A new month just might translate into a new and better approach for the Skaneateles ice hockey team -- and that could mean trouble for anyone in the way.
Mired in third place in Division II West, needing a great performance, the Lakers got it Monday night at Allyn Arena, clamping down on defense to beat Solvay by a score of 3-1.
When these two sides had first met Dec. 9 at State Fair Coliseum, the Bearcats had won 3-0, mostly a result of the work of Tim Burgess (two goals, one assist) and goalie Ryan Bonk, who stopped all 32 Skaneateles shots he faced.
That duo was back again, and just like the first meeting, they played through a 0-0 first period, an ominous sign to Laker fans.
But Skaneateles would clear the skies by getting the only goal in the second period to take a 1-0 lead, then converting twice in the third period to counteract Josh Ginestro's lone Solvay tally.
Lex Johnson, Jake Bird and Dylan VanHoltz took turns getting the Lakers' goals. Drake Hill and Packy Jones both had assists, as Trevor Diamond worked in goal and turned back 19 of the 20 shots he faced.
With that win, Skaneateles moved up to 18 points in Division II, one point behind Solvay for second place.
It would stay the same after the events of the next two nights. Solvay beat CBA/J-D on Tuesday, after which Skaneateles went to the north country Wednesday night and took out Watertown IHC in a 5-3 decision.
All of the Lakers' goals came in the first two periods as it zoomed to a 5-2 lead, featuring a balanced attack where five different players took turns getting goals.
Patrick Emmer and Kyle Christine, quiet in the Solvay win, both had one goal and one assist, with VanHoltz, Ryan Callahan and Tom Jones also scoring. Zach Augustine re-emerged with two assists as Hill, Josh Rathgeb and Dan Tarolli each earned one assist.