Mar 09, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Of all the remarkable chapters in the CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt ice hockey team’s 2012-13 season, what happened in Saturday’s state Division II semifinal against Beekmantown at Utica Memorial Auditorium might have topped them all.
Trailing by two goals to the Eagles late in the third period, the Brothers made it all up, forced overtime – and won it, 4-3, on a goal by Sam Mueller in the final minute of the first extra period.
So a CBA/J-D side that was once 1-6 in December is now one win from the state title, which it will try to attain Sunday in Utica against John Jay-Cross River (Section I). Face-off is at 12:30.
Clearly, CBA/J-D adjusted better to the early-morning face-off in the semifinal game. It dominated the game’s first 10 minutes, attacking Beekmantown and taking eight shots to the Eagles’ one.
Beekmantown goalie Dustin Plumadore turned away most of the chances, but Braeden Doust put home a rebound 6:05 into the game and the Brothers had a 1-0 lead.
An early key, though, was that CBA/J-D didn’t add to that margin. So when the Eagles started to pick up its pace late in the first period, it was still close, and Nate Foster started to take charge when he scored at the 12:04 mark to tie it, 1-1.
Now with the momentum, the Eagles controlled most of the second period, and now it was Brothers goaltender Tim Decker under assault. On a power play at the 6:44 mark, Foster connected with his second goal, and CBA/J-D trailed 2-1.
The real blow seemed to come with just 9.2 seconds left in the second period. Beekmantown continued to attack, and Foster, on an odd-angle shot, beat Decker to complete his hat trick and send the Brothers to the final period trailing, 3-1.
In a way, though, that may have helped CBA/J-D. Protecting a two-goal lead in the third, the Eagles got cautious, abandoning the attacking spirit that had worked so well in the game’s middle stages.
Forced to rush to the net, the Brothers started to get chances, and with 4:21 left in regulation off a two-on-one break, Ryan Durkin’s back-handed shot zipped past Plumadore and cut the deficit to 3-2.
So it stayed until the final minute. Pulling Decker for the extra attacker, CBA/J-D made one more push, forcing a face-off with 15.6 seconds left. The Brothers won it, and amid a flurry of chances, Durkin, as he’s done so many times in the post-season, delivered the big play, stuffing the loose puck into the net for a 3-3 tie. Doust picked up the assist.
They went to overtime, something that CBA/J-D had survived (three extra periods) in the Section III semifinal against Skaneateles. Newly energized, it continued to push into the Beekmantown end throughout the seven minute, 30 second extra frame.
Then, late in that OT, Mueller, taking advantage of an Eagle forward slipping to the ice, broke in with Durkin and flung a hard shot that beat Plumadore high, hit so hard that it stuck atop the net until the official released it, making the game-winning goal official and sending the Brothers to its first-ever state title game.
CBA faces a John Jay-Cross River side that made its own late comeback – five unanswered goals in the third period – to beat St. Lawrence 6-4 in the other semifinal game. Thus, both teams go into the final believing they are destined to win it all – and one of them will be right.