LAKE PLACID - Although the Lake Placid boys hockey team fell short of its goal of winning a sectional title, the Blue Bombers still had a memorable season that saw them climb all the way to third in the New York state Division II high school rankings.
After finishing the season with an overall record of 18-4, Lake Placid had five players named to the all Champlain Valley Athletic Conference team. The Blue Bombers' staff was also honored as Keith Clark was named the league's coach of the year.
Senior Shane McNierney and junior Tucker Angelopoulos were first-team selections, senior Dillon Savage and junior Nzoni Thompson were named to the second team and senior Elias Smith was an honorable mention choice.
Lake Placid senior Shane McNierney was named as a Champlain Valley Athletic Conference first-team all-star.
Lou Reuter/Lake Placid News
McNierney was a team leader who will be tough to replace next season. The forward paced Lake Placid in scoring with 11 goals and 19 assists.
"Shane was instrumental in leading our team and our offense," Clark said. "He used his speed and grit to be a top player in our league."
On a team rich with goaltender talent, Angelopoulos rose into the starting role for the Blue Bombers. He finished with a save percentage of .927 while being named the CVAC's top goalie.
"Tucker had a solid season in nets," Clark said. "He led our strong goaltending group and played big during the playoffs."
A forward before this season, Savage moved back to defense in his senior year to bolster the Blue Bombers along the blue line. He was a successful two-way player who finished with four goals and 10 assists. As a student at AuSable Valley Central School, Savage was a dedicated member of Blue Bombers program who traveled to practice and compete with the team during his high school years.
"Dillon has been a steady force on our team throughout his career," Clark said. "He converted to D this year and helped solid out the blue line."
Thompson, who is one of the fastest skaters in the league, battled injuries most of the season before coming on strong in the playoffs. He was honored as a second-team defensive player. Thompson finished with seven goals and seven assists in 16 games played.
"Even being setback by injury, Nzoni demonstrated his ability throughout the season," Clark said. "When at his best, he can control the game. He made a gutsy comeback for the playoffs for our team."
As another member of the Blue Bombers who attends AuSable Valley, Smith also put in plenty of hours on the road during his high school career. He finished the season with five goals and 11 assists.
"Elias is one of the most consistent players on our team," Clark said. "He uses his speed and comes to play every night."
Lake Placid's rival, Saranac Lake, had three players honored by the CVAC who are all seniors. Defenseman Brad Shumway was named a first-team defensive player, Blake Darrah was a second-team goaltender and David Cluckey was an honorable mention selection at forward.
All three provided veteran leadership on a Red Storm team that finished with a 6-13-1 record and included a number of freshmen and eighth-graders.
Shumway, a Red Storm captain, finished the season with three goals and seven assists.
As another captain, Cluckey was Saranac Lake's top scorer with nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points.
Darrah was the backbone of Saranac Lake's defense in goal. He faced more than 600 shots this past season and had an impressive .930 save percentage.