In Thursday night’s visit to West Genesee, C-NS almost tripped up, needing every bit of the 80 minutes to fight past the Wildcats 1-0.
Were it not for Willard, who made 11 saves, the Northstars may have faced some trouble. WG fought to a 0-0 first-half draw, and even after Sibble scored off a feed from Dan Desmarais, C-NS had to hang on the rest of the way.
This led to B’ville, who had lost to Utica Proctor and Nottingham in the week leading up to this game, giving C-NS a chance to really shatter the five-time defending sectional champions’ confidence going into the playoffs.
But right from the start, the Bees attacked hard, keeping C-NS in its own end most of the way. Thanks to an air-tight defense, the Northstars did manage a shutout in regulation, anchored again by Willard, who would finish with 10 saves.
Yet C-NS could not relieve the pressure, only getting five shots all afternoon in a game that went into a second overtime. Eight minutes before the end, B’ville’s Nick Gates, off a pass from Trevor Pauldine, pushed a shot past Willard to end it.
Should the Northstars handle Corcoran the way it did a week ago, it will advance to the AA semifinals against either no. 3 seed Nottingham or no. 6 seed Fayetteville-Manlius.