If the Skaneateles ice hockey team could skate past two big challenges, it could seize full control of the race for the Division II West title -- and for the most part, it handled the challenge.
The Lakers were in full control of last Friday's matchup against the Corcoran Cougars as it won by a score of 4-1 at Meachem Rink.
Although the Cougars set the tone early, notching the first goal of the game shortly into the first period, the Lakers would not let them score again.
In a fast-paced first period, both teams had their share of shots on goal. Corcoran controlled the tempo early on, while Skaneateles took over late. The Cougars got on the board first with a goal by forward Derrick Eccles, but they wouldn't score another the rest of the way.
After a tough start to the opening period, Skaneateles (9-1-1, 11-4-1) got on track with goals by forwards Keith Buehler and Tory Cole to take a 2-1 advantage into the first intermission.
The second period was very physical, leading to five power plays. Both teams exchanged their share of good hits.
Skaneateles captain Matt Wood had the only score of the period at the four-minute mark, giving his team a 3-1 lead.
But the last ten minutes of the period belonged to Laker goalie Alex Richichi. He made three incredible one-on-one saves that made sure the momentum stayed on his teams' side. Richichi ended the game with 20 saves.
Corcoran couldn't get anything going in the third period. They were totally dominated and had little opportunity to score against a stingy Laker defense. Buehler tacked on his second goal of the game late in the period to round out the scoring.
Buehler scored twice for the Lakers, while defenseman Wood tallied one goal and two assists. Cole finished with a goal and an assist and Patrick Emmer contributed an assist.