Dec 17, 2021
SARANAC LAKE — Just a week ago the Saranac Lake Placid boys hockey had a pretty dominant showing in their first Champlain Valley Athletic Conference game of the season. On Wednesday, things did not go as smoothly.
Looking to keep things rolling on the road, the SLP boys were defeated by the Northeastern Clinton Cougars by a score of 4-3.
SLP’s Hugo Hobson, Noah Munn-Jennings and Bailey Bartholomew each recorded a goal in the loss, while Brayden Munn stopped 33 saves in net.
SLP head coach Brennen McHugh said it was an inconsistent effort from his team that proved to be the difference-maker.
“We certainly had plenty of chances to score. We kind of seemed a little snake-bitten around the net. We weren’t really committed to it defensively,” McHugh said. “We just made it too easy for them to get chances and capitalize them on their chances. It was inconsistent overall. We’ve now lost two games by one goal. It’s hard to win hockey games and it was no different last night.”
The loss is the second of the season for the SLP boys, which previously lost Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa by a goal deficit. The team now holds a record of 2-2.
In the opening period, the Cougars found the back of the net early, with a goal from Owen Ebersole.
Down just one goal, SLP managed to score yet another shorthanded goal from Hobson to even up the game at 1-1. The goal marked the third shorthanded goal of the season for SLP, which has only allowed one powerplay goal, and the second shorthanded goal of the season for Hobson.
With a little under three minutes left in the period, SLP lit the lamp one more time, with Munn-Jennings scoring off assists from Nick Munn and Brady Tremblay to give the team a one-goal advantage.
After the first, the Cougars controlled all the momentum with three straight goals to retake the lead. NCCS’ Ryan Racine, Reid LaValley and Chase Letourneau each recorded a goal during the stretch.
Just as the game neared its end, SLP went on a powerplay and pulled its goaltender to bring an extra skater on the ice. The strategy worked, with Bartholomew scoring his fifth goal of the season.
Though the game was within reach, SLP had little time remaining and ultimately fell.
The Cougars ended the game with a 37-23 shot advantage over SLP, though McHugh said the shot total didn’t show the full story.
“As far as possession, it was pretty even. I was actually kind of surprised to see the shot totals at the end,” McHugh said. “It did really feel like an even game — 37-23, you look at those numbers and those are pretty lopsided. I just think that they got second-chance shots and they add up quickly.”
Looking ahead, SLP will travel to take on Tupper Lake today at 7 p.m. The game marks the first time the merged Saranac Lake Placid team and the recently brought back Tupper Lake Lumberjacks hockey team will face off against one another.
“I know, being around the guys that they are excited. Being just around town. I’ve talked to people who said they were going over and whatnot. It’s going to be an exciting game,” McHugh said. “I’m sure it’ll be packed there. Anytime you get rivals together. They always seem to be close games. I don’t expect anything different.”