first period at the 8:57 mark as Brent Mazurkiewicz found the net. But the fun really started 56 seconds into the second period, when Garrett Gray’s goal, assisted by Matt Monaco, tied it 1-1.
Angered by this, the Red Raiders went all-out and scored three unanswered goals in a span of less than four minutes to get a 4-1 lead. Severin Parrow’s tally put Fairport back in front, followed by a goal from Cody Howatt and Mazurkiewicz’s second goal at the 10:24 mark.
It went to the third period still 4-1, and briefly the Bees came back to life as Adam Tretowicz, off a feed from Matt Abbott, converted on the power play. Yet Fairport restored the margin thanks to Quinn Wiedemer’s goal with 8:50 to play.
That would turn out to be necessary for the Red Raiders. Tretowicz notched his second goal with 4:09 left, with assists from Gray and Monaco, and just 18 seconds later the Bees’ deficit shrank to one as Tretowicz this time fed it to Monaco for the goal, with Gray getting his second assist.
Now in full defensive mode, Fairport managed to hang on as goalie Luke Barnes, who finished with 15 saves, turned back all of the Bees’ late chances. Much busier on the end, B’ville netminder Nick Harper made 32 saves.
This marked the eighth time in nine games B’ville (4-3-2) has seen a game decided by one goal or less as it heads into Tuesday’s showdown with 10-0, state no. 1-ranked West Genesee at Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena, a precursor to Friday’s trip to Fulton.