Cicero A decade into its existence, the Fayetteville-Manlius ice hockey team had steadily worked its way from upstart to contender before it took on Cicero-North Syracuse in last Friday’s opening round of the Section III Division I playoffs.
But the Hornets’ 7-4 conquest of the Northstars at Cicero Twin Rinks held its own special value, as it marked F-M’s first-ever post-season win and set up a chance to beat four-time defending champ West Genesee in this Wednesday’s semifinal round.
F-M and C-NS both share the Twin Rinks as a home facility. However, when they met in the regular season, it took place at Onondaga Nation Arena, part of the “Pink for the Rink” fund-raiser for the Carol Baldwin Breast Cancer Foundation.
The Hornets won that encounter, 6-3, and the high-stakes rematch at the Twin Rinks would follow a similar path, F-M waiting for the right time to take charge.
That came midway through a 0-0 first period, when Cooper Holick struck twice in 13 seconds. First, Holick converted off a feed from Trevor Chase, and then he charged after the ensuing face-off as the puck drifted toward the C-NS net and, off a rebound, poked home another goal.
After Chase made it 3-0 at the 11:50 mark, F-M started to relax – a bit too much, as it turned out. Eric Hamilton and Nick Schneid both found the net before intermission, cutting the Hornets’ margin to 3-2, and Jesse Farabee tied it early in the second period.
Finally, F-M regrouped as Anthony Angello put his side back in front, 4-3, and Chase tacked on a second goal. Ahead 5-3 going into the third period, the Hornets needed just 23 seconds to spread the margin to three as Chase completed his hat trick, and Holick tacked on a third goal in the late going.
Aside from their twin hat tricks, Holick also managed three assists and Chase two assists, the same total as Angello. Tom Doucet, Boe Heintz and Tyler Tracy got assists, too, as Ben Napierala workedin goal and earned 19 saves.
F-M now must try and turn around two regular-season defeats to West Genesee, and do it on the hostile ice of Shove Park, where the Wildcats beat them 7-1 in January. The winner gets Rome Free Academy or Central Square in Saturday’s final at Utica Memorial Auditorium.