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West Genny hockey blanks B'ville in playoff opener

A new year, and a new round, but the same result - the West Genesee ice hockey team knocking Baldwinsville out of the Section III Division I playoffs.

With a complete performance at both ends of the rink - deep and balanced offense, suffocating defense - the Wildcats shut out the Bees 7-0 in Friday night's opening-round game at Shove Park in Camillus.

This allows WG to come back to Shove Park one more time to face no. 5 seed Corcoran in Wednesday night's Division I semifinals. The Cougars ousted Cortland-Homer 3-1 in its first-round game. Whoever wins here gets Rome Free Academy or Cicero-North Syracuse in next Saturday's championship game at Utica Memorial Auditorium.

To say that the Wildcats and Bees knew each other from seasons past would be an understatement. They had met in the last two sectional finals, with WG winning both times - in 2009 at the Syracuse War Memorial, in 2010 at Allyn Arena in Skaneateles.

Here, it was an encounter just three weeks removed from a 3-0 Wildcat victory at B'ville on Jan. 28 - and WG reached that margin in the first period alone, and didn't stop there.

In each of the next two periods, the Wildcats found the net twice, and what was just as impressive was that, every time, it seemed like someone different was ramming the puck home.

Six different players scored, as Josh Duquette provided the only two-goal outing. Nick Holzhauer, Ryan LaVallee, John Sabert, Matt Schattner and Erik Kurz also converted, with Sabert having a particularly great night as he added three assists. Shawn Lynch and Robbie Michel joined LaValleeand Kurz with single assists.

Meanwhile, on the back line Michel, Schattner, R.J. Tinklepaugh and Cody Ryan were piecing together another shutout, the team's seventh in its last eight games. Shaking off the five goals it allowed to CNS back on Feb. 9, WG held B'ville to 13 shots, all of which Jake Pelton would stop.

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