If there was any question about whether the CBA/J-D ice hockey team could make a Division II championship push, it’s answered now.
Having already won six consecutive games the Brothers earned its biggest victory of the season to date when it went to Oswego Thursday night and, with a third-period comeback, knocked off the defending Division II champion Buccaneers 2-1.
This was the same Oswego side that CBA/J-D lost to, 5-3, in the league opener Nov. 30, and that was on home ice in Nedrow. Now it was making the trip to Crisafulli Rink, also known as “The Fort”, a venue where few road teams ever prevail.
Defenses on both sides ruled for much of the night. It was 0-0 until the second period, when Oswego’s Zach Zerrahn, off a pass from Sean Mooney, beat Tim Decker to put the Bucs in front 1-0.
That was all Decker would allow, though, as he recorded 15 saves, aided in no small part by a tremendous CBA/J-D back line that broke up most of Oswego’s rushes and kept the game within reach.
Then, in the third period, the Brothers made its move. Ryan Durkin and Scott Firman struck for the decisive goals, each of them putting shots past Oswego goalie Chase Izyk, who had recorded four consecutive shutouts at one point this season. Sam Mueller got credit for an assist.
With that win, CBA/J-D improved to 7-4 in league play and, with 14 points, moved within two points of Oswego and one point of Skaneateles, whom it would face Tuesday at Onondaga Nation Arena.
Two nights earlier, the Brothers hosted Cazenovia at Onondaga Nation Arena last Tuesday night, and worked its way past that other group of Lakers by a 5-2 margin.
A key to it all was the way CBA/J-D started. A sharp attack allowed the Brothers to quickly gain a 3-1 lead in the first period.