Leave it to the Skaneateles boys ice hockey team to get the jump on most of the other Section III squads as it took a Thanksgiving weekend trip east for its first action of the season.
The Lakers went 14-7-1 a year ago, finishing fourth in Division II. It would beat CBA/J-D 3-1 in the opening round of the sectional playoffs, only to fall in the semifinals to eventual state champion Cazenovia.
Now Skaneateles has bigger ambitions in mind, as it anchors around a strong defense and a proven goaltender in senior Trevor Diamond, who immediately showed his worth during the first two games of this campaign.
At the Lake George Forum on Friday, the Lakers squeezed past Queensbury 1-0, the only goal coming in the first period when Scott Longtin found the net, Jake Cooney and Jon Rogalia earning the assists.
From there, it turned into a stalemate, Skaneateles unable to add to the lead, but Queensbury equally unable to convert as Diamond turned away all 24 shots he faced.
The Lakers’ offense struggled again on Saturday during a 1-1 tie with Glens Falls at that same Lake George Forum rink.
Brendan Major put his team on the board in the first period as Cooney picked up his second assist. Glens Falls also scored in that opening period, too, and from there it was nothing for either side, even though Skaneateles got a majority of the chances. Diamond only had to make 15 saves.
Unlike the 2010 shakeup, there are no changes in Division II. Skaneateles still is part of a nine-team division with Cazenovia, CBA/J-D, Auburn, Whitesboro, Clinton, Fulton, Oswego and New Hartford.
And league play starts this week, with the Lakers visiting Fulton before its home opener Friday against Whitesboro at Allyn Arena, which starts at 8:15.
For local hockey fans, there’s an extra treat this winter. Skaneateles will, among other things, share its home ice with Solvay, from Division I, as the Bearcats moved out of State Fair Coliseum and will have its home games at the Community Center.