Jan 05, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
When it got time to appearing in its own Optimist Tournament, the Cicero-North Syracuse ice hockey team was on a full-fledged roll — and didn’t stop here, either.
By the time the Northstars were done whipping a pair of Albany-area opponents, it had won six games in a span of nine days, refusing to bow to exhaustion or fatigue and getting all kinds of first-rate performances, too.
It began on Dec. 26 and 27, with a first-place finish in the Rome Free Academy Tournament. Then, in a return to the Twin Rinks two days later, the Northstars held off Auburn 4-3, with Will Kaljeskie getting the game-wining goal in overtime.
Then came a visit last Tuesday from Corcoran, the Division II West leaders. Continuing its hottest stretch in program history, CNS beat the Cougars 3-0.
This show belonged to Joe Feldman, the Northstars’ acrobatic goaltender. All Feldman did was turn away 35 different Corcoran shots, helped in no small part by the team’s fast start.
CNS got all the offense it needed in the first two periods, when Aaron Hildreth and Billy Temple each got one goal and one assist, and Brian Hamilton also scored. Anthony Cirillo added an assist.
And the fun would continue in the Optimist Tournament, which kicked off Friday night at the Twin Rinks with the Northstars handling Burnt Hills (Section II) by a score of 8-3.
For a while, Burnt Hills kept pace, only trailing 4-3 going into the third period. CNS found the accelerator, though, tearing away from the Spartans by getting a quartet of unanswered goals in the third period.
Even with all the defense concentrated on them, Hildreth and Kaljeskie both finished with three goals and two assists, with Monroe feeding them both on his way to three assists. Hamilton and Cody Spadaro each had one goal and one assist, with Cirillo adding two assists and Zach Ryan also earning an assist.
Since Cazenovia beat Bethlehem 5-1, it was determined that the two visiting Albany teams would not meet each other in a consolation game, but instead switch opponents — the Northstars facing Bethlehem, the Lakers taking on Burnt Hills.
Again, the local teams prevailed. After Cazenovia beat Burnt Hills 5-3, CNS again leaned on Hildreth to claim a 6-2 win over Bethlehem.
Never trailing, CNS gradually built its attack over the course of the afternoon — and no matter what it did, Hildreth was involved.
Hildreth had a part in all six goals, scoring four times and adding a pair of assists. Kaljeskie also had two assists to go with his single tally, while Cirillo got one goal and one assist. Monroe earned an assist, too, as Feldman turned away 25 of the 27 shots he faced.
Suddenly at 9-4 on the season, CNS is poised for a Division I playoff push, and could not rest at all, hosting Oswego Tuesday before meeting Fayetteville-Manlius Thursday night, F-M also uses the Twin Rinks as a home ice.