Someone had to provide the alarm if the Liverpool ice hockey team wanted to escape an upset bid from Cicero-North Syracuse in last Wednesday's Division I opener at the Twin Rinks in Cicero.
That "someone" turned out to be Jeremy Isbell, whose natural hat trick in the second period proved to be the difference in the Warriors' 5-2 victory over the Northstars.
Liverpool was playing its opening game of the 2008-09 season, while CNS had gone 1-1 to finish third at a tournament in the Albany area during Thanksgiving weekend.
Thus, even though it had a deeper roster, the Warriors spent much of the first period getting used to game action again. CNS had most of the scoring chances, but couldn't put anything past Liverpool goaltender Matt Miller, who would finish with 25 saves.
At the 8:01 mark of the period, Liverpool went ahead 1-0 when Brad Capone deflected a slap shot past CNS goalie Joe Feldman. That held up until the opening seconds of the second period when, on a power play, Aaron Hildreth answered to tie it 1-1.
Then Isbell began to take over. Charging in from the right side, Isbell fired a wrist shot, beating Feldman 3:13 into the second period.
When the Northstars' Tyler Strutz scored at the 9:16 mark to even it again, 2-2, Isbell came right back, connecting on another low wrist shot just 53 seconds later, and Liverpool had a 3-2 lead.
But the real big blow came just 21.5 seconds before the period ended. Amid a scramble in front of the Northstars' net, Isbell fell to the ice, yet still poked the puck past Feldman to complete his hat trick.
Now up by two goals, Liverpool wore down CNS in the third period. Mike Bay, who already had two assists, tacked on an insurance goal with nine minutes left to account for the final margin. For the Northstars, Will Kaljeskie and Anthony Cirillo both got credit for assists.