Forget about the West Genesee ice hockey team resting during the holiday school break.
Instead of a well-deserved break following a blistering 8-0 start, the Wildcats area heading north, testing itself in back-to-back games next Friday and Saturday against Canton and Potsdam as it hits the midway point of its regular-season slate.
Before leaving, though, WG gave home fans at Shove Park one more reason to feel good Friday night as, led by Derek Farrell’s hat trick, the Wildcats picked apart Fayetteville-Manlius and, by a 5-0 margin, earned its third shutout of the winter.
F-M was playing just its third game of the season, and was 0-1-1, in no way did it resemble the strong Hornets side that beat the Wildcats in the 2012-13 regular season and would have made the Section III playoffs had it not played one extra game (21, instead of the maximum 20), which caused its removal from the post-season.
No controversy was found here, though, just another solid all-around effort as the Wildcats, off a nervous 2-1 win at Watertown IHC earlier in the week, led 2-0 after one period and doubled that margin to 4-0 by the time the second period was done.
Farrell, an integral part of WG’s top line with Ryan McDonald and David Procopio, got his turn to shine, finding the net three times for his first hat trick in a Wildcat uniform. McDonald contributed a goal and two assists, while Nick Mellen had one goal and one assist. Procopio got two assists and Mike Philippone added an assist.
On the other end, Mellen and his fellow Wildcat defenders messed up whatever F-M tried to establish, holding them to just six shots all night.
As West Genesee continued to set the pace, Syracuse stayed right behind them in the Division I American Conference standings with strong efforts in a two-week homestand.