With the Division I playoff race continuing to be tight, the Cicero-North Syracuse ice hockey team knew every win, no matter the opponent, was important to claim.
So it helped the Northstars quite a lot when, in Friday's game against Baldwinsville at the Twin Rinks, it turned its offense loose in a 7-4 victory over the Bees.
Already with a 2-1 edge, CNS seized command late in the first period by scoring twice in the last minute before intermission to make it 4-1.
B'ville wouldn't quit, closing it to 4-3 in the second period and 5-4 in the third period, but CNS always answered and would ultimately regain its cushion.
Eric Hamilton had a big night, with a three-goal hat trick plus a pair of assists. Brian Hamilton had two goals and one assist, with Nick Schneid adding one goal and one assist. Curtis Howland also scored as Newell Field and Dan Rush had
assists. Zach Hall got an assist, too, and recorded 32 saves in the net.
A day later, in a non-league game against Clinton, the Northstars took an 8-3 loss, despite Brian Hamilton landing a pair of goals and Eric Hamilton adding one goal and one assist. Seven different players scored for Clinton as Will Blazer (two goals, one assist) led the way.
Back on Friday, Liverpool lost 5-2 to Solvay on the State Fair Coliseum ice both of them call home.
It was 2-1 after two periods, the Warriors staying close before Solvay, led by Forrest Gilbert (two goals) and Mike Sniffen (one goal, two assists), made a late burst.
Ryan Marino and Kody Gaulke landed Liverpool's goals, with Jeff Conese, Alex Bittel and Stephen Muller earning assists. In defeat, Joe Ciciarelli finished with 28 saves.
Liverpool is home again Tuesday to face Ithaca, weather permitting. CNS, meanwhile, has long road trips to Ontario Bay and Utica Proctor to worry about.