A full week of rest, practice and recuperation was just what the Cazenovia ice hockey team needed as the homestretch, and the Section III Division II playoffs, loom close.
The Lakers all but sealed its return to the post-season when play resumed Saturday, at New Hartford, as Cazenovia’s offense gradually took over in a 7-3 victory over the Spartans.
Tied 1-1 after one period, the Lakers moved out in front during the second period, but saved its best work for the final period, where it outscored New Hartford 4-1 and got away.
David Marshall was involved in nearly every scoring play, backing up his pair of goals with a career-best four assists, while Billy Rankin chimed in with two goals and one assist.
Brian Gara, back to full health, and Jeff Stowell each managed a goal and two assists, while A.J. Davis also scored. Joe Colligan and Brad Nardella earned assists as Joey Vecchiarelli turned away 24 of 27 shots.
Tied with Auburn for third place in Division II with 15 points (six teams qualify for the playoffs), the Lakers and Maroons square off Tuesday at Casey Park Rink before Cazenovia returned to the Morrisville State IcePlex to face Fulton Thursday night.