LAKE PLACID - Dressed in pink jerseys for a cross-town rivalry game that was also a fundraiser to fight cancer, the Northwood School junior hockey team gave its fans plenty to cheer about Wednesday at the Olympic Center's 1932 Rink.
In an exciting matchup that went back and forth, Scott Fenwick scored 27 seconds into overtime to lift Northwood to a 4-3 victory over the National Sports Academy.
After falling behind by a goal early, the Huskies owned a 3-2 lead late in regulation, but had to win it in overtime after Saranac Lake's Devin Darrah scored a short-handed goal for NSA with just over five minutes remaining in the third period. The victory gave Northwood a two-game season sweep over NSA, with the Huskies pulling out a 4-2 win when the teams met earlier in another close contest.
Devin Darrah carries the puck for NSA past the Northwood bench during the second period of Wednesday’s game at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid. Darrah, a Saranac Lake High School graduate, had a goal and an assist in his team’s 4-3 overtime setback.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
"You just throw out the records when our two teams play," Northwood head coach Josh Leroy said. "Any time we beat those guys, it's a big win. We've had two close competitive games against them this season, and this one was a memorable one."
Both teams scored once in the opening period. With hundreds of spectators watching, many dressed in pink T-shirts, Freddie Eineren, a junior from Sweden, scored with less than two minutes gone in the game to give the Mountaineers a 1-0 edge. Drew Smith answered for Northwood, notching a goal at the 4:32 mark with assists going to Diego Gagnon and Tom Evangelista.
The Huskies grabbed a 2-1 lead on the only goal of the second period, which was scored by Drew Smith at the 13:52 mark. Assists on the play went to Anthony Eno and Josef Suska.
The Mountaineers evened the game at 2-2 when Marcus Astesana tallied 2:52 into the third period. The Huskies then jumped back in front again on a goal from Corey Mackin at the 12:15 mark.
With the clock winding down, Darrah came up big for NSA, tallying on a breakaway to knot the score at 3-3 with 5:24 left in the third period. Darrah's goal came with a teammate in the penalty box, and the play resulted from a Huskies turnover just outside their blue line. Darrah, the former Red Storm captain playing a post-graduate season at NSA, jumped on a loose puck along the boards, drove to the net and beat Northwood goalie Alex Morin from in close.
The Huskies were unable to get another go-ahead goal with 1:08 still left in the Mountaineers penalty, and ultimately, the game headed to overtime. It only took Northwood 27 seconds to score the winner, as Fenwick ripped a wrist shot past NSA goaltender Reegan McHenry from about 20 feet in front of the net.
"We persevered," Leroy said. "NSA really gave us a battle, they usually do. In the eight years I've been at Northwood, the first eight or nine minutes of these games usually indicate how the rest of the game will play out. If it's close early, it usually goes down to the wire. When they scored that first goal, I was a little concerned, but our guys know how to come from behind."
Northwood held a 31- 18 edge in shots on goal. Morin made 15 saves to earn the win in net, and McHenry had a solid effort in the loss, recording 27 stops between the pipes for NSA.
After starting the season with a 2-5 record, the Huskies put together a stretch where they have gone 22-5-3. Now owning an overall mark of 24-10-3, Northwood is nearing the end of its season.
The Huskies will play Sunday at UMass Amherst against the Boston Junior Bruins, and wrap up their schedule over the first weekend of March at a tournament in Quebec City.
The Mountaineers will next play in Quebec at the St. Foy Tournament with play starting Feb. 28.
Northwood 4, NSA 3
1. NSA, Eineren, 1:54; 2. NW, McDonald (Gagnon, Evangelista), 4:32.
3. NW, Smith (Eno, Suska), 13:52.
4. NSA, Astesana (Darrah), 2:52; 5. NW, Mackin (White, Hermans), 12:15, pp; 6. NSA, Darrah, 14:36, shg.
7. NW, Fenwick (Wu), :27.
Shots on goal: Northwood 31, NSA 18.
Saves: NW, Morin 15, NSA McHenry 27.