All through this winter, the Baldwinsville ice hockey team has worked with steady and relentless drive, waiting to push its way back to the top of the Division I ranks, where West Genesee has stood.
It all leads, in some way, to Friday's showdown at Shove Park in Camillus, where the 11-3-1 Bees will take its shot at the 15-1 Wildcats, a team it lost to back on Dec. 2.
To make that game of maximum importance, B'ville first had to defend its home ice at Lysander against Fayetteville-Manlius Tuesday night -- which it did, beating the Hornets in a 2-0 shutout.
Once right on WG's heels, F-M had slipped a bit in the new year, and the Bees kept it going, mainly thanks to a defense that surrendered nothing, even when the Hornets attacked hard in the early going.
Every time out, B'ville would make the stop, with Nick Leader earning 25 saves before it was done for his best shutout of the season so far.
On the other end, the Bees went after F-M goalie Mike Poppleton, who would finish with 35 saves. Twice in the second period, though, B'ville would solve Poppleton as Brad Burlingame and Paul Schneid scored, and assisted on each other's tallies. Nick Gaworecki added an assist, too.