SARANAC LAKE - The Lake Placid girls hockey team beat Saranac Lake 4-2 Monday at the Saranac Lake Civic Center in the final regular season game for both teams.
Eighth-grader Jayde Dukette scored two early goals to lead the Blue Bombers. Both goals came with Lake Placid trailing by one. The second came with 6 minutes, 11 seconds left in the second period.
Dukette's second goal was the first of three unanswered scores for the Blue Bombers, who outplayed their opponent in the second and third periods.
Jillian Martin of Saranac Lake looks for an opening as Lake Placid goaltender Alexa Whitney and defenders Carissa Kennedy and Payton Barney guard the net during Monday night’s game at the Saranac Lake Civic Center.
(Enterprise photo — Mike Lynch)
Samantha Barney scored the third goal goal and Kylie Kroes picked up the final one in the third period. Saranac Lake was held scoreless in the final two periods.
"The key was we had some fun," Lake Placid coach Sandy Huber said. "We've been really stressed out. We struggled coming out of winter break, and we've been gradually getting a little bit better the last couple of games. We had a tie and then finally we got another win. But we've been really hard on ourselves because we've been having trouble scoring."
Huber said one of the keys to the win was senior captain Alexa Whitney getting her team to loosen up. Whitney is normally a right wing, but played goalie in this game because the normal starter Tanner Stanton was out with a leg injury. The Blue Bombers don't really have a backup, at least they didn't until Monday night.
"She played goalie a little bit when she was a lot younger but definitely hasn't had practice in years," Huber said about Whitney. "I think that was the key to us just being able to have fun. We took it seriously but we also allowed ourselves to laugh a little bit. Alexa made some goofy saves, and she's one of those captains who knows when we need a laugh, and this was a good chance for her to shine on that skill."
Whitney finished with 24 saves on the night, including 10 in the final period.
"She did a great job in net," Huber said. "She was all over the puck, but it also helped our D-zone. I think we worked a lot harder because we knew we had an inexperienced goalie, and that we had to help her out. Our defensemen played fantastic in front."
For Saranac Lake, it was the final home game for seniors Jillian Martin, Hanna Courcelle, Kennedy Snyder, McKayla Duffy and Cassidy Rose.
"This is a really great bunch of kids," Red Storm coach Erin Biek said. "It has some good leaders on the team. We're definitely going to miss these five seniors. Actually they were freshman when I started coaching, so I've kind of gone up with them, and they're just a really, really great bunch of kids. Good role models."
The Red Storm's two goals were both unassisted. Cameron Snyder picked up one at 2:13 of the first period and Martin added another 5:30 into the first period to set the score at 2-1.
Saranac Lake's goalie Lindsay Reeve finished with 21 saves.
Morgan Meyer, Emily Godin and Barney each had two assists for Lake Placid. Kroes had one.
Lake Placid finished the regular season 8-8-1 and Saranac Lake fell to 2-16.
The two teams return to action Wednesday night for the playoffs. Lake Placid with host Albany Academy at 6:30 p.m. and Saranac Lake travels to Chazy to play Beekmantown.