Once it roared to a state championship in 2017, anything less than that ultimate accomplishment would not satisfy the Skanetaeles girls ice hockey team.
So even though the Lakers repeated as sectional champions a season ago, the state semifinal defeat it took to eventual champion Frontier/Lake Shore/Orchard Park has served as plenty of motivation to get back there again and win it all.
Early-season returns indicate a Skaneateles side even better than the one in 2017-18, as it has won all four of its regular-season games by a combined 31-3 margin, three of them shutouts.
It began with back-to-back 8-0 victories over Beekmantown and Plattsburgh during Thanksgiving weekend, and continued a week later with a 9-3 romp over Massena.
Against the Red Raiders, Skaneateles roared out to a 5-0 lead by the end of the first period. A long shutout streak was broken by Massena in the second period, but the Lakers still nearly reached double digits.
Megan Teachout accumulated six points through four goals and two assists. Ioanna Christou had a goal and two assists as Sophia Burns, Lilly Marquardt and Olivia Cox also found the net.
Rachelle Cain had two assists as single assists went to Campbell Torrey, Sophie Powless and Katrina Harter. Sharing duties in goal, Evie Sheridan and Rose Kozub had 12 total saves.
To that point, the Lakers had not played on the road, so there was a bit of mystery surrounding how it would fare when Skaneateles traveled to Crisafulli Rink to face Oswego Tuesday night.
But the Lakerst remained tough to stop on both ends as it shut out the Buccaneers 6-0. A three-goal first period was all that the Lakers needed, but it doubled that margin as the night went on and displayed some nice balance in its attack.
Teachout was the only Skaneateles player to score twice, but those two goals gave her nine for the season so far.
Once again, the production was spread out among several Lakers. Rachelle Cain had one goal and one assist, with goals also going to Christou, Burns and Rebecca Cain. Torrey and Adrianna Barbuto had one assist apiece.
For the third time this season, the Skaneateles defense recorded a shutout, with Christou and Grace Kush leading a back line that contained Oswego, with all 19 of the Bucs’ shots stopped by Sheridan.
Now comes the busiest week of the season so far for Skaneateles, who would travel to Clinton Tuesday and then heads north for a weekend road trip and back-to-back games against Saranac Lake and Malone.