SLP boys edge PHS, fall to Cougars
The Saranac Lake Placid boys hockey team posted a loss and a win over the weekend.
SLP had a rough outing at the Rouses Point Civic Center Saturday, falling 7-1 to Northeastern Clinton, and then rebounded Sunday to claim a 4-3 victory over Plattsburgh at the Ameri-Can North Arena.
Ryan Racine scored twice and added a pair of assists to lead NCCS. Lucas Bedard had a standout performance for the winners with a goal and three assists, and the Cougars also got single tallies from Sam Bulson, Jack Bulson, Noah Gonyo and Reid LaValley.
Kellan Duffy, a freshman defender, netted SLP’s lone goal on an unassisted play in the middle of the second period.
Despite falling behind 2-0 in the opening period, Clark said his team played really well early on. The Cougars went on to up their lead to 4-0 before Duffy cut SLP’s deficit to 4-1 on his goal with 7:44 remaining in the second period. NCCS found the back of the net one more time in the second and two more times in the third to pull away.
“NCCS is a very good, senior-heavy team, and I thought we outplayed them and had a lot of chances in the first period,” Clark said. “We kind of gave up late in the game, which was disappointing, but it wasn’t all bad.”
NCCS finished with a 36-31 edge in shots on goal. Ethan Garrand earned the win in nets with 30 saves and Anders Stanton recorded 29 stops between the pipes for SLP.
SLP picked up its first win of the season in a back-and-forth battle with Plattsburgh. The Hornets led 1-0 after the opening period, SLP scored three times in the second to grab a 3-1 edge, and after Plattsburgh rallied to tie, SLP earned the victory senior Rhett Darrah buried the game-winner with just 14 seconds remianing in regulation.
Darrah, a senior captain, scored SLP’s final three goals to finish with a hat trick in the next-to-last game of his high school career.
Trailing 1-0, SLP deadlocked the contest quickly when junior Bailey Bartholomew scored on an unassisted play just eight seconds into the middle period. Darrah then notched a pair of goals to send SLP into the second intermission up 3-1. Drew Knowles and Hutchinson Ovios tallied third-period goals for the Hornets to even the score at 3-3, and Darrah then answered with his third of the game with the clock winding down to clinch the win, with Noah Munn Jennings and Carter Sturgeon assisting on the play.
Munn Jennings finished with three assists, and Stanton — SLP’s other senior co-captain — recorded 34 saves to earn the win in nets. Ty Calkins was credited with 32 saves in goal for Plattsburgh.
“Our seniors came through and it was nice to get a W,” Clark said. “Rhett led us with the hat trick and Andres made some big saves late. It was nice to see us execute on the fourth goal and stick with it. We found a way to win.”
With a two-week spring vacation starting this weekend, SLP has opted out of an end-of-the season tournament that would have kicked off with a play-in game on Thursday and moved into semifinals and the championship game on Saturday and Sunday. That means SLP wraps up its season on Wednesday against Beekmantown at the Ameri-Can North Arena in Plattsburgh with the opening faceoff slated for 7:15 p.m.
Clark said he’d love to see his team wrap their abbreviated run up with a 2-2 record but admitted it will be a tough task.
“We were a little bit snakebitten over the weekend. We hit four or five posts,” Clark said. “It’s been a strange year and it’s nice to see some growth in this group in a short period of time. Now our goal is to have our last game be our best game from start to finish against a good Beekmantown team.”