Mother Nature, at least the parts over Williamsport, must not take kindly to hockey players.
The Outlaws, who have played a fantastic set of games to close out the first holiday hockey weekend in the area, have battled rain, fog and finally snow throughout weekend.
Friday night's game turned into the first "fog bowl" in Williamsport's hockey history as a thick layer of fog sat on top of the rink throughout the second period.
Saturday, as the Outlaws took on 1000 Islands for a third time in five days, a late snow storm put a strain on the already worn out group of maintenance workers.
Even with the weather Williamsport continued to treat the hometown crowd as Rod Sich scored four goals to become the Federal Hockey League's leading scorer, and Chris Whitley stopped 34 shots as the Outlaws defeated 1000 Islands, 8-1. It was Williamsport's second win in three tries against the Privateers this week. Both wins came at Airmen Pond at Bowman Field.
"(Saturday) was one of those nights when the pucks were going in," Sich said. "A lot of goalies leave big rebounds and there are opportunities to score in front of the net."
Over the holiday stretch run, in which Williamsport played three of four at Airmen Pond, the Outlaws have opened quickly. In three of the four games the Outlaws managed to score first. The only one they weren't able to score first resulted in the week's only loss, an 8-3 beatdown at the hands of the Privateers.
Sich continued the team's quick-start trend Saturday when he cleaned up a loose puck in front of the goal for a lead less than 2 minutes into the first period. The goal ended a two-game drought for Sich, who entered as the team's leading scorer.
"It was the cold weather and their long bus right down here. The last thing they wanted to do was stop hard shots on goal," WIlliamsport's Chris Leveille said of the Outlaws' early attack. "We wanted to jump on them early and throw shots at the goalie. It worked (Saturday)."
Sich's second goal, which came moments after Leveille added his second, made him the leading scorer in the FHL. The Lasalle, Ontario, product left the SPHL as its all-time leading scorer before he joined the Outlaws at the start of the season.
"It was just one of those games when you get an early goal and kind of just feed off that," Sich said. "The opportunities have been there and whether they go in or not you just have to keep working."
Sich finished with four goals to become Williamsport's first four-goal scorer. He also took a three-goal lead atop the FHL goal-scoring leaders.
"It's always good and something I take a lot of pride in," Sich said of becoming the league's leading goal-scorer. "I was brought in to score goals and the pucks have been going in."
Whitley played a great second period for the Outlaws. Williamsport's goalie stopped two one-on-one shots on goal and finished with 16 stops in the second period.
The Outlaws gave up a soft power-play goal in the third period, but it did little to damper Whitley's performance. Whitley stopped 34 shots on goal and made a stop with a full body extension in the third.
"This game was huge," Outlaws coach Chris Firriolo said. "1000 Islands beat us up pretty bad Wednesday. We're still a point behind them in the league and this win was huge. We really sent a message (Saturday)."
Prior to Saturday's game, Williamsport has averaged an even five goals per game in their last three appearances.
Leveille was part of Williamsport's fast start and nearly gave the Outlaws a lead when he sent the team's first shot directly at the goalie. The shot, from well in front of the blue-line, forced Privateers goalkeeper Matt Anthony into one of his eight first-period saves.
Leveille eventually broke through in the second period when a rebound fell his way.
"We played well and we got to (Mike) Anthony early," Firriolo said. "That was the key. We played physical and played strong defense."
Williamsport entered with the hopes it could erase Wednesday's 8-3 debacle in New York. In the five-goal loss, Justin MacDonald, on his way to being named player of the game, posted three goals to go with one assist. Chris Green added two goals and an assist.
Trevor Karasiewicz and Matt Smyth continued to build on the form that has them third and ninth in the league in points, respectively.
In Friday night's 9-4 win over Danville, a season-high in goals, Smyth tallied three assists and helped Kevin Cooper, playing in just his fourth game with the Outlaws, record the third hat trick since the team relocated to Williamsport.
Karasiewicz also assisted on Cooper's first scoring effort and leads the FHL with 23 assists.
"We got blown out by them Wednesday and it was nice to get a little payback," Leveille said. "We've been a little inconsistent and it's nice to get two wins in a row."