SLP goes deep to beat Canton
SARANAC LAKE — The Saranac Lake Placid girls hockey team rode its depth and experience to a 4-0 victory over Canton on home ice Tuesday.
Although coach Bill Peer admitted his squad didn’t turn in an outstanding performance, the effort was solid enough to take down the young Golden Bears, a team that skated with no seniors and a host of players who are competing in their first season of varsity hockey.
SLP grabbed a 1-0 edge with a goal late in the opening period, then pulled away by finding the back of the net three times in the final stanza.
Freshman Lydia Bullock scored twice, Tess Stanton and Chelby Lawrence added a goal each and Whitney Battistoni made 12 saves to earn the shutout victory in net as SLP evened its record at 2-2.
Bullock scored what proved to be the game-winning goal with 1:16 remaining in the opening period off assists from Lea Hill and Madison Grimone, but it took another three goals in the third period for SLP to secure the victory.
After a scoreless middle period, Tess Stanton, a senior from Lake Placid, gave the hosts a 2-0 edge with 4:01 gone in the third on a fluke goal that deflected off a Canton defender and past goaltender Katie Weber.
Lawrence then lifted SLP to a 3-0 lead less than three minutes later with a power-play goal assisted by Ashley Strack.
Bullock rounded out the scoring, burying the game’s fourth goal with 5:12 remaining when she banged a puck past Weber from the right side of the net.
“Depth makes a difference,” Peer said. “The first period we played OK, and the first 10 minutes of the second period we played well. Once we got that bad bounce for them and then scored another right away, I knew we were OK. I knew they couldn’t stick with us because of their depth. We got knocked around for a number of years by them.”
Canton head coach Anita Francis said although her team has good numbers, the Golden Bears couldn’t be much younger this season, and is looking for them to progress as they get deeper into the schedule.
“The last couple of years we’ve had a big turnover. The kids kind of come in waves,” Francis said. “Right now, I’ve got a huge wave but they’re seventh, eighth and ninth graders. I’ve got 14 kids who stepped on a varsity rink for the first time last week. My only two seniors are hurt right now, they’re good players, and that makes a huge difference. I’ve got a lot of good talent, but it’s essentially a modified team playing against a varsity squad.”
Saranac Lake Placid finished with a 27-12 advantage in shots on goal. The win was the first of the season between the pipes for Battistoni, who was in goal for both of her team’s losses, which were overtime decisions. After starting off with an 0-2 mark, SLP entered Tuesday’s game following a road victory over Alexandria Bay on Saturday.
Junior Katie Premo started in goal for the Golden Bears and posted 16 saves during the first and second period. Weber, a freshman, took over in the third period and recorded seven stops.
SLP will now look to avenge an overtime loss when it travels to take on Salmon River on Friday, with the opening faceoff slated for 6:15 p.m.
“It’s nice to get the win, but we still have things to work on,” Peer said, adding that faceoffs in at both ends of the rink are among the areas where he wants to see improvement. “We have a good Salmon River team up next. We lost to them two weeks ago. They’re undefeated, winning all three of their games in overtime. We’ll get in two good practices, go up there and see what happens.”
Saranac Lake 4, Canton 0
Golden Bears 0 0 0 — 0
SLP 1 0 3 — 4
1. SLP, Bullock (L. Hill, Grimone), 13:44.
2. SLP, Stanton, 4:01; 3.SLP, Lawrence (Strack), 6:41, pp; 4. SLP, Bullock, 9:38.
Shots on goal: SLP 27, Canton 12.
Saves: SLP, Battistoni 12; Canton, Premo 16, Weber 7.