SARANAC LAKE - Coaches love it when players do what they are asked. The girls on the Saranac Lake hockey team did just that.
After a scoreless first period in Wednesday's home game against Salmon River, the Red Storm scored twice in less than two minutes to open the second period during a 5-0 victory over the Shamrocks in a high school doubleheader at the Civic Center.
Saranac Lake added one more goal in the middle stanza and added two more in the third to improve to 4-7-1. The win also marked the first career varsity shutout for standout sophomore goaltender Katey Snyder, who is in her third season with the Red Storm.
Saranac Lake’s Maggie Darrah and Molly Brockway of Salmon River battle for the puck during the opening period of Wednesday’s game at the?Saranac Lake Civic Center.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Maggie Darrah paced Saranac Lake with two goals, while Jillian Martin, Bridget Sullivan and Sydney Battistoni each scored once.
"I just told the girls I wanted two goals and I wanted them quick at the beginning of the second period," Red Storm head coach Erin Biek said. "I think both teams were a little flat in the first period, but we still controlled more of the play. We just had to keep up the pressure."
Four of Saranac Lake's five goals came from in close, including the first two of the game. Martin put the Red Storm on the board just 38 seconds into the period, and Darrah followed with her first at the 1:22 mark.
After missing a month of action with an ankle injury, Sullivan notched her first goal of the season with 1:04 remaining in the second, sliding a backhand shot under Salmon River goalie Becca Leroux for a 3-0 Saranac Lake edge.
Darrah, who also missed a number of games early, got her second of the game with 5:18 gone in the third period, and Battistoni rounded out the scoring with a power-play goal on a backhand shot with 7:06 remaining in the game.
Snyder made 23 saves to keep the Shamrocks off the board and said her shutout was a long time coming.
"I've been waiting for that to happen ever since I've been on the team," Snyder said. "I was very nervous during the last 10 minutes of the game. I think they got off three or four shots with a minute or two to go and fortunately they didn't get past me.
"Things are finally working for us," Snyder added. "We've just gotten better doing the little things that you need to do. Right now, we're having a lot of fun and we're playing pretty good hockey."
The Red Storm held a 25-23 edge in shots. Leroux made 20 saves in the goal for Salmon River, which fell to 1-11-1 on the season. Saranac Lake had to rally for a 2-2 tie at Salmon River when the two teams met for the first time this season.
"The biggest thing right now is we are playing like a team," Biek said. "Our biggest improvement has been on offense. At the beginning of the season, we were getting six to eight shots a game. I think we've finally figures out our line combinations. Now, the girls are passing the puck, they are looking for each other, and they are taking shots."
Sullivan picked up an assist to finish with two points for the Red Storm. Kennedy Snyder and McKayla Duffy also added single assists in the win.
Saranac Lake will be on the road for its next game, which will be at home on Friday, Jan. 25 against Skaneateles.
Saranac Lake 5, Salmon River 0
1. SL, Martin (Sullivan), :38; 2. SL, Darrah (Ke. Snyder), 1:22; 3. SL, Sullivan, 13:56.
4. SL, Darrah, 5:18; 5. Battistoni (Duffy), 7:52, pp.
Shots on goal: Salmon River 23, Saranac Lake 25.
Saves: SR, Leroux 20; SL, Ka. Snyder 23.