C-NS grabs first-ever no. 1 state hockey ranking

Northstars rise from no. 4 spot after shake-up

— A decade of hard work and building has led to this singular milestone for the Cicero-North Syracuse ice hockey team.

When the latest edition of the state Division I rankings were released on Monday, the Northstars found itself in the top spot for the first time.

A week earlier, C-NS was in the no. 4 spot, sporting a 10-game win streak. Then the Northstars knocked off four-time defending Section III champion West Genesee 3-1 last Monday at the Twin Rinks, and then held off neighbor and rival Liverpool 3-2 three nights later at Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena.

Getting the top spot, though, required some help. Sure enough, Suffern, who was at no. 1, fell back, while no. 2 Rome Free Academy took its first loss of the season on Saturday, falling 4-3 in overtime to Massena. No. 3 Fairport had lost, 3-0, to Pittsford earlier in the week.

So when the new rankings came out, the Northstars, winners of 12 in a row, were perched on top, followed by two Section III sides, Niagara-Wheatfield and Lancaster. RFA found itself at no. 4, with Suffern rounding out the top five.

It just so happened that C-NS was playing Monday night against Cortland-Homer at the Twin Rinks. With a chance to show why it had risen to no. 1, the Northstars didn't waste it, seizing control in the second period and breezing past the Golden Eagles 8-1 for its 13th win in a row.

Already with a 2-0 through one period, C-NS put things away in the ensuing 15 minutes with five more goals in the second period, and while the shutout got broken up, little else went wrong as the margin went to 7-1 and everyone on the roster saw ice time in the late going.

Matt Fiume had a three-goal hat trick, with Eric Hamilton and Jesse Farabee each getting a goal and two assists. Danny Rush and Matt Siegel picked up one goal and one assist apiece as Connor Doren also found the net. Ben Cummings and Chris Schneid both earned a pair of assists as Kyler Schilling, A.J. Merola, Paul Ludden and Nick Schneid earned assists, too.

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