Working on a three-week stretch where it has not allowed a single goal, the West Genesee ice hockey team was able to get away with modest offensive production.
Yet it nearly proved too modest in last Tuesday night's game against Skaneateles at Shove Park, where the Wildcats needed every bit of that defensive mastery to fight past the Lakers 1-0.
This rare meeting of two defending Section III champions featured Skaneateles, who had a solid record of 6-2-1 but stood in third place behind Corcoran and Solvay in the Division II West standings.
Having not played in a week, WG found itself a bit rusty in the first period on the offensive side, not able to get many shots but still offering its usual stiff resistance to anything Skanetaeles tried to do.
They stayed 0-0 until the second period, when, off a pass from defender P.J. Hart, Adam King flicked a shot past Laker goaltender Trevor Diamond into the net.
Diamond stopped everything else on this night, earning 15 saves, meaning that the Wildcats' vaunted defense would have to be flawless to keep the team perfect.
Sure enough, Hart, Nate Haliwell, Ryan Michel and Tim Bubnback met the challenge, getting their bodies in front of pucks and physically overwhelming the Laker attackers. Evan Mazzoni had to make just nine saves as WG got its fourth straight shutout and eighth overall.
This leads WG to Tuesday's key Division I battle with second-place Fayetteville-Manlius at the Cicero Twin Rinks, which the Hornets call home. F-M was 8-0-1 in its first nine games before taking a 4-2 loss to Cortland/Homer on the same day the Wildcats were beating Skaneateles.