LAKE PLACID - Lake Placid was looking for a much-needed victory against Beekmantown in a key Champlain Valley Athletic Conference hockey matchup Tuesday night at the Olympic Center. And the Blue Bombers got off to quite a start, skating out to a 3-1 first-period lead in what could have been considered a must-win for the hosts.
The Eagles, however, didn't get rattled. Trailing by two goals, Beekmantown netted the final three tallies of the game, including a pair in the final period, to claim a 4-3 victory and stay tied at the top of the league standings.
After Eddie Kane, Dillon Savage and Ryan Meyer found the back of the net for Lake Placid in the first period, Beekmantown played shutout hockey the rest of the way to improve to 5-1 in the CVAC and 12-3 overall.
Lake Placid defenseman Nzoni Thompson dives to keep the puck inside the Beekmantown blue line during the second period of Tuesday’s game at the Olympic Center.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Brenden Carnright came up big for Beekmantown, scoring the tying goal and game-winner to lift the visitors to a two-game regular-season sweep over Lake Placid. The Blue Bombers played one of their best games of the season and outshot the Eagles 30-26, but couldn't come up with an all-important fourth goal.
"Now we're battling to host a playoff game," said Lake Placid head coach Keith Clark. "Our kids are disappointed, but I'm proud of their effort. In a lot of ways, I think we outplayed them, we just couldn't get that fourth goal. We had a bunch of chances but that fourth goal never came."
Kane, Lake Placid's leading scorer, had a hand in all three of his team's goals. The senior forward gave Lake Placid a quick 1-0 lead on a power-play goal just 1:03 into the game with RJ Reid picking up an assist. Beekmantown also cashed in on a man advantage to knot the score at 1-1 when Cole Carter found the back of the net at the 5:18 mark.
The rest of the period belonged to Lake Placid. In their defensive zone, sophomore goalie Tucker Angelopolous made some dazzling saves in the Blue Bombers net to keep the Eagles off the board.
And at the other end of the rink, Lake Placid got two nice goals to jump in front 3-1. The first came off the stick of Dillon Savage, who stuffed home a rebound off a shot by Kane for a 2-1 Lake Placid edge at the 11:31 mark.
A little more than a minute later, Kane won a faceoff in the Eagles zone and drew the puck back to Ryan Meyer, who ripped home a slapshot from the slot to put the Blue Bombers up by two goals.
Meyer's tally turned out to be the last time Lake Placid would get a puck past Beekmantown goalie Dustin Plumadore, who made 21 saves during the final two periods.
The Eagles pulled within a goal on the lone tally of the second period when Brandon Buksa finished off a beautiful three-way passing play, scoring at the 9:58 mark with Carnright and Nathan Foster assisting. Carnright then evened the score at the 8:21 mark of the third, and followed with the game-winner when he broke in alone on Angelopolous and top-shelved a wrist shot over the netminder's blocker with 4:04 remaining in the period.
The Blue Bombers held a 21-13 edge in shots during the second and third periods, but Eagles made the most of their scoring chances down the stretch.
"Finding a way to respond to adversity, that's the story of this game," Beekmantown coach Justin Frechette said. "We knew coming in that this was a big game for Lake Placid, and I have to give them credit, they really came out flying.
"Lake Placid came out and took it to us essentially in that first period, but we didn't panic," Frechette added. "We haven't really been in a hole like that this year in an important game, but we knew if we stuck with it, stuck with our systems, we would get our chances. I'm extremely proud of how our kids battled back."
The Eagles handed the Blue Bombers their first loss of the season, a 6-3 setback Jan. 3 in Plattsburgh, and since then, Lake Placid has struggled, winning just twice during an eight-game stretch. The Blue Bombers are now 2-3-1 in the CVAC and 9-4-2 overall. Despite the loss, Clark and his players are not about to give up.
"They got us twice, and maybe we might have a third opportunity against them," Clark said. "You know, the third time's the charm. We played with a lot of intensity tonight. We had them on the ropes. Maybe we can take some good out of this game."
The Blue Bombers have another CVAC matchup on tap when they travel to play Saranac Central Saturday at the SUNY Plattsburgh Field House. The opening faceoff is slated for 1 p.m. Beekmantown next plays Northwood on Friday in Plattsburgh at the Ameri-Can North Sports Center.
Beekmantown 4, Lake Placid 3
1. LP, Kane (Reid), 1:03. pp; 2. B, Carter (Bradish), 5:19, pp; 3. LP, Savage (Kane, Damp), 11:31; 4. LP, Meyer (Kane), 12:48.
5. B, Buksa (Carnright, Foster), 9:58.
6. B, Carnright (Constanty), 8:21; 7. B, Carnright (Carter), 10:56.
Shots on goal: Lake Placid 30, Beekmantown 26.
Saves: B, Plumadore 27; LP, Angelopolous 22.