This time around, the Baldwinsville ice hockey team hoped it would be different.
More than a month ago, the Bees' season began with a harrowing trip to West Genesee and a 6-0 defeat.
Many good things had happened since, but B'ville was longing for another shot at the Wildcats -- and by the time the rematch took place Friday night at Lysander Arena, the stakes were quite high.
B'ville stood in second place in Division I, only behind WG, who had built a 13-0 mark and owned the top spot in the state rankings. Knowing this would be a big occasion, the Bees chose this night to honor head coach Mark Lloyd for reaching his 25th year coaching the team.
With everything in place for a memorable night, B'ville took the ice to confront the Wildcats -- and met the same frustration as before, unable to put a puck in the net during a 4-0 defeat.
As was usual in B'ville-WG games, the teams were physical right from the start. Anyone with the puck was going to be a target for abuse.
Still, WG fought into a 1-0 lead, then added another goal in the second period. Any time the Bees tried to answer, it met a wall of resistance as it would only manage 15 shots all night.
The Bees' own defense did a solid job containing the Wildcats' top scorers, including Zach Lewis, Erich Haney and Ryan Michel. But Casey Schattner and Nick Holzhauer made up for it, each netting two goals to create the final margin.
The only thing standing between the Bees and its date with the Wildcats was last Tuesday's game against Fayetteville-Manlius at Cicero Twin Rinks. It took a while, but the Bees would take control and beat the Hornets 7-3.
Both sides found success in the opening period, leading to a 2-2 tie. But that changed after intermission as the Bees started to hound the Hornets' net, leading to four unanswered goals that provided the winning margin.
Brad Burlingame, with a goal and three assists, and Sam Lane, with three assists, anchored an attack where six different players scored.
Connor Bertrand got two goals as Griffin Noffey, Parker Ferrigan, Kevin Cullen and John Waldon joined Burlingame in the single-goal column. Mike McElwain had one assist.
B'ville (9-4, 6-2 league) goes to State Fair Coliseum to face Liverpool Wednesday night, then is home for back-to-back weekend games against Cicero-North Syracuse and Rochester McQuaid.