WG hockey blanks Ithaca, improves to 4-0

Defense helps Wildcats earn third shutout of season

— A three-win opening week, and the conquest of its own Wildcat Classic, propelled the West Genesee ice hockey team forward on another championship quest.

The following week proved quieter, with just one game on the docket. And the Wildcats were ready for it, again leaning on its superb defense in last Wednesday night’s 4-0 shutout of Ithaca at Shove Park in Camillus.

For a long time, WG and Ithaca battled for top honors in Division I before the Little Red moved full-time to the Section IV ranks for post-season purposes. Still, Ithaca meets plenty of local competition during the regular season.

On this night, though, the Little Red was just the latest casualty of the Wildcats’ defense. Matt Schattner, R.J. Tinklepaugh, Robby Michel, Nick Mellen and the rest of the back line was so effective that Ithaca managed just seven shots all night.

Meanwhile, WG was patient on the offensive side, taking 34 shots, but not taking charge until, with the score 1-0, it ignited a three-goal surge in the second period.

Erik Kurz, with two goals and one assist, and Shawn Lynch, with a goal and two assists, led the attack. Jon Lauer and Jimmy Sauda had the other goals, with Mellen, Tinklepaugh and Travis Wager each getting one assist.

A week of practice and rest followed, as WG awaited next Wednesday’s visit from Cortland-Homer and a Dec. 16 meeting with Liverpool at the Warriors’ new home rink in Lysander – all leading toward a key early-season match with Baldwinsville Dec. 21 at Shove Park.

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