Cicero Not only has the structure of Section III Division I hockey changed to bring Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse into the same division, so has the balance of power between the two rivals.
A season ago, it was the Northstars streaking toward the top of the state rankings, unbeaten for more than two months, while the Warriors languished through another winter without a post-season berth.
But with a fair amount of roster turnover on C-NS’s part and Liverpool’s rapid maturity taking place at the same time, changes were bound to be on display when the neighbors gathered Wednesday night at the Twin Rinks.
What few could have figured, though, was the extent to which the Warriors have improved, as it pulled away in the late going to register an impressive 5-1 victory over the Northstars.
Fresh off its Ontario Bay Tournament title the weekend before, Liverpool had far more game experience this winter than C-NS, who was just playing for the second time this season, nine days removed from its season-opening 2-0 defeat to Mohawk Valley.
From the start, the Warriors controlled the flow of play, spending large amounts of ice time in the C-NS end, which led to a 1-0 first-period advantage.
That lead grew to 3-0 in the second period, and Liverpool kept pushing, with Dalton Horton at the forefront as he scored twice and added a pair of assists, but had plenty of help.
Kody Gaulke had a goal and two assists, with Richie Hart also finding the net. Tom Bianchi, Tyler Garofalo, Rocco Leone, J.T. Muolo and Kyle Terzini each picked up one assist.
Not until Newell Field scored in the third period, with assists from Luke Keyes and Logan Field, did C-NS get on the board, but the Northstars rarely put consistent pressure on Steve Kozikoski, as the Liverpool goalie only had to make 13 saves. By contrast, Northstars netminder Brandon Gloska had to make 31 saves.