All of a sudden, both of the area’s ice hockey teams found itself struggling to various degrees.
Cicero-North Syracuse, sitting in second place in Division I East, stumbled in last Wednesday’s match against Ithaca at the Twin Rinks, losing a 4-3 decision to the Little Red.
Up 2-1 through two periods, C-NS’s defense fell apart in the third period, watching as Ithaca, led by Balazs Szegletes and Wilson Gearhart (one goal and one assist apiece), led the comeback.
C-NS lost despite goals from Luke Keyes, Kyler Schilling and Nick Schneid, with Eric Hamilton limited to a single assist and Curtis Howland also getting an assist. Alex Johnston had 18 saves.
Two nights later, when C-NS had to host Division I East leader Rome Free Academy at the Twin Rinks, another poor third period proved costly as it lost to the Black Knights 4-1.
Matt Flume’s first-period goal, assisted by Hamilton, gave C-NS a quick 1-0 edge. But RFA tied it in the second period and, in the final 15 minutes, pushed itself in front as Garrett Reilley picked up a three-goal hat trick. Again, Johnston picked up 18 saves.
Liverpool began the week on a poor note, falling 5-1 to Baldwinsville at Lysander last Monday night in a game made up from a Jan. 13 snow postponement.
Having lost to B’ville 7-1 back in December, the Warriors looked good in the early going, as Dalton Horton scored in the first period, assisted by Dan McManus, and it was tied 1-1 through one period.
But the Bees would take over from there, with two goals in each of the last two periods, negating Daniel Wu’s 34 saves. Steve Schneid and Justin Newman each had one goal and one assist, with Matt Zandri and Shane O’Brien each getting three assists.
Yet the Warriors nearly sprung an upset Wednesday night at the Twin Rinks against Fayetteville-Manlius, only to squander a third-period lead and settle for a 4-4 tie.