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Bombers succumb to scoring spree

January 24, 2018
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer ( , Lake Placid News

SARANAC LAKE - One minute, 40 seconds.

That's how quickly Saranac Lake pumped in four goals at the beginning of the second period Tuesday evening to shake off rival Lake Placid in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference hockey action.

Ben Casagrain started the onslaught when he scored just 12 seconds into the period to break a 1-1 deadlock. The Red Storm then erupted for four more goals in the second on the way to a 6-2 victory that improved their record to 2-2 in the CVAC and 5-7-1 overall.

Article Photos

Saranac Lake defenseman Alex Dukette, right, and Lake Placid’s Cooper Holmes drop to the ice while battling for the puck during the second period of Tuesday’s game at the Saranac Lake Civic Center.
(News photo — Lou Reuter)

Skating with just 12 players and their goalie, the Blue Bombers have been outmanned all season. But in this game, they were able to stick with the Red Storm most of the evening, with the exception of the start of the second when all they seemed to be able to do was watch while Saranac Lake poured it on. Twelve seconds after Casagrain's tally, Ben Munn sent a puck home for a 3-1 Red Storm edge.

It then turned into a three-goal lead for Saranac Lake less than a minute later when Brett Dawson sent home his second of the game, and 24 seconds after that, Matt Kratz notched a goal to send shock waves through the stands along with their arch rivals.

Rhett Darrah netted the final goal of the period, scoring at the 11:31 mark of the second for a 6-1 Red Storm lead, before Lake Placid answered with the last goal of the game on a power-play tally by Hayden Plank 5:25 into the third.

Victories have been hard to come by for both teams, and Tuesday's was the second straight for Saranac Lake following a 6-1 non-league home win Saturday over Carmel (Section I). With the loss, Lake Placid fell to 1-11.

"A nice little two-game winning streak," Sananac Lake head coach Will Ellsworth said. "I'm happy for the guys just to put some points up. It doesn't matter who you play in high school hockey. Twelve goals in two games is a lot of points.

"To score four goals in under two minutes is kind of astonishing for our guys," Ellsworth continued. "I couldn't believe it. I've never seen anything like that. You start doing that, you just tell your players to keep getting shots on net, and that's what they did. Anything from any direction from anywhere and fortunately for us, they went in."

Despite being outshot 15-3 in the first period, Lake Placid, for the most part, withstood Saranac Lake's pressure and a lot of that could be credited to blocked shots by the Blue Bombers defenders and the exceptional play by their freshman goalie Anders Stanton. Saranac Lake's lone goal came on a rebound when Stanton turned aside a shot by Darrah on the doorstep but Dawson was there to tap the rebound into an open net.

Trailing 1-0, Lake Placid responded with a big goal when Hunter Wilmot deadlocked the contest on a power-play with 33 seconds remaining in the opening period. Wilmot's tally came just four seconds into a man advantage after Munn went to the penalty box on a holding call.

Lake Placid appeared to grab some momentum with the goal, but any edge the Blue Bombers might have gained vanished in the blink of an eye as Saranac Lake's next three goals all came on shots from the left wing. Casagrain got his team going when he fired a shot under the glove of Stanton, and Munn followed 12 seconds later on a high wrister that proved to be the game-winner. Dawson then buried his second of the game at the 1:16 mark, and Kratz ended the spree 24 seconds later when he beat Stanton on the short side of the net to put the Red Storm firmly in command with a 5-1 advantage.

Darrah rounded out Saranac Lake's scoring with 3:29 remaining in the second off an assist from Dawson.

At that point, Lake Placid coach Butch Martin just told his players not to cave in during the final period, and they came through by scoring the final goal of the game, which came at the 5:25 mark when Plank sent home a puck on a power play with Wilmot assisting.

"We made it through the first period just like we wanted," Martin said. "We got a good goal, we tied it up, we had some momentum going, and then Saranac Lake got those goals. I haven't seen that happen in a long time. I don't know if I've ever seen that happen, to have those goals go in like that.

"At the end of the second period, we told our kids to go out and finish strong, play with pride, keep your heads up and they did," Martin added. "We didn't want them to go into the third, throw it in and have Saranac Lake just manhandle us. We worked hard in the third and just battled along. We won the third, tied the first. Throw a couple minutes out, and we were right there. We wanted to keep it close but unfortunately, that strange eruption happened. A very strange eruption."

Saranac Lake finished with a 38-11 edge in shots on goal. Stanton made 32 stops in a losing effort in goal for the Blue Bombers, while Bruno Freeman picked up the win between the pipes for the Red Storm with a nine-save effort.

Both teams will host a strong Northeastern Clinton team in their next matchups. The Blue Bombers will take on the Cougars tonight at the Olympic Center starting at 6 p.m., and the Red Storm will then host the state's 15th-ranked team Saturday at the Saranac Lake Civic Center with the opening faceoff slated for 7 p.m.

"Everyone knows, hockey is a game of momentum and we certainly carried that momentum at the start of the second period, and that won us the game," Ellsworth said. "If we didn't have that scoring flurry, it would have been a whole different game. Just looking ahead, on Saturday we play a state-ranked team in Northeastern Clinton. We're looking forward to the challenge. They have a really speedy team this year, and they can really go. Northeastern and Plattsburgh are the front-runners in our league, and I'm pretty excited for our kids to have that challenge ahead of them."

"We are just young. We are very young, very inexperience," Martin said. "If we do a couple things better every game, we'll get there. It's a slow process. We have kids playing regular shifts who two years ago, wouldn't be playing. They're freshmen and sophomores carrying the load for this whole team and they're doing the best they can."


Lake Placid 6, Saranac Lake 2

Blue Bombers1012
Red Storm1506


First Period

1. SL, Dawson (Darrah), 11:15; 2. LP, Wilmot (Hathaway), 14:27; pp.

Second Period

3. SL, Casagrain (Dawson), :12; 4. SL, Munn, :24; 5. SL, Dawson (Sturgeon), 1:16; 6. SL, Kratz, 1:40; 7. SL, Darrah (Dawson), 11:31.

Third Period

8. LP, Plank (Wilmot), 5:25; pp.

Shots on goal: Saranac Lake 38, Lake Placid 11.

Saves: SL, Freeman 9; LP, Stanton 32.



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