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SLP grounded by Eagles

January 18, 2018
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer ( , Lake Placid News

SARANAC LAKE - After posting three victories in a row and winning five out of their last six games, skaters on the Saranac Lake Placid girls hockey team may have been dealt a harsh dose of reality when Beekmantown came to visit on Wednesday for a league matchup.

With senior Kiersten Villemaire leading the way, Beekmantown rolled to an 8-1 victory at the Saranac Lake Civic Center. Villemaire proved to be unstoppable, scoring five goals and adding two assists to lift the Eagles to victory in what was a battle for first place in the four-team league standings.

After edging the Eagles 3-2 in the last meeting between the teams, SLP was out of contention early this time around. Beekmantown cruised out to a 4-0 lead in the first period and piled on three more unanswered goals before SLP finally got on the board when Shelby Jewtraw found the back of the net 4:55 into the third period. Villemaire then rounded out the scoring when she buried her fourth of the game with 8:43 left on the clock.

Article Photos

Saranac Lake Placid freshman Lydia Bullock chases the puck between Beekmantown’s Kelsie Baker (18) and Kiersten Villemaire during Wednesday’s game.
(News photo — Lou Reuter)

With the win, Beekmantown improved to 3-2 and moved to the top of the league standings with one game remaining, not including non-league matchups. The loss dropped SLP to 2-2 in the league and 8-6-1 overall.

"We didn't have our best outing today," lamented SLP coach Mike Bringley. "Sometimes when you're on a bit of a roll, I wouldn't say we were over confident, but we definitely weren't ready for their level of play today. I thought in the second period we did a few things where it looked like we might climb back and get some chances, but we just spent too much time in the penalty box.

"It's hard to come back when you're short-handed most of the second period," Bringley continued. "It just wasn't our night. When you win a few, you think you're doing well. You hope your team goes back to practice tomorrow and you work on things and realize that you just can't go through the motions and beat a team like Beekmantown. You have to be ready."

Villemaire netted the game's first goal just 2:11 into the opening period and Beekmantown never let off the gas as Kelsey Baker scored two goals in a row, burying a pair of pucks in a span of 74 seconds midway through the stanza. Villemaire then netted her second with 1:53 left in the first to put the Eagles in command with a 4-0 edge.

Beekmantown opened the second-period scoring on a power-play goal by Bailey Carter less than two minutes into the stanza, and Villemaire then completed her hat trick with 2:27 remaining and went on to score two more times in the third to wrap up a seven-point performance.

Facing a 7-0 deficit, SLP broke the shutout bid of Eagles goalie Brianne Knight when Jewtraw slid a puck into the net off an assist by Rylee Preston.

"They beat us in our barn, and we don't like to lose in our barn," Eagles head coach Ray Guay said. "Before playing here, we had a good week of practice, we had two heavy games over the weekend. We played Plattsburgh to a 2-1 victory and then played a high-powered team from Hanover, New Hampshire - five-time state champs. It geared us up for this game. We lost to them 5-3 but it wasn't until the third period when they came back with three goals to beat us. It was a very good game.

"Coming into this game, we were focused, we knew we had a job to do and we did it," Guay continued. "Villemaire, when she's on her game, she can put the puck in the net. That makes it easy for the rest of the girls to jump in and pitch in. On the whole, our defense played well, our goalie played fairly well. When everything is working and they're passing, the game's easy, and the girls skated tonight."

Carter also picked up an assist for the Eagles to finish with five points. Mackenzie Guay added two assists in the win and Brook Ruest and Meghan Flynn chipped in an assist each.

Saranac Lake Placid again played without starting goaltender Whitney Battistoni, who has been sidelined with an injury. Brooke Paries started in nets for SLP and recorded 11 saves over two periods before being replaced by Rylee Fletcher, who made seven saves in the third.

Knight finished with 19 saves between the pipes for Beekmantown.

The Eagles next play a non-league game against Massena, and then wrap up their regular-season slate against Plattsburgh High.

SLP has two more regular-season games remaining, which will both be played next week at the Olympic Center starting Monday against Malone with the opening faceoff slated for 6 p.m. SLP will then take on Plattsburgh Thursday at 6 p.m. Both games will be at the 1932 Rink.


Beekmantown 8, Saranac Lake Placid 1



First Period

1. B, Villemaire (Carter), 2:11; 2. Baker (Guay, Villemaire), 6:28; 3. B, Baker, 7:42; 4. Villemaire, 13:07.

Second Period

5. B, Carter (Villemaire, Ruest), 1:24; 6. B, Villemaire (Guay), 12:33.

Third Period

7. B, Villemaire (Flynn), 3:59; 8. SLP, Jewtraw (Preston), 4:55; 9. B, Villemaire 6:17.

Shots on goal: Beekmantown 27, SLP 20.

Saves: B, Knight 19; SLP, Paries 12, Fletcher 7.



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