Through the 2006 part of its schedule, the CBA/J-D ice hockey team remained perfect, conquering eight consecutive foes with a high-octane style of play that wore down the opposition, both inside and outside the Division II West Ranks.
But once 2007 began, someone lowered the octane.
Fulton was the culprit, sprinting to the top of the league rankings by imposing its defensive will upon the Brothers last Tuesday night at Onondaga Nation Arena, leading to a 4-1 defeat, CBA/J-D's first blemish of the season.
Having not played since it won the Batavia Tournament on Dec. 23, the Brothers were rested, and had every reason to figure that its eight-game win streak would continue.
Fulton lay right behind CBA/J-D in the Division II East standings, and already had a big league road win under its belt, attained at Skaneateles on Dec. 15. Whoever won here would have a big edge in the race ahead.
From the start, CBA/J-D's defense had a difficult time preventing the Red Raiders from creating odd-man rushes. That began to hurt when Trevor Littler scored in the late stages of the first period to put Fulton up 1-0.
Brian Karalunas answered with an unassisted breakaway goal with 1:17 left in the opening period, but that would be CBA/J-D's lone tally of the night.
The Raiders continued to create chances, and early in the second period, went up for good when Blaine McClellan broke up the middle and beat Garrett Wickman high.
CBA/J-D's deficit grew to 3-1 late in the period when, on the power play, Andrew Francis fired a wrist shot from the point through a screen into the net. Despite many third-period power plays, the Brothers could not answer, and Mike Mellon tacked on a late goal to build the margin to three.
Wickman faced most of the shots on this night and was solid, with 29 saves. Fulton's defense did a number on the top CBA/J-D line of Karalunas, Pete Papayanokos and Grant Tracy, and held the Brothers to just 20 shots all night.
After this defeat, CBA/J-D looks to bounce back this weekend when it plays in the Oswego Tournament.