SARANAC LAKE - Lake Placid edged Burnt Hills-Ballston Spa 2-1 Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Saranac Lake Civic Center to win the inaugural Casey McHugh Memorial Tournament.
"It's a good start to the year," Blue Bombers coach Keith Clark said. "Obviously, winning the first annual Casey McHugh Memorial is kind of special. We have a lot of friends in Saranac Lake, so that's a little feather in our cap."
Lake Placid, which beat Niskayuna-Schenectady Friday night, won the tournament by amassing 9.5 points, two more than Saranac Lake. The tournament champion was determined by a point system that awarded one point per period that a team outscores an opponent, a half-point for tying a period and two points for a game win.
Mike Lynch/Lake Placid News
Lake Placid co-captain Dustin Jacques celebrates with teammate RJ Reid (17) after the Blue Bombers locked up the championship of the Casey McHugh Memorial Tournament in Saranac Lake.
It's the first year the tournament, previously named the Saranac Lake Invitational, has used this system, which allows the local teams of Saranac Lake and Lake Placid to play the two visiting teams from the Capital District: Burnt Hills-Ballston Spa and Niskayuna-Schenectady.
On Saturday, Lake Placid got on track in the first period when Dillon Savage found the back of the net 12 minutes and 19 seconds into the game. Dustin Jacques and DJ Reid each picked up an assist on the play.
Shortly after the goal, Connor Lind of Burnt Hills scored his team's only goal with a tally 14:35 into the first period. Nick van Liew and Chase Godfrey each assisted on the play.
The Blue Bombers then took the lead for good 10 minutes into the second period when Jacques found Eddie Kane open near the net for the game-winning goal. Kane's goal gave his team a 2-1 advantage.
Kane expressed confidence in this year's Blue Bomber squad after the win.
"It's a good start," Kane said. "In the years past we haven't had a good team. This year, I think we could possibly have a really good team if we get our key players back that are out now."
"Couple years ago we would have never beat teams (Division 1 teams from Albany)," he said. "(I'm) looking forward to starting the league. We should do well this season, I'm hoping. We've got some young guys - goalies. I think we're going to be good."
For the most part, Lake Placid controlled this game. A good indicator of that was the save comparison. The combination of Tucker Angelopoulos and Jeffrey Smith, who split time in the net, needed to only make 12 saves compared to Spartans' goalie Austin Clark, who had 15 saves.
"Yeah, Burnt Hills, their goaltender was pretty solid," Clark said. "We knew that going in and we talked about it. We had a couple posts. That game could have ... been a little easier on us, but it wasn't. It's good, you have to find a way to win a game like that. Our goaltenders made some key saves. They didn't get a ton of shots, but they were pretty quality. But we're proud with that. "
Lake Placid 5, Niskayuna 2
Lake Placid scored two quick goals early in the third period to break open a close game on the way to a 5-2 win over Niskayuna on Friday, Dec. 2 at the Saranac Lake Civic Center.
Ryan Damp kicked off the scoring in the final period with an unassisted goal 46 seconds into the third to give the Blue Bombers a 4-2 lead. Less than two minutes later, teammate Dillon Savage tacked on another score to put the game out of reach with a three-goal advantage.
"In the second, we had a chance to throttle down more and maybe get a couple (more goals)," Lake Placid coach Keith Clark said. "But I thought the start to the third we came out really with a lot of energy and put the game away."
The Blue Bombers were led on offense by Shane McNierney, who had two goals and an assist. Teammate Dustin Jacques had one goal and two assists and RJ Reid added an assist.
This was the first game and win of the year for Lake Placid.