Feb 16, 2013 Kris Russell Uncategorized
Cicero-North Syracuse ice hockey’s big guns had big nights, and that was bad news for Syracuse.
The No. 1 state-ranked Northstars top line of Eric Hamilton, Jesse Farabee and Matt Fiume accounted for four goals between them in a 5-0 win over the Cougars in a Section III Division I quarterfinal Friday night at the Twin Rinks.
With the win, C-NS earned the right to face four-time defending champion West Genesee in the semifinals. That game is set for Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Shove Park in Camillus.
“It’s going to be a barnburner,” Northstars coach Kyle Bailey said. “West Genesee is always a great team. They run a great system. Hopefully we can go in there, play our best, and compete with them.”
Friday’s lopsided score didn’t look likely the way the game started. Syracuse was buzzing early, putting two shots on goal in the opening five minutes while holding a significant territorial edge.
That didn’t count for anything on the scoreboard, and it wasn’t long before the hosts made the Cougars pay. Hamilton sent a pass from behind the net to Farabee,m who backhanded a shot over the shoulder of Syracuse goalie Jim Albright at the 8:30 mark.
It took only 1:39 for C-NS to double its lead. Northstars defenseman Kyler Schilling sent a point shot toward the net, and it deflected off a Cougars defenseman past Albright.
“Goals are goals,” Syracuse coach John Purcell said. “A quick little turnover and a deflection. That gave (C-NS) some life and put us in a hole. They’re a tough team when you get behind.”
Hamilton and Farabee teamed up to all but put Syracuse away 1:18 into the second period. Farabee did the hard work behind the net, sent a pass out front to Hamilton who buried a shorthanded wrist shot past Albright.
Hamilton’s big night was just beginning. The senior scored a pair of goals on breakaways early and late in the third period. Hamilton and Farabee combined for seven points.
“That’s what we need,” Bailey said. “They’ve been our nucleus all year long. They continue to make our team better.”
CNS goalie Alex Johnston earned the shutout by turning aside 19 shots. Albright made 26 saves before giving way to Sam Walsh late in the contest.
The Northstars outplayed West Genesee, 3-1, on Jan. 7 in Cicero, though that win came when WG was missing its top player, senior Robbie Michel, who returned shortly after.
Bailey knows his team will need at least a similar effort, if not better, come Wednesday if it wants to advance to next Saturday’s final at Utica Memorial Auditorium against Rome Free Academy or Baldwinsville.
“Our kids know what’s at stake,” Bailey said. “We know what West Genesee brings as a team. We know what Shove Park brings as an atmosphere. It’s going to be good hockey.”