The NAC Division II hockey race grew that much tighter on Friday as Norwood-Norfolk Central dropped a 6-5 overtime decision on the road to the Islanders and OFA skated to a 4-1 win on the road over Canton Central.
The combination of the Icemen’s loss and Blue Devils’ win has created a tie top the division with both teams standing at 8-4 against NAC rivals heading into the final week of the regular season.
Islanders 6, N-N 5 (OT): At Cerow Park in Clayton, N-N built a 4-1 lead midway through the second period and were ahead 5-3 early in the third before the Islanders (5-13, 3-0) battled back to earn the win.
Reed Gravlin tallied three goals for N-N. Bobby Voss fashioned a goal and three assists while Cade VanBuren struck for the fifth Icemen goal 2:23 into the third period. Jude Lauzon contributed a solo helper in the losing effort.
Mason Aubertine led the Islanders with four goals and heled set up the other two by Trent Barnes and the game-winner with 49 seconds left in the five-minute overtime by Chris Wetterhan. Barnes and Wetterhan both had solo helpers along with Hunter Garnsey while Reese Grey helped set up five of the six goals.
Clayton Hall turned aside 41 shots working the crease for the win while Thomas Cafarella made 27 saves for N-N.
The Icemen are now slated to host NAC Division I leading Massena on Wednesday at Dominic Zappia Arena in Norfolk starting at 7 p.m.
OFA 4, Canton 1: In the lone other NAC boys hockey matchup at the Canton Pavilion, the teams traded power play goals in the first period before the Blue Devils (13-5-1, 8-4) broke away for the key late-season road win.
Karson LaRose, Kaleb Spears, Drew Costello and Nolan O’Donnell struck for the goals in the winning effort. Marc Barr logged a pair of assists and Kelson Hooper made 21 saves.
Rhett Palmer finished off a play set up by Connor Snell and Peter Coakley to account for the Golden Bears goal. Hayden Todd made 17 saves in the losing cause.
Both teams are back in action against NAC rivals on the road next Wednesday with OFA traveling to Brasher Falls to take on Division II rival St. Lawrence Central at the Tri-Town Arena starting at 7 p.m. while Canton (3-13-1, 3-4-1) heads to Fort Covington to take on Salmon River at Tom Cavanaugh Arena starting at 6:30 p.m.