In the span of less than a week, the Skaneateles ice hockey team has transformed itself from a young, inconsistent question mark to something much more substantial.
This change began during the Lakers' own tournament on Jan. 12 and 13, when it rose from a so-so 7-6 record to a first-place trophy, upsetting West Genesee 2-1 in the championship game.
Four nights later, Skaneateles paid a visit to Onondaga Nation Arena for a key Division II East game against CBA/J-D, to see who would line up behind Fulton in the league standings -- and get the inside track toward a home playoff game next month.
As it turned out, the momentum was not gone, as Skaneateles dominated on both ends of the ice in the late stages of the game and beat the Brothers 4-1.
The two sides exchanged first-period goals, Peter Papayanakos getting CBA/J-D on the board. And that would be all the Brothers would get.
Led by captain Nick Augustine, the Skaneateles defense put up a wall that neither Papayanakos nor his high-scoring line mates, Brian Karalunas and Grant Tracy, could get around. Alex Richichi would shut out the Brothers over the last two periods of play and finish with 19 saves.
Meanwhile, the Lakers' young forward duo of sophomore Keith Buehler and junior Tory Cole continued to surge. They each scored twice as Skaneateles pulled ahead in the second period and would stay there.
Buehler and Cole got plenty of help, too, as Sean Morley, Kyle Christine, Matt Wood, Erik Stevens, Adam Severance, Ryan Dove and Kyle Christine each earned assists at one point or another.
Now the trick for the Lakers was to avoid a letdown back home at Allyn Arena Friday night, when Corcoran paid a visit on "Spirit Night".
Encouraged to wear blue and gold, Skaneateles fans dressed up -- and were not disappointed, as the Lakers' hot run continued with a 5-2 victory over the Cougars.