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Blue Bombers repeat as McHugh tourney champs

December 7, 2012
By MIKE LYNCH - Sports Writer ( , Lake Placid News

SARANAC LAKE - Lake Placid took first place in the second annual Casey McHugh Memorial Hockey Tournament at the Saranac Lake Civic Center for the second year in a row on Saturday, Dec. 1.

The Blue Bombers earned the title in the points-based tournament after beating Niskayuna-Schenectady on Friday and Burnt Hills-Ballston Spa on Saturday.

Overall, Lake Placid garnered eight points while Saranac Lake tallied six, Burnt Hills finished with five and Niskayuna earned two. Teams were awarded two points for a win and one for winning a period.

Article Photos

Mike Lynch/Lake Placid News
Lake Placid forward Ryan Damp lines up a shot as Burnt Hills-Ballston Spa defender Brady Campbell approaches during the Blue Bombers’ second game of the Casey McHugh Memorial Hockey Tournament at the Saranac Lake Civic Center on Saturday, Dec. 1.

On Saturday, for the second consecutive game, the Blue Bombers jumped out to an early lead on the way to their 5-4 victory over Burnt Hills.

The Blue Bombers scored four goals in the first period to take a 4-2 advantage heading into the second. Eddie Kane netted two goals in the opening period, while RJ Reid and Nzoni Thompson each scored once.

Thompson's goal came just over 13 minutes into the game when he put the puck in the top shelf on a shot from the blue line to give Lake Placid a 3-2 lead.

Less than a minute later, Kane score his second goal for a 4-2 advantage.

"It feels good to win SL's tournament," Kane said. "They are the host and our rival, so it feels good to win their tournament two years in a row."

Neither team was able to score in the second period, but Lake Placid coach Keith Clark liked what he saw from his team during that period.

"I thought our second period was our best period," he said. "Even though we outplayed them 4-2 (in the first), they had their backup netminder (playing), and we got a couple of goals and we stopped playing. That's something we talked about as a team. We have to be more consistent."

Clark noted that his team outshot its opponent 9-3 in the second period and 20-8 in the third period.

"The ice was titled. We were in their end a lot," Clark said. "We were reading off each other a lot better, so I was happy with our second and relatively happy with our third period. So that's good to build on, even though the result wasn't there in those periods, the play was. We played better."

In the third period, Burnt Hills got back into the game behind goals from Trey Swingruber and Nick Van Liew, whose goal cut the lead to one with just over a minute left.

But a goal early in the third period from tournament most valuable player Keegan Barney gave the Blue Bombers enough of a cushion to pull off the win.

"They came out, (and) I think they got a couple of fluke goals on us (early)," Burnt Hills coach Jim Buffoline said. "Usually, our goalie will make those kind of saves. The goalie we had in in the first period, he's young. It's only his first high school game. I think he's was a little nervous."

Burnt Hills goalie Ben Koszelak finished with nine saves in the first period, while teammate Austin Clark had nine saves in the second and 19 in the third.

Blue Bomber goalie Tucker Angelopoulos earned the win with 16 saves.

"Saranac Lake is a great host and we love coming over to this tournament," Clark said. "We won it last year and to defend and win it again, we're happy obviously. To start out with two wins on the road. It's a tough (place) to play in, so we're real pleased."


FRIDAY, Nov. 30

Lake Placid 5, Niskayuna/Schenectady 3

SARANAC LAKE - Lake Placid came out strong early in a 5-3 win over Niskayuna/Schenectady in the first round of the second annual Casey McHugh Tournament at the Saranac Lake Civic Center.

The Blue Bombers scored two goals in the first period and one early in the second to grab a 3-0 lead.

"I think we came out, and I think we were skating pretty well in the first period," Lake Placid coach Keith Clark said. "We outplayed them. We doubled them up in shots, and our first period was clearly our best period."

The Bombers got on the board in the first with the help of senior forward Keegan Barney, who had the first two goals of the game. Both goals were on power plays.

"One of my teammates took a shot at the net, and I just rushed to it to get the rebound and poked it in," Barney said about his first goal.

In the second period, the Bombers kept up the pressure by scoring with a little more than five minutes left to take a 3-0 lead

The Blue Bombers tallied the third goal after Connor Preston skated behind the net and found a wide open Shane McNierney, who was open in front of goal for a shot.

"Connor Preston made a nice turn and I just shot it as quick as I could," McNierney said. "It was a nice shot."

Lake Placid's Ryan Damp tacked on another goal at the end of the second period when he beat the goalie on a short-handed breakaway. That gave the Blue Bombers a commanding 4-0 lead.

"We came out a little flat," Niskayuna coach Todd Templeton said. "They outshot us in the first period. I think it was 11-4 or something like that. But maybe we had bus legs. It's only our second game of the year, so maybe we were still a little nervous. We have a lot of young guys."

In the third period, Lake Placid seemed to lose a bit of its momentum. Niskayuna scored the first two goals of the period to make it 4-2, before McNierney answered with his second goal of the game to make it 5-2.

Niskayuna added another goal by Evan Mahoney late in the period to make it 5-3.

"We gave ourselves a chance in the third period by coming back, but we've got to play all three periods in order to be successful," Templeton said.

Lucas Maloney and Matt Peretti scored Niskayuna's other goals.

Blue Bomber goalie Jeffrey Smith had 23 saves, while Niskayuna's goalie Spencer Moran had 20.



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