Fully rested, and ready to strike, the Cazenovia hockey team began the climactic push toward its Feb. 10 Division II West regular-season championship showdown with first-place New Hartford.
Now ranked no. 3 in the state Division II poll, the Lakers hosted Westmoreland Friday at the Morrisville State IcePlex and rode the hot stick of Carter Franz to an 8-2 romp of the Bulldogs.
Through the first two periods, Westmoreland could not get anything against the Lakers' defense, giving Cazenovia enough time to race to a 5-0 advantage.
Franz stood at the forefront and, by game's end, had a season-best four goals to go with one assist. Often, the passes came from Ben Lewis or Sean Cannizzaro, as both of them finished with three assists.
Behind them, Joe Nardella, Sean Dougherty, Lucas Catania and Brian Gara also scored, with Nardella and Gara adding assists. Devon Howard, Seth Goldacker and Sam Lewis also found their way to the assist column.
To make that New Hartford game as meaningful as possible, Cazenovia had to beat Clinton Tuesday night at the IcePlex, plus handle a trip to Hamilton.