Ithaca shuts down SLP girls

Rylee Preston controls the puck for Saranac Lake Placid near center ice during the third period of Thursday’s game. Pictured for Ithaca is Liala Cryer. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

SARANAC LAKE — It’s always good to get a lot of shots on goal in the game of ice hockey. But what really counts is putting pucks in the net, and that’s just what Ithaca did against the host team in Thursday’s opening round of the Saranac Lake Placid girls’ annual holiday hockey tournament.

Despite being out shot 30-18, Ithaca skated to a 5-1 victory over SLP to reach today’s championship game. The Little Red found the back of the net twice in less than two minutes in the first period and tacked on three more unanswered goals in the second to roll out to a 5-0 lead before Maddie Gay finally sent home a rebound late in the stanza for SLP’s only goal.

The teams went on to play scoreless hockey in the third as the Little Red advanced to face Plattsburgh in today’s tournament final, which starts at 2 p.m. Meanwhile, SLP looks to rebound in the consolation matchup when it faces Canton’s Golden Bears, who fell 3-2 to Plattsburgh in Thursday’s first semifinal game. Saranac Lake Placid and Canton will tangle starting at noon.

After failing to take advantage of some early opportunities, SLP found itself facing a two-goal deficit when Ithaca’s Kelly Goodrow scored at the 10:19 mark of the first and teammate Maddie Sornberger upped the lead to 2-0 at the 12:34 mark on her first of two goals. Sornberger pretty much put the game out of reach, notching her next goal less than a minute into the second period.

The Little Red added two more goals late in the second, with Lily Joseph tallying at the 9:54 mark and Goodrow following with her second of the game 1:30 later.

Ithaca’s Reilly Lemberg and Saranac Lake’s Annabelle Bombard-Schmidt watch the puck slide behind the SLP net during Thursday’s game. (Enterprise photos — Lou Reuter)

Trailing 5-0, SLP broke up the shutout bid of Little Red goaltender Hannah Bradley when Gay wristed home a rebound with 2:21 remaining in the second off an original shot fired by Lydia Bullock. Lea Hill also collected an assist on the play.

Saranac Lake Placid out shot Ithaca 12-2 during the final period but could not get another puck past Brennan, who finished with 29 saves. Olivia Ferebee and Brooke Paries both spent time between the pipes for SLP. Ferebee recorded five stops in the opening period and was then replaced by Paries after the Little Red popped in their third goal. Paries finished with eight saves.

Ithaca improved to 4-2-1 with the win, and head coach Holly Norsen was pleased with her team’s performance.

“I think this was the best game we’ve had all season. We’re excited to be at this tournament,” said Norsen, who is in her first year as head coach for the Little Red. “We were working really well with passing, using the soft spots and working all together. We’ve been working on passing, going cross ice and stopping and looking for the open player before we pass. We’re a big hustle team.”

SLP head coach Bill Peer said not being able to cash in early hurt his team.

“We couldn’t put the puck away early,” Peer said. “The first seven our eight minutes, we had the puck in their zone. We were buzzing but we didn’t finish, and then when we gave up the first goal, and we really deflated. I thought it was the second goal that really broke us.

“They were in the right spot tonight,” Peer said of his opponent. “A couple of their goals were our defensive zone breakdowns; chasing the puck. We had some bad puck luck and Ithaca had good puck luck. We had some chances to score and didn’t, and they scored on their chances. They had kids who were in the right spot and could finish.”

Saranac Lake Placid dropped to 5-6 with the setback.

Ithaca 5,

Saranac Lake Placid 1

Little Red 2 3 0 — 5

SLP 0 1 0 — 1


First Period

1. I, Goodrow (Swartz), 10:19; 2. I, Sornberger (Baker, Crane), 12:34.

Second Period

3. I, Sornberger (Lemberg), :59; 4. I, Joesph, 9:54; 5. I, Goodrow (Howe), 11:24; 6. SLP, M. Gay (Bullock, Hill), 12:39.

Shots on Goal: SLP 30, Ithaca 18.

Saves: Ithaca, Brennan 29; SLP, Ferebee 5, Paries 8.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today