Eagles upend Red Storm in OT

Austen Reyell of Saranac Lake controls the puck in front of Beekmantown’s Tyler Baker during the first period of Tuesday’s game at the Saranac Lake Civic Center. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

SARANAC LAKE — Fantastic heroics at the end of regulation ended up as vain effort for Saranac Lake on Tuesday, as Beekmantown came through with the game-winner in overtime to claim a 3-2 victory over the Red Storm in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference boys hockey.

After giving up single goals in the second and third periods to fall into a 2-0 hole, Saranac Lake scored twice in the final 63 seconds of regulation to deadlock the game and send it into a five-minute sudden death. But a rally that thrilled the home fans turned into a disappointing finish for the host Red Storm, as well as an exuberant conclusion for the visitors as Nathan Hebert scored with 1:21 left in overtime to lift the Eagles to a 3-2 victory.

What made the loss even more painful for the Red Storm was the overwhelming 45-17 advantage in shots on goal they held over the Eagles, which included three clean breakaways that came up empty against Beekmantown’s goalie Riley Hansen After firing blanks for most of the game, Saranac Lake finally got the offensive push it needed, starting when senior captain Brett Dawson scored with 1:03 remaining in the third period to cut Beekmantown’s lead to 2-1. Austen Reyell then wristed home the equalizer with 6.6 seconds left on the clock to send the contest into sudden-death.

Unfortunately for Saranac Lake, two Eagles were left unguarded in front of the net on the game-winner as Hebert, Beekmantown’s senior captain, slid a rebound past goalie Bruno Freeman after Beekmantown won a faceoff in the Red Storm’s end of the rink.

“In overtime, it’s one play that can make or break a game,” Saranac Lake head coach Will Ellsworth said. “Dawson could have won it for us on his breakaway, and instead, one of our upper-class defensemen misses an assignment. That’s all it was. He didn’t tie him up. The kid from Beekmantown won the draw, puck goes in front of the net, game over.

Beekmantown’s Nathan Hebert attempts to fend off Saranac Lake forwards Matt Kratts (44), Brett Dawson (23) and Rhett Darrah on Tuesday at the Saranac Lake Civic Center. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

“But I’m awfully proud of the way our kids came back. It was great,” Ellsworth added. “They definitely showed some inspiration. I thought some of our kids brought their A games. Brett Dawson had a terrific game. I knew right away it was going to be a one-goal game, a typical Saranac Lake-Beekmantown game.”

Hansen was stellar from the get go between the pipes for Beekmantown, and at the same time, Saranac Lake seemed to be snake bit. Despite outshooting the Eagles 14-4 in the first period, the Red Storm couldn’t convert on early chances for what could have been an early edge. Dawson had the best opportunity to put Saranac Lake on the board as the opening period was winding down when a Beekmantown defender coughed up the puck in his team’s end of the rink. Dawson collected the turnover and skated in all alone on Hansen but couldn’t convert when he rattled a backhander off the crossbar with 12 seconds left in the stanza.

Cody Repas netted both Beekmantown goals in regulation, starting with his first at 4:01 into the second period off assists from Josh McCauley and Hebert. The second period ended with Saranac Lake wasting another golden opportunity when Dylan Amell skated in alone on Hansen but fired a shot wide to the right side of the net as the buzzer sounded.

Repas buried his second of the game 5:27 into the third to give Beekmantown what looked like a commanding 2-0 edge. Instead, the Red Storm roared back with their two late goals to put a dramatic end to regulation. But in the end, the Eagles withstood the storm to improve to 2-1 in the CVAC and 3-6 overall.

“Our kids have been in a lot of big games over the years,” said head coach Justin Frechette, whose Eagles killed off six penalties during the game, including one late in the third before Saranac Lake tied the contest with Freeman pulled and an extra attacker on the ice. “We had a penalty there near the end, and they were able to get their goalie out for a 6-on-4, and they eventually tied it up. I thought we did a good job defensively all night.

“Saranac Lake is a hard team to play against,” Frechette continued. “They forecheck hard and they generate a lot of chances off rebounds. I was proud of how our kids responded to their push. It’s hard when you give up two goals late in the game like that, and then to come back and win it in overtime on a set faceoff play like that, it was nice to see our kids and captain step up. I think the story for us was the play of our goalie Riley Hansen. Our goaltender kept us in there. It was another classic Beekmantown-Saranac Lake hockey game.”

Hansen finished with 43 saves. Five of those stops came in overtime, including denying Dawson on his second breakway of the game. Freeman finished with 14 stops in the contest.

McCauley picked up a pair of assists in the win and Collin Latinville also had one assist for Beekmantown. Reyell and Carter Sturgeon assisted on Dawson’s tally and Alex Dukette picked up an assist on Reyell’s late-tying tally.

Beekmantown next plays Friday against Saranac Central. Saranac Lake dropped to 3-6-1 with the loss and will next host rival Lake Placid Friday with the opening faceoff slated for 7 p.m.

Beekmantown 3, Saranac Lake 2, OT

Eagles 0 1 1 1 — 3

Red Storm 0 0 2 0 — 2

Scoring summary

Second Period

1. B, Repas (McCauley, Hebert), 4:01.

Third Period

2. B. Repas (McCauley), 5:27; 3. SL, Dawson (Reyell, Sturgeon), 13:57; 4. SL, Reyell (Dukette), 14:54.

Overtime

5. B, Hebert (Latinville), 3:39.

Shots on Goal: Saranac Lake 45, Beekmantown 17.

Saves: B, Hansen 43; SL Freeman 14.

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