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West Genesee hockey battles past B'ville

Pelton makes 22 saves for team's 12th shutout

West Genesee defender Robbie Michel (2) dives for the puck in front of his net during Tuesday night's game against Baldwinsville. Michel had an assist and anchored a back line that produced yet another shutout, 3-0, over the Bees.

West Genesee defender Robbie Michel (2) dives for the puck in front of his net during Tuesday night's game against Baldwinsville. Michel had an assist and anchored a back line that produced yet another shutout, 3-0, over the Bees. Scott Thomas

With just one more victory, the West Genesee ice hockey team will have gone through the entire 2011-12 regular season, 20 games full, without a blemish.

One big obstacle to that perfect mark was last Tuesday’s visit to Lysander to play Baldwinsville. As a large and loud crowd looked on at Greater B’ville Ice Arena, the Wildcats were pushed hard, but still kept the Bees off the board in a 3-0 win, the team’s 12th shutout of the winter.

Neither side could convert in a physical first period. As with WG’s 6-2 win in their first encounter Dec. 21 at Shove Park, B’ville was unafraid of the Wildcats, even making more offensive pushes than most opponents.

It didn’t matter, though, as Robbie Michel, R.J. Tinklepaugh, Matt Schattner and the rest of WG’s back line turned away the Bees’ rushes. Just as important was the way Jake Pelton played in the net, the Wildcat goalie turning away all 22 shots he faced.

Not until the third period did WG, ahead 1-0, get the goals it needed to put B’ville away. Erik Kurz found the net twice, with Shawn Lynch earning the other goal. Michel and Jon Lauer each had one assist. B’ville goalie Josh Pinard stopped 27 of 30 shots he faced.

Friday was senior night at Shove Park as the Wildcats entertained the same Corcoran side it had blasted 8-1 just nine days earlier at Meachem Rink.

The rematch was a bit less lopsided, but the Wildcats still prevailed 6-1, steadily producing two goals in each period and taking 33 shots, more than twice the Cougars’ total of 16.

Lynch, who scored twice, led a well-balanced attack, as Kurz, Tinklepaugh, Matt Skrupa and Tommy Hanley also found the net. Lauer picked up two assists as Michel, Tyler Foster, Travis Wager and Jimmy Sauda got one assist apiece.

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