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Massena boys skate past Canton; SLC, N--N take on non-league foes


MASSENA - The Massena Central boys hockey team didn’t let an early lead get away against Canton Central in a Martin Luther King Day NAC Division I matinee at the Massena Arena.

“I was actually very pleased with the total package that we put together today,” noted coach Mike Trimboli. “We played three strong periods, which is something we haven’t consistently done, so hopefully this game was a step in the right direction for us.”

The Raiders got the early jump on the Bears when Zach Robert wristed a shot into the top right of the goal just 37 seconds into the game on a play that began with a break-out pass from the defensive zone by Maddox Merry to Tyler Young, who quickly sent the puck ahead to Grayson Phillips. Phillips challenged a pair of Canton defenders and the puck was knocked from his stick right to Robert hustling down the left wing.

Unlike their previous outing against the Bears where they gave up a pair of second-period goals before rallying to salvage a tie late in the third, the Raiders worked their way to a 3-0 lead in the middle frame and outshot the Bears 38-13 over the course of the second and third periods before settling for the win.

Robert made it 2-0 at 4:16 of the second period when he took a return pass from Anthony Cortese and pumped a low shot past Canton netminder Jake Watson. Just under three minutes later, Young connected for his team-leading ninth goal of the season with the assists credited to Brantley Adams and Phillips.

The Bears got on the board with 5:06 left in the second period when Cody Moore one-timed a diagonal pass from the right point by Brandon Rodee into the back of the net for a power play goal.

The Raiders dominated the third period where they built an 18-6 margin in shots but were unable to get another puck past Watson, who finished with 44 saves as the Bears slipped to 3-9-2 overall and 1-4-2 in the NAC Division I standings.

Connor Paquin handled 21 of the shots he faced working the Massena crease for the win.

The Raiders (9-5-1, 6-2-1) will now have more than a week off from their game schedule before they head to Fort Covington on Wednesday, January 30, to take on Salmon River starting at 6:30 p.m.

The lone other NAC game played on Monday saw OFA skate to a 4-1 Division II decision on the road over Franklin Academy.

In non-league action on Monday, St. Lawrence Central outscored Saranac Lake 7-3 while Norwood-Norfolk settled for a 4-4 tie with Lake Placid.

OFA 4, FA 1: At the Malone Civic Center, Drew Costigan opened the scoring with 8:15 remaining in the second period as Nolan Rufa centered the puck from behind the FA goal. Brandon Mullin scored his first goal of the game with 1:10 left in the middle period, as his shot from the slot trickled over the top of Joey Brown’s pad and across the red line The Huskies were in the game and cut their deficit in half as Trevor Cooley scored a power-play goal early in the third. Kelsey Head and Cameron Daniels were credited with setting up the score. But that was it for the Huskies as the Blue Devils took control from that point on and scored two more times during the final period to salt the victory away. Mullin scored his second of the game on a one-timer at 12:11 to reclaim the two-goal margin for OFA, while Burke Comeau added an insurance marker with 1:59 left on the clock. Comeau’s power-play tally came with FA down two players via the penalty.

In addition to the loss on the scoreboard, the Huskies may have also lost a vital cog in their grand scheme as co-captain Tanner Studlack did not take the ice in the third period. Studlack sustained a hit to the head while on a rush late in the second period and was unable to continue in the game after attempting to return to the ice before the close of the stanza.

Brown finished the game with another 30+ save performance, stopping 37 of the 41 OFA shots on goal while David Prudhomme made 22 saves to backstop the win for the Blue Devils.

The victory by the state-ranked Devils moves them closer to the top spot in the NAC Division II standings with the St. Lawrence Central Larries (8-1-0 league), while the loss drops the FA skaters two games under the .500 mark (3-5-1) in league play. OFA (8-3-2, 7-1-1 league) jumped to number 10 in the latest New York State Sportswriters Association poll, released on Monday, while the Huskies (7-6-1 overall) dropped into a tie for 15th with Oswego (10-3-1), despite the 6-5 OT win against Plattsburgh (state-ranked #11) on Saturday. SLC 7, Saranac Lake 3: At the Saranac Lake Civic Center, the Larries pulled away from a 3-2 first-intermission lead for the convincing win over the Red Storm, who were playing their third game in four games.

The teams combined to score the first five goals in a span of less than five minutes late in the first period. Nate Stickney opened the scoring for the Larries at the 7:55 mark from Devon Euto. Blake Baldwin made it 2-0 just 50 seconds later by finishing off a play set up by Stickney and Euto.

The Red Storm countered with two straight goals to tie the game. David Cluckey got Saranac Lake on the board at the 9:18 mark off an assist from Ethan Sawyer. Bradley Shumway tied the game just over a minute later assisted by Blake Battistoni and Grant Strack.

The Larries regained the lead for good with 2:18 left in the first period when Kody Kocsis converted from Lukas Arquiett.

Arquiett tallied the eventual game-winner 2:51 into the second period assisted by Ian Lynch and Kocsis. Stickney made it 5-2 at the 11:28 mark of the middle frame assisted by linemates Baldwin and Euto.

The third period saw the Larries sandwich goals around the third Saranac Lake goal at 10:45 by Quinn Urquart off an assist from Eric Huyck. Kocis netted the sixth SLC goal 8:40 into the final frame assisted by Arquiett and Lynch. Arquiett closed out the scoring off an assist Lynch with 2:00 left in regulation.

Nate McLaughlin turned aside 18 shots backstopping the win while Justin Farmer had 25 saves for Saranac Lake.

The Larries (12-3, 9-1) host NAC Division II rival Tupper Lake on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Tri-Town Arena.

N-N 4, Lake Placid 4 (OT): At the 1932 rink in Lake Placid, the visiting Icemen generated two goals in the final 3:26 of regulation then survived a scoreless five-minute overtime to come away with the draw.

The Bombers opened the scoring 2:52 into the game when Shane McNierney broke through for an unassisted goal. The Icemen tied the game at the 10:56 mark when Troy Kovach connected from Cody Smith and A.J. Doran then took their only lead of the game with 2:19 left in the first period when Kaden Pickering finished off a play set up by Dan Fyckes and Austin Cousineau.

Dillan Savage pulled the Bombers even just 20 seconds later assisted by McNierney and Lukas Strack and the teams went into the first intermission knotted at 2-2.

The Bombers regained the lead just 59 seconds into the second period with Savage connecting from Eddie Kane and Keegan Barney. Kane then made it a 4-2 lead at the 3:39 mark off an assist from Savage.

Brandon Short sparked the late rally for the Icemen when he scored from Coby Munson and Cousineau with 3:26 remaining. The Icemen then pulled netminder Brandon Richards to gain the extra skater and with 19 seconds left, Smith redirected a low shot from the point by Fyckes into the back of the net for the equalizer. Kovach also drew an assist on the play.

All three netminders saw time between the pipes for the Icemen. Kyler MacIntire started and turned aside seven shots through the first period. Ryan Thomas posted three saves in the second before Richards worked the third period and overtime for nine saves. Camm Cassidy had 20 stops for the Bombers.

The Icemen return to action Friday night at home against NAC Division II rival OFA starting at 7 p.m. at the Dominic Zappia Arena.

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