LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid boys hockey team eked out a victory at home Tuesday, Feb. 7, topping Plattsburgh 5-4 in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference action at the Olympic Center's 1932 Rink.
The Blue Bombers built a two-goal lead in both the second and third periods, but had to hold on after the Hornets rallied twice late in the game and were just one shot away from deadlocking the contest. Lake Placid's final two goals were short-handed scores, including the game-winner that junior Eddie Kane sent into an empty net during the closing seconds of the game.
Lake Placid's second line of Troy Jacques, Keegan Barney and Elias Smith accounted for three scores, with Jacques leading the way with a pair of goals. Barney scored once and added an assist, while Shane McNierney also notched a goal for the winners.
Lou Reuter/Lake Placid News
Ryan Meyer of Lake Placid splits through Plattsburgh’s John Fine-Lease, left, and Brandon Matott while chasing the puck during a Champlain Valley Athletic Conference game Tuesday, Feb. 7 in the Olympic Center.
Kane netted the game-winning goal nine seconds after McNierney was called for a minor penalty in the Lake Placid defensive zone. At the time, the Hornets were trailing 4-3 and had pulled goalie Robbie Knowles for a six-on-four advantage with the power play.
Following a faceoff in the Blue Bombers' zone, Kane took control of a loose puck near his own blue line, skated past the pressing Hornets and slid a shot into the unguarded net for a 5-3 Lake Placid edge with 48 seconds left on the clock. Still on the power play, Plattsburgh scored one more time with 22 seconds remaining to make it a one-goal game again. But it was too little, too late as the Blue Bombers held on to improve to 5-2-1 in the CVAC and 13-4-1 overall.
Plattsburgh dropped to 2-9 in the CVAC and 4-12-1 overall.
"We escaped with that win," said Lake Placid coach Keith Clark, whose team remains in second place in the CVAC standings. "This wasn't one of our better games. We'd get it going a little bit and then we laid off. We were lackluster at times during the game. We've just got to play with more consistency, especially with the playoffs coming up."
Both teams scored once in the opening period, with Plattsburgh getting on the board first when John Fine-Lease tallied 4:49 into the game. Troy Jacques tied it up for Lake Placid, scoring on a wrist shot from in close at the 9:21 mark with the assist going to Haile Thompson.
The Blue Bombers netted the only two goals of the middle period, when Jacques stuffed a rebound in the net just 1:02 into the stanza for his second goal and 2-1 Lake Placid lead. McNierney followed with a goal at the 4:35 mark, sending a wrist shot past Knowles into the short side of the net for a 3-1 Blue Bombers edge.
The teams combined for five goals in the final period. Plattsburgh netted the first of the period at the 1:56 mark when Alex Maston fired a wrist shot toward the net. Lake Placid goalie Jeff Smith snared the shot with his glove, but lost his balance while making the save and the puck popped out and into the net to cut the Hornets deficit to 3-2. Barney answered for Lake Placid with a short-handed goal at the 6:44 mark to lift the hosts back into a two-goal lead.
Jack Tolosky notched the third Hornets goal, scoring at the 9:22 mark to make it a 4-3 game. The score stayed that way until Kane scored his empty-netter to give the Bombers a two-goal cushion for a third time in the game. Bechard rounded out the scoring with the fourth Plattsburgh goal with 22 seconds remaining in the game to make it a 5-4 final.
"We really didn't come up with a very good effort tonight," said Plattsburgh head coach Jamie Reidy. "We've been in close games all year, but tonight, the last five minutes of the game was the only time we played some good hockey.
"We gave up two short-handed goals, and that really hurt, but you have to give Clarky's boys credit," Reidy added. "They are a good young team and they are having a good season."
The Blue Bombers outshot the Hornets 36-14, including holding an 20-4 edge in the second period. Knowles made 31 saves in net for Plattsburgh and Smith stopped 10 shots in goal for Lake Placid.
Tolosky assisted on two goals to finish with three points for Plattsburgh, and Bechard also picked up an assist for a two-point performance. R.J. Reid had two assists for the Blue Bombers, Barney added an assist, and senior captain Dustin Jacques also had one assist.
The Blue Bombers have two league games remaining, starting with a home matchup against Saranac Central on Monday, Feb. 13. The game starts at 6 p.m. and the Blue Bombers seniors will be honored prior to the contest. Lake Placid will wrap up regular season play next Wednesday on the road against Northeastern Clinton.
Plattsburgh will play a non-league game on Saturday, Feb. 11 at Tupper Lake and end its CVAC slate at home Wednesday, Feb. 15 against Saranac Lake.
Lake Placid 5, Plattsburgh 4
1. PHS, Fine-Lease, 4:49; 2. LP, T. Jacques (H. Thompson), 9:21.
3. LP, T. Jacques (Reid), 1:02; 4. LP, McNierney (D. Jacques, N. Thompson), 4:35.
5. PHS, Maston (Tolosky, Bechard), 1:56; 6. LP, Barney (Reid), 6:44, shg.; 7. PHS, Tolosky, 9:22; 8. LP, Kane, 14:12, eng, shg; 9. PHS, Bechard (Tolosky), 14:38, pp.
Shots on goal