With the Division II West regular-season title still undecided, the Skaneateles boys ice hockey team had a chance to get the title -- but only if it beat first-place Cortland/Homer in a Friday showdown at Allyn Arena.
Responding to the challenge in a big way, the Lakers controlled the game on both ends of the ice, earning a 4-1 victory over the Golden Eagles to improve its win streak to four games.
This completed a regular-season sweep. When they first met Jan. 2 in Cortland, Skaneateles won a narrow 1-0 decision, needing a second-period goal from Packy Jones and 23 saves from Trevor Diamond to pull through.
Now Cortland/Homer made the trip north, looking for payback and a real chance to put the league title away - but it would get neither.
In fact, Skaneateles continued its shutout streak against the Golden Eagles into the third period, the defense stepping in front of all kinds of attacks and controlling the puck. Diamond only had to face 16 shots and didn't allow a goal until Carl Zimmerman converted in the third period.
By that point, the Lakers had a comfortable lead, as it scored once in the first period and added two more tallies in the second period to build a 3-0 advantage.
Brendan Major would find the net twice, while Jones and John Bronk both would earn single goals. Dan Tarolli, Dylan VanHoltz, Jon Rogalia and Jake Bird each had one assist.
The Lakers arrived at the game with lots of momentum, this after reaching double digits on the board for the second time in three outings in last Wednesday's 10-1 romp over Watertown IHC.
Already ahead 2-0 going into the second period, Skaneateles had its best 15 minutes of the entire season, scoring seven goals in that frame.
Amid the barrage, Jones and Bronk each scored twice as eight different players notched goals. Tom Jones and Jake Cooney each had one goal and two assists, while Tarolli, Major, Sean Cooney and Max Weiss also took turns finding the net.