Now the only thing the Cazenovia ice hockey team had to do was avoid looking ahead to the showdown with New Hartford that would decide the Division II East regular-season title.
If judged by its efforts in back-to-back games against Clinton, the Lakers didn't find that to be much of a problem.
The home-and-home series began on Jan. 31, at Clinton Arena, where the Lakers (17-1-1) lit into Clinton in their first encounter, shutting out the Warriors 6-0.
Even though it had played Westmoreland the night before, Cazenovia still had plenty of energy left for Clinton, a young squad with a new coach far removed from the glory of back-to-back state titles won in 2005 and 2006.
Scoring twice in each period, the Lakers again saw Carter Franz take charge. Franz matched his Westmoreland effort with his second straight three-goal hat trick, plus an assist.
Joe Nardella and Sean Cannizzaro each produced three assists, with Brian Gara and Sam Lewis joining Nardella with single goals. Ben Lewis added two assists and Sean Dougherty also got an assist.
Just three days later, the two sides met again at the Morrisville State IcePlex. In a near-identical outcome, Cazenovia again won big, bashing Clinton 7-1.
Here, it took a while for the rout to commence. The Lakers only led, 1-0, when it struck for three goals in the second period to draw clear and clamped down on the defensive side, holding the Warriors to just 11 shots.
Cannizzaro stepped up with four assists, feeding it to Franz and Dougherty, each of whom had two goals and one assist. Ben Lewis contributed a goal and two assists, with Gara and Nardella matching each other with one goal and one assist. Sam Lewis, Lucas Catania and Seth Goldacker got credit for assists, too.