An 8-0 start, and the way in which the West Genesee ice hockey team earned those victories, helped it return to a familiar place – the top of the state Division I rankings.
Of course, the Wildcats’ ascension to that no. 1 spot meant that every opponent would bring a heightened intensity to the ice, as was the case when WG traveled north for a pair of tough non-league games during the holiday school break.
On Friday night, the Wildcats played Canton, and in a game with plenty of defensive flavor, WG had the better of it, getting the goals it needed to fight to a 2-0 victory.
After getting a first-period goal, the Wildcats mostly sat on its 1-0 lead, again turning to its defense to limit Canton’s opportunities, as the hosts got just 10 shots, all of them stopped by Henry Burns.
Finally, the Wildcats tacked on an insurance goal in the third period. Ryan McDonald and Derek Farrell, part of WG’s top line, each scored and assisted on each other’s scoring plays, with David Procopio assisting on both goals.
This led to Saturday's game between WG and Potsdam, where the Wildcats didn’t wait as long to unleash its attack and rolled past the Sandstoners 6-2.
WG had more goals here (three) in the first period than in the entire Canton game, and steadily worked its way to a 4-2 lead through two periods before a pair of late goals secured a 10th consecutive victory.
Jay Considine, quiet most of the season, was the only Wildcat to score twice on this night. Farrell and McDonald both had a goal and two assists, with Procopio managing one goal and one assist. Nick Mellen, anchoring WG’s defense, also found the net as Aaron Jones and James Shephard managed one assist apiece.