Cazenovia's ice hockey team has slowly acquired a taste of what it's like to play among the Section III Division II elite. Now it wants to enjoy the whole feast.
A season ago, the Lakers went 18-2-1 in the regular season, rose to second in Division II East (behind eventual state champion New Hartford) and advanced to the sectional semifinals before Corcoran ousted them in overtime.
Some standouts have departed, including first-team all-league forward Carter Franz and goaltender J.R. Vecchiarelli, but a host of talent is back as head coach Jon Davignon moves his program forward.
Hosting Utica Proctor in last Tuesday's opener at the Morrisville State College IcePlex, the Lakers had the best possible first period on its way to an 8-2 romp over the Raiders.
Attacking at will in those first 15 minutes, Cazenovia didn't stop until it had a 5-0 advantage. Joe Nardella led the push, on his way to a night that included three goals and two assists.
Though the Lakers cooled down in the game's latter stages, it hardly mattered. Sam Lewis, with one goal and two assists, offered the main help, as Connor Cannizzaro, Brian Gara, Jeff Stowell and Lucas Catania also scored. Sean Cannizzaro joined Lewis with two assists. Overall, the Lakers had 57 shots to Proctor's 16.
Following another week of work, Cazenovia is back in action this Wednesday, at Whitesboro, before a Friday home date with Fayetteville-Manlius.