West Genny hockey blanks Syracuse, 5-0

Wildcats climb to top of league in battle of unbeatens

— Any hopes Syracuse still had hinged on a power play that it would possess at the start of the third period. But at the 50-second park, Procopio intercepted an errant Cougar pass, streaked to the other end and beat Walsh for a short-handed goal.

WG already had enough offense, but the Cougars' frustration led to a two-man advantage and a second goal from McDonald with 9:38 left. Aaron Jones would convert seven minutes later to help seal an impressive all-around effort from the reigning sectional champions.

Before all this, WG had to make sure it didn’t trip up and look ahead to Syracuse when it played its first road game of the season last Tuesday night, at Fulton, who moved up from Division II to Division I for the 2013-14 season.

That didn’t prove a problem as the Wildcats jumped all over the Red Raiders in a 7-1 romp, gaining four unanswered goals in the first period and continuing to find the net even after it had long taken control of the game.

McDonald managed a three-goal hat trick, adding an assist. Procopio added two goals and one assist, while Corey Raaflub and Tim Sexton got single tallies. Farrell managed a pair of assists as Jones, Collin Kobuszewski, Nick Mellen, Grainger Sasso and James Shephard picked up single assists.

Then, right after beating Syracuse, WG had to urn around on Saturday and face Section V power Pittsford Sutherland. And that game proved nervous for quite a while before WG, led by McDonald, took over late and prevailed 4-1.

They exchanged goals in the first period, and it remained 1-1 until the third period, when WG roared out in front and then got two more goals more for a further cushion.

McDonald had a hand in all of the Wildcats' scoring plays, scoring twice and assisting on the other goals by his two linemates, Procopio and Farrell. Nick Mellen, Mike Philippone and Collin Kobuszewski each got credit for assists as Burns stopped 16 of 17 shots he faced.

That puts the Wildcats at 6-0 going into Tuesday's game at Watertown IHC. WG is back home Friday to face Fayetteville-Manlius - the same team Syracuse plays Tuesday at Meachem Rink, starting a two-week homestand that includes Thursday's game against Fulton, a Dec. 23 visit from defending state Division II champion CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt.

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