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Skaneateles girls hockey reaches sectional final

Title game will be played Tuesday at Austin Park Pavilion

— After charging its way into the Section III championship game that it will play on its home ice, the Skaneateles girls ice hockey team found itself waiting for its most important contests of the season.

Heavy snows near Lake Ontario early this week caused a long delay in the Section III semifinal between Oswego and Alexandria Bay.

Originally set for Wednesday, the Buccaneers and Purple Ghosts now will face off Monday night, and the winner there Lakers in Tuesday night’s sectional final at Austin Park Pavilion at 7:30.

In that game, a spot in next weekend's state final four at Clayton Recreation Park Arena is on the line as the champions from Section III, VII, VI and X will gather up north to determine a state champion.

Due to the delays, the Lakers would have to wait nearly a week to find out who it would face in the sectional finals, though it did give them a chance to rest following a crowded stretch that, including the playoff opener, featured four games in a six-day stretch.

Ironically, the sectional semifinal game Wednesday night at Austin Ice Pavilion pitted Skaneateles against the same Ithaca team it had beaten 6-0 just three days earlier in the regular-season finale.

But the rematch went the same way as the Lakers, following some early worries, pulled away to beat the Little Red 5-1.

All looked fine when, less than three minutes into the opening period, Madison Singler scored off a feed from Grace Schnorr. But even though the Lakers kept the puck in Ithaca’s end most of the time, the Little Red tied it, 1-1, at the 9:45 mark.

And It stayed even through most of the second period, too. Despite taking 23 shots to Ithaca’s four, the Lakers simply could not convert, as post-season nerves translated into nervous attempts that could not find the target.

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