Never mind the West Genesee ice hockey team's undefeated record, state no. 1 ranking and ever-growing win streak -- all those things have been true throughout the 2009-10 season.
It's now the Wildcats' shutout streak that has assumed center stage. And despite all the pressure to keep it going, WG still was pulling it off, at least through last Tuesday night's 6-0 disposal of Fayetteville-Manlius at Shove Park.
This moved the Wildcats to 18-0, with 12 of those wins being shutouts. More remarkably, it was the team's sixth straight shutout -- more than 270 minutes of ice time (that's four and a half hours) without a goal allowed.
What helps keep that streak going is that the offense knows how to take control. WG bolted in front of F-M with a trio of first-period tallies and would get 41 shots against Hornets netminder Tyler Palmerton -- who, a week earlier, scored a goal into an empty net against Cicero-North Syracuse.
Balance was the story on this night as six different players -- Zach Lewis, Casey Schattner, Ryan Michel, Nick Holzhauer, Seamus Shanley and Adam King -- registered the six Wildcat goals.
Michel and Holzhauer kicked in two assists apiece, joining Erich Haney and Shawn Lynch at that total. Schattner and Cody Ryan had single assists. And WG's defense was so effective that it held F-M to a scant six shots.
Now it's Oswego's turn to try and dent WG's thick armor Friday night in the team's last regular-season home game. In fact, the Buccaneers were the last team to score on them - way back on Jan. 9, in the third period of a 5-2 Wildcat victory at "The Fort" in Oswego.