CVAC boys hockey all-stars

Rhett Darrah; First team forward; Saranac Lake, sophomore (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

SARANAC LAKE — After a suffering a tough 4-1 loss to Beekmantown in the semifinal round of the Section VII tournament, the end of the season got a little bit brighter for four members of the Saranac Lake hockey team, as Alex Dukette, Austen Reyell, Rhett Darrah and Carter Sturgeon were named to Champlain Valley Athletic Conference all-star teams.

Dukette, Darrah and Sturgeon were first-team all-CVAC selections and Reyell was an honorable mention choice as leaders of a Red Storm team that ended its run with an 8-9-5 record.

Dukette and Darrah joined Plattsburgh’s Nate Boule as Section VII’s first-team forwards, while Sturgeon was a first-team defensive selection along with Ethan Kay of the Hornets.

Dukette captained the Red Storm as a senior and was a hard worker and a force from one end of the rink to the other. He was the lone Tupper Lake student-athlete on the Saranac Lake hockey team this winter and ended the campaign with 17 goals and 16 assists. He was eighth in the CVAC scoring standings with 33 points.

“Not only was Alex our captain this year, he was our go-to guy,” Saranac Lake head coach Will Ellsworth said. “He played all three zones of the ice well and played every shift like it was his last. For having 17 goals and 16 assists on the offensive side, he was known for his great defensive play and speed. His leadership characteristics and sportsmanship on the ice and in the locker room will be missed.”

Alex Dukette; First team forward; Saranac Lake, senior (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

During his sophomore campaign, Darrah was one of the league’s most dangerous players around the opposition’s net, finishing second in the CVAC in goals scored with 28. Darrah also contributed 15 assists in 20 games to lead the Red Storm in scoring with 43 points this season.

“He created offensive scoring chances every time he was on the ice,” Ellsworth said. “Rhett had the ability to control offensive corners as a wing and was ‘slippery’ in getting chances to go to the net. He has a bright future for being only in 10th grade.”

Just a ninth-grader, Sturgeon was an offensive-minded defender and a skilled play maker. He finished the season with three goals and 20 assists and directed the Saranac Lake power play from his position along the blue line.

“Carter is a skilled offensive defenseman who has great vision on the ice for being in ninth grade,” Ellsworth said. “Carter had the ability to create much needed offense at times and control oppositions’ forecheck with escape moves to generate our breakout. Carter has a great passion for the game and is always the first person on the ice for practice.”

In his final season of high school hockey, Reyell was Saranac Lake’s other captain, and had another outstanding campaign with the team. This winter marked the second season that Reyell served as a team captain. The senior skated on Saranac Lake’s first line and was second on the team in scoring with 19 goals and 18 assists. With 37 points, Reyell finished sixth in the CVAC in scoring.

Austen Reyell; Honorable mention forward; Saranac Lake, senior (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

“Austen had the ability to take over games this year,” Ellsworth said. “Austen played with grit and determination and his physicality was a threat for the opposition.”

Junior Tyler Hinckley was Lake Placid’s sole all-CVAC selection and was named an honorable mention choice at forward. With just one win this winter, it was no doubt a tough run for the Blue Bombers, but Hinckley’s play was among the bright spots. He led Lake Placid in scoring with 14 goals and nine assists. His biggest goal this year was the game-winner in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs that lifted Lake Placid to a monumental 3-2 victory over Northeastern Clinton. The score came in the fourth overtime period and gave Lake Placid its only win of the season.

Lake Placid’s boys were also honored for the second season in a row as the Ray Holmes Sportsmanship award winners.

Tyler Hinckley; Honorable mention forward; Lake Placid, junior (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

Carter Sturgeon; First team defense; Saranac Lake, freshman (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)