LAKE PLACID - Heading into the weekend for two non-league games against Section II teams, Lake Placid boys hockey coach Keith Clark thought his players would be involved in competitive contests on their home rink.
One game turned out to be a real test for Lake Placid, the other didn't.
On Saturday, Jan. 14, the Blue Bombers dominated their way to an 11-3 victory over Whitesboro, but on Sunday, Jan. 15, it was a much different story as Homer-Cortland skated to a 3-1 win over Lake Placid.
Lou Reuter/Lake Placid News
Lake Placid’s Elias Smith attempts to control a bouncing puck during a game against Cortland-Homer Sunday, Jan. 15 at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid.
Dustin Jacques netted a natural hat trick in the opening period to lead Lake Placid to the romp over Whitesboro at the Olympic Center's 1932 Rink in a game that saw the Blue Bombers hold an overwhelming 31-14 advantage in shots on goal. Jacques also had an assist to finish with five points.
Also leading the way for Lake Placid were Eddie Kane with a pair of goals and two assists and Ryan Damp, who found the back of the net twice.
Nzoni Thompson added two goals for the Blue Bombers, Ryan Meyer and Dillon Savage each scored one goal and Shane McNierney recorded four assists.
In their first trip to play hockey in the North Country, the Cortland-Homer Eagles picked up a pair of wins. After defeating Northeastern Clinton 5-2 Saturday in Rouses Point, Cortland-Homer scored three goals in the second period on the way to a 3-1 win over Lake Placid on Sunday.
The Blue Bombers outshot the visitors 18-16, but couldn't match the early intensity of their opponent.
"Cortland-Homer is a hard-working Central New York team," Clark said. "They play gutty, in-your-face hockey, and we didn't seem ready for that. We had a better third period, but again, it was a case of too little, too late.
"I thought both of these games were going to be competitive," Clark added. "I don't know if Whitesboro had an off night against us, but I know Cortland-Homer has a good team."
Matt Mav, Matt Condit and Victory McCutcheon each scored once for Cortland-Homer, which improved to 5-8-1 overall.
Playing a very competitive Section II schedule, the Division I Eagles are hoping that picking up a pair of non-league wins against Section VII teams will get them heading in the right direction.
"We got off to a slow start, but we are starting to put it together," said Cortland-Homer coach Don Armstrong. "I don't think our record is indicative of how good our team actually is. We skated at both ends of the rink, and we got solid goaltending this weekend. Our kids all worked hard and we came away with two wins.
"This was the first trip to Lake Placid for our team," Armstrong added. "This is a historic building. I had three brothers who all went to (The) Northwood (School), and I remember standing in this rink when I was young. Our kids were very excited about playing in Lake Placid. They watched the Miracle on Ice movie on the bus ride up here."
Cortland-Homer kept Lake Placid's scoring chances to a minimum through out most of Sunday's game. The Blue Bombers only put two shots on goal in the first period and had six in the second stanza. Lake Placid picked it up in the final period, outshooting Homer-Cortland 10-4. After the Bombers came up empty on some good scoring opportunities from in close, they avoided the shutout when Kane netted a power-play goal with just 10 seconds remaining in the game. On the play, Kane picked up the puck in his team's defensive zone, skated the length of the rink and beat Eagles goalie Tyler Wallace on the short side with shot along the ice.
The Eagles used two goalies in Sunday's matchup. Starting netminder Cortland Broyles made 10 saves and Wallace played the third period and recorded 10 stops. Jeff Smith recorded 13 saves in goal for the Blue Bombers.
After the weekend, Lake Placid now has an 8-3 record.