SKANEATELES — Skaneateles took a period to settle in and then began to dominate.
The Lakers scored three times and held the Islanders to four shots on goal over the final 30 minutes, as the Skaneateles girls hockey team shut out Alexandria Bay, 4-0, in the season opener at the Skaneateles YMCA and Community Center Wednesday.
It was the first game for the Lakers after losing 10 players from last season's team that went undefeated and won the state title.
"We played better as the game progressed," Skaneateles coach Andy Rozak said. "I think we were a little nervous in the beginning of the game, but we settled in and started to play more confident and patient with the puck."
Four Lakers had multiple-point nights. Megan Teachout paced the Skaneateles offense with two goals and one assist. Ioanna Christou had a pair of helpers, while Sophia Burns and Rebecca Cain each chipped in a goal and an assist.
Rozak said his team is still trying to find the right fit with so many players stepping into more prominent roles.
"We're still tinkering with the lines and seeing who works well together," Rozak said. "Practice is different than a game, so it will take a little bit to find the chemistry and the timing and everything. But, again, we got progressively got better, so that's a good sign."
Skaneateles' Jessica Smith finished with 14 saves for the shutout. After allowing 10 shots in the first period, the Lakers held the Islanders to a single shot in the second and three in the third.
"I liked our D zone coverage," Rozak said. "Our defense played really well and kept them to the outside. We didn't give up too many odd-man rushes, 2-on-1s or breakaways, and we made sure our goalie could see the puck and she was making the saves."
Teachout turned on the jets as she broke into the zone to create some space and opened the scoring 4:22 into the first period. Although the Lakers got more quality chances, the shots were 10-10 after one period.
"We wanted to be aggressive defensively and not give them any time or space with the puck," Rozak said of adjustments after the first period. "We really wanted to make sure we were on top of them and taking everything away."
Burns scored 6:35 into the second period, and Cain added further insurance 24 seconds later. Teachout had the lone goal in the third period when she stickhandled around multiple defenders and beat the goalie's glove.
With so many new faces getting regular minutes, Rozak knows his team needs to focus on this season and not what the team accomplished last year.
"We know we have to find our own identity. That's our goal," Rozak said. "We're just looking to come together as a team, find our identity and just get better each week."
Skaneateles (1-0) heads north to take on Canton and Massena on Friday and Saturday.
"We haven't really even thought about Canton. We were focused on this game, especially with it being a league game," Rozak said. "Tomorrow we'll get back to work and address some things I think we need to work on and look to build off this win."