Camillus With 38.6 seconds left in the third period, facing a 1-0 deficit with a berth in the NYSPHSAA Final Four on the line Saturday night at Shove Park, West Genesee ice hockey coach Frank Colabufo used his time-out to rally the troops.
It was time to finally hit the game-tying goal, after trying for the greater part of two periods to do so, for it was the only way to keep an undefeated season alive.
But that didn’t happen, as the Wildcats managed two shots on goal, but didn't convert, in the final seconds of a dramatic regional clash with Fairport that ended in defeat, 1-0.
What had to hurt the most was that with just a few ticks left on the clock, the puck was just inches outside the net. A scrum ensued in front of Fairport goalie Ethan Kaiser, but it remained unresolved, as the final horn sounded and the Red Raiders poured onto the ice to begin an unlikely celebration.
Rarely do the Wildcats lose at home in any circumstance, much less to an opponent like Fairport, who had lost on this same ice 4-1 earlier in the season. But Fairport was a much better team now, especially on the defensive end, which WG would find out.
The game’s lone goal was scored in the last minute of the first period by Fairport's Pat Doud. The Red Raiders were on a power play, the first of just two they would enjoy in the evening, and Doud’s shot from 20 feet slid just past the left leg of star WG goalie Henry Burns and into the net.
From that point on, it was a battle of stringent defenses. Fairport relied heavily on physicality, earning five penalties throughout the course of the action, but killing off all of the Wildcats' power-play opportunities.