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Playoff shocker: Bombers skate to first victory

February 20, 2019
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer , Lake Placid News

ROUSES POINT - For those who have been involved with the sport of hockey over the years in the North Country, the words "Miracle on Ice" describe one of the game's most historic moments, which took place in 1980 at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.

That village's high school hockey team came through with its own miracle when the Blue Bombers traveled to face Northeastern Clinton in a Section VII quarterfinal hockey game and knocked off the third-seeded Cougars 3-2 in a matchup that stretched into a fourth overtime.

Lake Placid entered the contest with an 0-18-1 record, and turned a dismal season into a memorable one. Not only did the Blue Bombers come through with their only win of this season to date, they rallied from a 2-0 deficit before ending the Cougars' season with the stunner.

Junior Tyler Hinckley netted the game-winner for the Blue Bombers at the 1:14 mark of the fourth overtime.

"It was unreal. The guys were ecstatic." Lake Placid head coach Butch Martin said. "To win this the way we did, amazing. We have five seniors, we did it for them, and for the rest of the guys who have come so close during the season, it's hard to imagine."

Lucas Bedard gave NCCS a 1-0 edge on the only goal of the second period, and John Bulsom upped the host team's lead to 2-0 when he beat Lake Placid goalie Anders Stanton with 2:34 gone in the third.

Facing the end of what was a season of struggles, the Blue Bombers sprang to life and netted two goals in a span of 33 seconds to set the stage for another Lake Placid miracle. Hinckley scored first, making it a 2-1 contest at the 7:50 mark of the third with Hayden Plank and Hunter Wilmot assisting. Wilmot then buried the equalizer 33 seconds later that eventually set the stage for the dramatic conclusion.

Lake Placid had to work hard well before capturing the win. During overtime, the Blue Bombers killed off two penalties, and Stanton, a sophomore, steered aside 23 Cougars' shots in overtime to keep his team in the game.

On the winning goal, which was Hinckley's second, the junior gained control of the puck in the neutral zone, skated past two defenders along the left boards and released a shot that got past NCCS goaltender Ethan Garrand.

"Hunter came down the win, and next thing I said was 'Holy smokes, it's in,'" Martin said. "Coach Nick (Moran) and I just looked at each other and said 'We won. We won.' We knocked off the No. 3 seed. Our guys were diving at pucks, busting to get back on defense, and Anders came up big. This win was just really good for everybody."

The Blue Bombers will now face top-seed Plattsburgh Thursday at the Ameri-Can North Sports Center with the opening faceoff slated for 7 p.m.



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