Dec 21, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
For 15 minutes, all was going well for the Cazenovia ice hockey team as it tried to roar back to life in its Friday night’s game at Oswego.
But all of that good work got undone in the ensuing 15 minutes as the Buccaneers, defending home ice, used a big surge to move out in front, and the Lakers never recovered, taking a 4-2 defeat.
Having lost 5-0 to Clinton earlier in the week, Cazenovia was in serious need of a good performance before it hit a busy holiday-week stretch that included an appearance in last weekend’s Cortland-Homer Tournament.
Despite the imposing reputation of Oswego’s home ice, Crisafulli Rink (also known as “The Fort”), Cazenovia struck quickly against the Bucs, scoring just 1:16 into the game, and then converting again in the last minute of the period to make it 2-0.
Trevor Cross and Will McCrink came up with the goals, while Alex Marshall and Colin McGaugh had the assists. And Lakers goaltender Mario Benedetti was turning back every shot he faced in the early going.
But when Oswego, angry that it had allowed that goal late in the opening frame, scored just 39 seconds into the second period, everything changed. Barely two minutes later, the Bucs tied it, 2-2, and a goal midway through the period put Cazenovia behind.
In a stretch of less than six minutes, the solid lead was gone, and though the Lakers settled down on the defensive end, it could not pull back even, unable to generate lots of chances against a stingy Bucs defense as Roy Donovan only had to make 14 saves.
When Benedetti was pulled for an extra attacker, Oswego put in an empty-net goal with 59 seconds left to settle it. Ryan Gunther, who scored twice, and Sean Mooney, with a pair of assists, led the Bucs to victory.
Cazenovia returned home to the Morrisville State IcePlex Monday to face Cicero-North Syracuse, but more was happening beyond the action on the ice.The game served as a fund-raiser for two scholarships set up by the Laker program.
One is the Neil Bailey Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of the Cazenovia High School senior who lost his life in a car accident in 1998 and was the brother of Kyle Bailey, the current C-NS hockey coach. Given annually, the Bailey award honors a player for his work ethic and sportsmanship.
Also, the Brian R. Gara Memorial Scholarship, newly established, will be given to a Cazenovia player demonstrating passion for education and hockey, along with a sense of humor. It’s given in memory of Gara, the captain of the Lakers’ 1982 Section III championship team, who passed away last July.
As to the game itself, the Northstars, despite an 0-6 record, managed to lead the game twice, but the Lakers rallied both times to salvage a 2-2 tie.
They were scoreless until the second period, when C-NS, after many missed opportunities (including a five-on-three situation), got in front with Luke Newell’s goal. Barely a minute later, though, it was 1-1, as Brenden Whalen got free on a breakaway and put one past Northstars goalie Brandon Gloska.
Early in the third period, at the 2:31 mark, C-NS’s Matt Siegel converted on a breakway, and Cazenovia trailed 2-1. Again, the Lakers bounced back, as Jake Stowell, taking deft passes from Whalen and Colin McGaugh, put home the tying goal midway through the period.
Despite all kinds of chances in the remaining minutes of regulation and overtime, including a flurry in the final seconds, it would stay even. Cazenovia would take a 1-3-2 record to this weekend’s Cortland-Homer Tournament.