Cicero After making a run to the semifinal round a season ago, the Cicero-North Syracuse ice hockey team looked for the same success this time – but someone else, familiar to the Northstars’ surroundings, denied that chance.
C-NS fell, 7-4, to Fayetteville-Manlius in last Friday night’s opening round at the Twin Rinks, the facility both teams call home.
They had met once in the regular season, on Jan. 19, in the “Pink for the Rink” fund-raiser at Onondaga Nation Arena. F-M won that time, 6-3, and the Northstars were determined to get some payback and deny the Hornets its first-ever playoff win.
A quick burst changed those plans, though. Midway through a 0-0 first period, F-M’s 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.
Down 6-3, the Northstars would only get on the board once more, with Matt Kennedy’s goal, but Holick tacked on his third goal of the night to help F-M seal it. Hamilton finished with two assists, while Matt Flume and Connor Doren each got one assist. Alex Johnston, in goal, recorded 25 saves.
C-NS finished its 2011-12 season with a record of 12-8-1, nearly identical to the 13-8-1 mark it posted in 2010-11, a sign of consistency in a program that struggled for years just to reach the level of contender.