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Hockey Wildcats shut out Potsdam, Canton

WG, with no. 1 state ranking, improves to 10-0

— With the 2011 portion of its winter schedule done, the West Genesee ice hockey team can claim a perfect 10 - or, more specifically, 10 consecutive victories and a no. 1 state ranking earned in part by shutting out seven opponents so far.

That included a sweep through the newly-fangled Wildcat Invitaitonal on Wednesday and Thursday at Shove Park where the hosts from WG blanked both Potsdam and Canton before charging into 2012.

First, the Wildcats met Potsdam on Wednesday night, five days removed from its conquest of Solvay that reinforced control of Division I West. WG made it nine in a row, beating the Sandstoners 5-0.

This was a steady effort, as the Wildcats led 1-0 through one period and added two more goals in each of the next two periods, far more than was needed with the kind of defense WG makes routine.

Jimmy Sauda scored twice, with Jon Lauer, Robbie Michel and Erik Kurz each managing one goal and one assist. R.J. Tinklepaugh and Matt Skrupa both had two assists. Potsdam only had 13 shots, with goalies Jake Pelton and Max Barone combining on the shutout.

Just 15 hours later, WG played the other half of its tournament doubleheader against Canton, and found it a bit more difficult, but still managed a 2-0 shutout over the Golden Bears.

Mainly, the Wildcats ran into a red-hot goaltender. Canton's Jake Watson was spectacular, subject to an all-out assault from WG's multifaceted attack, but still managing to make 43 saves.

Only Shawn Lynch solved Watson, getting one goal and assisting on the other, by Kurz. And the rest belonged to Tinklepaugh, Michel, Matt Schattner, Nick Mellen and the Wildcats' defense, which totally stifled the Golden Bears and held them to a scant seven shots.

Rome Free Academy, who dropped a narrow sectional final to West Genesee last February, leads Division I East and also played in this invitational. The Black Knights edged Canton 2-1 on Wednesday, Garrett Reilley assisting on both goals, and rolled past Potsdam 5-1 as Reilley got a pair of goals.

Entering the new year, WG will try for 11-0 Wednesday night, when it hosts Cicero-North Syracuse.

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