Nothing seems impossible for the CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt ice hockey team, who now sits two victories away from a state Division II championship that, even a few weeks ago, seemed quite unlikely.
The Brothers continued its amazing post-season run of road victories by going to the Northtown Center in suburban Buffalo Saturday night and knocking off state no. 1-ranked West Seneca West 4-2.
This victory sends CBA/J-D back to Utica Memorial Auditorium, where it beat Oswego in the Section III final on Feb. 23. Next Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m., the Brothers play Beekmantown (Section VII) in the state semifinals, with the winner to get St. Lawrence or John Jay-Cross River in the March 10 championship game at 12:30.
Given what it had gone through in the playoffs, rising from a no. 5 seed to surprise Auburn, Skaneateles (in triple overtime) and Oswego for its first sectional title since 1981, a long bus ride and a late-night face-off against a 17-3-2 West Seneca West side didn't seem like that big of a deal to CBA/J-D.
Knowing that all the pressure lay with the "home" team, the Brothers went after the Indians from the start, and never trailed.
It was Ryan Durkin, author of so many big goals in this post-season (the triple-OT game-winner against Skaneateles, the go-ahead goal against Oswego), that found the net in the first period to give the Brothers a 1-0 lead, scoring off a feed from Scott Firman.
Then Durkin struck again in the second period, making it 2-0, a cushion that looked bigger given the way that CBA/J-D's defense, anchored by Sam Mueller, Jed Raby and goaltender Tim Decker, was shutting down everything that West Seneca West was trying to establish.
But it wasn't over yet. With 11:40 to play, the Indians' Jamie Tobias flicked a shot past Decker, making it 2-1 and causing some concern among the CBA/J-D faithful.
That concern went away, though, when Pete Dziergas answered by scoring just 2:32 later to stretch the margin back to 3-1 and Sam Mueller also scored to put the game out of the Indians' reach.
CBA/J-D is trying to become the fourth Section III team in the last five years to win a state Division II crown, joining New Hartford (2009, 2010) and Cazenovia (2011) in that club, while also going after its first-ever state title.