Hockey Lakers tear through Proctor, Westmoreland

A pair of one-sided wins helped clinch a playoff spot for the Cazenovia ice hockey team -- and also kept them alive in the race for the Division II East regular-season title.

Going to Utica Auditorium Wednesday night, the Lakers reached double digits in the scoring column and crushed the Raiders 10-3.

This was a steady effort, not done in one burst. Cazenovia scored at least three times in each period and got a pair of individual hat tricks along the way.

Brian Gara finished with four goals, as newcomer John Giajella put together the first three-goal effort of his varsity career.

Joe Nardella scored twice, adding an assist, while Sean Cannizzaro had a goal and three assists. Sam Lewis finished with four assists as Jeff Stowell and Tom Colligan each got two assists. Connor Cannizzaro, Lucas Catania and Zach Bonavita each had one assist.

Two nights later, Cazenovia went to Westmoreland and did much the same thing, bashing the Bulldogs 8-3.

Here, a pair of scoring spurts proved decisive. Cazenovia bolted out to a 3-1 first-period lead, then watched Westmoreland hang close until the Lakers scored four times in the third period to draw clear.

Lewis filled the role Gara had against Proctor, pouring in four goals, while Connor Cannizzaro proved quite generous, earning four assists as Nardella claimed three assists.

Catania stepped up with two goals and one assist. Sean Cannizzaro backed up his single goal with three assists, and Gara wasn't quiet, either, earning one goal and one assist. John Gracean contributed an assist, too.

These two wins pushed the Lakers to 16 points in Division II East, one back of New Hartford and Rome Free Academy with two weeks left in the regular season. Cazenovia (11-3-2, 7-1-2 league) goes to Clinton on Tuesday and hosts Hamilton Friday night.

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