SLP falls to the Eagles 5-2

Pictured from left is SLP’s Grady Draper, Ryan Gallagher and Evan Willett after Gallagher scored his career varsity goal against Beekmantown on Thursday at the Saranac Lake Civic Center. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

SARANAC LAKE — The Saranac Lake Placid boy’s hockey team found themselves in a bit of a funk without some of their typical players, but the team was ready to play on Thursday.

Despite SLP suffering a 5-2 loss to the Beekmantown Eagles in a league matchup at the Saranac Lake Civic Center, SLP head coach Brennen McHugh described his team’s performance as “gutsy.”

“When guys are down and out, other guys get opportunities,” McHugh said. “Guys were excited about that. There is some guys who played minutes that they don’t normally play. They played really, really nice. They looked like they belonged.

“We certainly miss those guys and we’re looking forward to getting them back,” he added. “But that group came together and they played hard for each other. They gave us a chance to compete in that game.”

The win gave Beekmantown the season sweep over SLP, with the Eagles winning the last matchup between the two teams by a score of 6-2 on Jan. 13.

“We said last week, they’re the class of this league. Beekmantown is,” McHugh said. “Ultimately it’s going to go through them. I think we gained their respect tonight.”

On the first shift of the game, Beekmantown’s Zach LaPier buried a quick goal just 32 seconds into game to give his team a commanding lead. LaPier’s goal was assisted by Luke Moser and Sam Bingel.

Nearly 14 minutes later, Beekmantown tacked on their second goal of the game when Nolan Latinville beat SLP starting netminder Brayden Munn.

As things looked bleak on the SLP bench, with the team having not recorded a shot within the first 15 minutes of the game, SLP’s Brady Tremblay changed the tone of the game.

Tremblay stole the puck at the neutral zone before skating past a Beekmantown defenseman. Tremblay then took a falling shot that soared right past the Eagles goalkeeper to put his team on the board.

While Beekmantown owned a 21-2 edge in shots on goal in just the first period, SLP was down just one goal heading into the second period.

Around the halfway point of the second period, the Eagles pushed their lead to two when James Burnham found the back of the net.

Even though SLP was down two goals, the team never gave up and it showed when Ryan Gallagher netted his first career varsity hockey goal at 10:14 in the middle period.

The goal was scored after Gallagher, along with his teammate, Evan Willett, both recorded multiple shots on just one shift. Willett, along with Andrew Gay, were credited with assists on the play.

While SLP finally had things going, Beekmantown scored twice to end the game. The two goals were scored by Sam Bingel and Cooper Burdo.

“It was a really good effort and I was really, really proud of them,” McHugh said. “We had our chances, we defended well. I’m just proud of them.”

SLP’s Munn was stellar in net. Munn recorded a season-high 40 saves, while Beekmantown’s Austin Doser recorded 17 saves.

“That was a really gutsy effort by us,” McHugh said. “Honestly, it’s probably the best three periods of hockey we’ve put together in a game this year.”

With the loss, the SLP boys record now falls to 4-6. The team will look to record their first win in the new year on Tuesday when the team takes on Northeastern Clinton at the Jack Shea 1932 arena at 6 p.m.

“We’ve lost a few in a row here,” McHugh said. “You kind of have to get a game like this where you still lose but you start to kind of gain some momentum before you get over the hump.

“We’ve seen it so many times before, this is really exciting stuff to kind of build off of going into next weekend,” he added. We’re playing two games basically every week from here on out. It’s a good place to start.”


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