As it took the ice Friday night for the start of its own Opitmist Tournament, the Cicero-North Syracuse ice hockey team was glad for the chance at immediate redemption – which it got by sailing through both of its tournament opponents by a combined 11-2 margin.
For the last time the Northstars played, it was humbled by undefeated, state no. 1-ranked West Genesee in a 9-1 decision last Wednesday night at Shove Park in Camillus.
It was mostly the matter of a CNS defense overwhelmed by WG’s constant pressure on its way to an 8-1 lead through two periods. Erik Kurz, with a three-goal hat trick, and Shawn Lynch, with two goals and one assist, led the assault.
Eric Hamilton did prevent a shutout when he scored in the second period amid WG’s barrage. Combined, goalies Alex Johnston and Brandon Gloska made 34 saves.
In the first round of the Optimist Tournament, CNS met Greece Arcadia, from Section V, and had a strong all-around effort to prevail by a score of 5-2.
Back in his usual top form, Hamilton notched a three-goal hat trick, plus an assist, as the Northstars bolted to a 3-0 lead through two periods and answered all of Greece’s late production.
Jesse Farabee picked up three assists, while Connor Doren and Luke Keyes earned the other goals. Kyler Schilling and Matt Flume earned one assist apiece.
Penfield surprised Corcoran 4-3 in the other first-round game, but in the finals the Patriots never got close as the Northstars, terrific from start to finish, claimed the title in a 6-0 shutout.
Johnston stopped all 26 shots he faced, eased from pressure by CNS producing a 5-0 margin in the first two periods and, more importantly, showing that it didn’t have to lean on Hamilton to be effective.
Farabee scored twice, adding an assist, with Schilling managing a goal and two assists. Flume, Doren and Chris Schneid each got one goal and one assist, while Hamilton, who had two assists, was glad to have the help.
CNS met Central Square Monday at the Twin Rinks (both use it as home ice) before the Northstars went further north on Thursday to face Ontario Bay.