Unlike some years past, the West Genesee ice hockey team did work during this holiday break, traveling to the northern part of the state for the Massena Christmas Classic - where it ran into a bleak and familiar result against a familiar nemesis.
In the first round Tuesday night, the Wildcats met host Massena, the team it lost to in the 2008 state Division I finals, and won this time, beating the Red Raiders 2-1.
WG's pattern of low-scoring games (it had tied Ithaca 1-1 in its last outing on Dec. 22) continued here, as it notched the only goal in the first two periods.
Up 1-0, the Wildcats converted again, which proved enough. Erik Kurz assisted on both scoring plays as Shawn Lynch and Nick Holzhauer earned the goals and Holzhauer got an assist, too. Each of Jacob Pelton's 15 saves proved important.
Now the Wildcats faced Suffern, the same team it lost to, 3-1, in the finals of the Wildcat Classic on Dec. 11.
As it turned out, 18 days did nothing to change the position of the two teams, as Suffern, the state's top-ranked
Division I team, again won by a 3-1 margin.
Rob Michel gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead in the first period, but that was all WG could muster. Suffern pulled even in the second period and, just like in the first meeting, used a pair of third-period goals to prevail, negating Pelton's 26 saves.
WG, who has the no. 3 state Division I ranking with a record of 6-2 (both losses to Suffern), is off until next Friday, when it hosts Hamilton at Shove Park.