SLP falls to the Saranac Chiefs

Saranac Lake Placid’s Nick Munn takes the puck into the offensive zone during Wednesday’s game against Saranac Central. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

SARANAC LAKE — About a month ago, the Saranac Lake Placid boys hockey team defeated the Saranac Central Chiefs on the road. That wasn’t the case on Wednesday.

Playing at the Saranac Lake Civic Center, the SLP boys were defeated by a score of 5-2 in a Section VII hockey match-up.

The game marked the first for SLP since the team was forced to pause the season due to COVID-19. While the team missed much of last week, SLP head coach Brennen McHugh said the time off did have an effect on the game, but it’s not an excuse.

“You can tell in the conditioning late in the third period or the second half of the third period. That’s when it really sticks out to me,” McHugh said. “But I just assume everybody is going through the same thing. Saranac is probably no different than we are, so it’s certainly not an excuse.”

Despite the loss, SLP’s Kaden Darrah and Noah Munn-Jennings each recorded a goal — both of which were assisted by Kellan Duffy.

Saranac Lake Placid’s Noah Munn-Jennings riffles a shot past the Saranac Central goaltender during Wednesday’s game at home. The SLP boys were defeated 5-2 by the Chiefs. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

On the Saranac side, six different players recorded a goal in the winning effort.

For SLP, things started out pretty well. The team controlled the puck in their offensive zone and were able to find a few scoring opportunities.

Even though SLP had momentum on their side, it was the Chiefs who were able to find the back of the net first. The goal came at the hands of Saranac’s Nolan Miner.

“We had such a great start in the first five minutes. It felt like we had chance after chance,” McHugh said. “I think we kind of thought that it was going to be easy, but they get one opportunity and it went in the back of the net. It kind of got away from our style of play.

“We abandoned the structure and we were chasing it from there,” he added. “It’s kind of too bad because that first five minutes was the best five minutes we’ve had, possibly the whole year.”

The game’s opening goal clearly stunned the SLP boys, who allowed the Chiefs to score once again before the first period’s end. The goal was scored by Saranac’s Ashtyn Catlin.

In the second period, SLP finally got on the scoreboard when Duffy found Darrah in front of the net for the goal.

Duffy would once again show off his playmaking skills when he found Munn-Jennings, who riffled the puck past the Chiefs goaltender to even up the game.

While things seemed to be going well for SLP, the Chiefs had something else in mind, with Zach O’Connell putting the puck into the back of the net just three minutes later. O’Connell’s goal gave his team a 3-2 lead.

After SLP gave up their third goal of the game, the mistakes started to add up. The team started receiving penalties.

While most teams dread going on the penalty kill, SLP has had a lot of success with a man down this season. Prior to Wednesday, the team scored more than five shorthanded goals while only giving up one powerplay goal.

Against Saranac Central, the team allowed two powerplay goals. The goals were scored by Ryan Maggy and Hunter Provost.

“We can’t score shorthanded goals every game, we almost did tonight. It’s not so much the penalty kill that is going to keep us up tonight it’s the penalties,” McHugh said. “For some reason, it always seems that we take more than we draw. Hockey happens, but tonight there were three or four. There was one late in the game and the refs do not want to call that late in the game. But they have no choice, they will.

“Certainly when we are down two, whenever that was six or seven minutes to go they don’t want to call that, but if it’s blatant they have to,” he added. “It wasn’t the penatly kill that bothered me it’s the penalties.”

SLP’s Brayden Munn had a strong performance in the net. Munn stopped 40 of Saranac’s 44 shots, while the Chiefs Mason Patnode recorded 36 shots.

The SLP boys were slated to take on Beekmantown on Thursday.


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