As an early-season marquee attraction, the ice hockey showdown between West Genesee and Baldwinsville turned out to be a one-sided show.
Armed with much more experience in each phase of the game, the Wildcats steadily put away the Bees 6-0 in front of a full house at Shove Park in Camillus.
This was the first time these two fierce Division I rivals had met since last March's Section III final at the Syracuse War Memorial, where West Genesee pulled out a 3-2 victory.
A lot was different now on B'ville's side. No less than 14 seniors had graduated, leaving head coach Mark Lloyd to put in all kinds of new faces. This included goaltender Mark Miller, back from a year spent in the junior ranks.
It was also the Bees' opening game, about as tough a first assignment as possible. Not only did WG have more talent back on the ice, it had already played once, a 2-0 shutout of reigning state Division II champion New Hartford on Nov. 23.
Less than a minute into the game, the Wildcats were already on a power play. And it took mere seconds for WG to go in front, as Ryan Michel's hard wrist shot from the right point beat Miller. Erich Haney got the assist.
For a while, the Bees' defense would settle down. But at the 10-minute mark, Haney, who had just missed on a two-on-one break, passed from the left side and found Zach Lewis, whose point-blank shot made it 2-0.
Lewis wasn't done, either. He got his second goal of the night 2:57 into the second period, with Tim Bubnack assisting. Barely two minutes later, Casey Schattner converted on a wrist shot to make it 4-0, and Schattner returned just before the period ended to drop in a loose puck as Lewis earned the assist.
Trailing 5-0, B'ville had a series of chances to get on the board in the third period. But Michel, Bubnack and the rest of WG's back line kept turning away chances, helping goaltender Anthony Militello earn his second shutout in as many games. Haney scored with 2:27 left to make it a six-goal margin.
WG is home again on Friday and Saturday for the annual WIldcat Classic, while B'ville heads back to Lysander Arena for the Bobby Conklin Tournament on those same days.