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Hockey Wildcats blank Ithaca

Maybe the only way the West Genesee ice hockey team can avoid possible disappointment this season is to beat everyone - or, better yet, keep anyone from scoring.

Both trends are taking place right now, as the Wildcats, who have spent all of 2009-10 atop the state Division I rankings, are riding a streak of five consecutive shutouts, which has run the season total to 11.

The latest example of WG completely shutting down the opposition came Friday night, at "The Rink" in Ithaca, where the Wildcats beat the Little Red 3-0 and improved to 17-0 in the process.

Long a threat in Division I, Ithaca came to Shove Park on Dec. 22 and took a 4-0 defeat. At the very least, the Little Red wanted to get on the board this time around.

But the Wildcats were proud of its shutout streak. Since the third period of a 5-2 win over Oswego on Jan. 9, WG had blanked Auburn, Baldwinsville, Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool - four shutouts by a combined 20-0 margin and more than 180 minutes without allowing the puck in the net.

That shutout streak would soar well past 225 minutes in Ithaca, as WG patiently worked its way through a 0-0 first period, waiting for the attack to produce something.

Early in the second period, the Wildcats picked up a power play - and Casey Schattner pushed a shot past Ithaca goalie Cooper Belyea. Minutes later, Erich Haney converted, making it 2-0.

Schattner returned in the third period to add an insurance goal, his 14th of the season. Ryan Michel, earned two assists as Haney and Ryan LaVallee each got one assist.

Michel and Tim Bubnack again paired up on the defensive side, blocking a set of Ithaca shots to help goalie Anthony Militello, who only had to make 12 saves.

Just three games remain in the regular season for the Wildcats. On Tuesday, WG plays Fayetteville-Manlius at Cicero Twin Rinks, then hosts Oswego Friday at Shove Park before going to Auburn on Feb. 9.

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