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Massena, Potsdam advance in hockey

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A true prelude to the championship game.

That is how semi-final Saturday developed in the Section 10 Division I Hockey as Massena and Potsdam turned back upset efforts by Canton and Salmon River to advance to next Sunday’s 1 p.m. Championship game at Clarkson University’s Cheel Center Arena.

Massena (15-6-0) overcame a spectacular 53-save performance by Canton (8-11-2) goaltender Jake Watson to claim a 2-1 win on Tyler Young’s goal 3:13 in the third seven-and-one-half minute overtime period. Top-seeded and NAC Division I Champion Potsdam (13-6-1) advanced with a 2-1 victory over Salmon River (3-15-2).

Massena won both regular season meetings against Potsdam in 3-0 and 2-1 in overtime deicisions played on back-to-back days.

“Both games with Potsdam were excellent Division I hockey and we expect Sunday’s game to be the same,” said Massena Coach Mike Trimboli.

“Our game with Canton was the same way with high energy and high emotions. We just had to keep doing what we needed to do to infiltrate Canton’s defensive zone. We kept doing the right things and we finally got the goal against Jake Watson who played a tremendous game.”

The D2 Championship game will be played next Sunday at 3 p.m. between the winners of Wednesday’s semi-final games sending Norwood-Norfolk to OFA and Thousand Islands-Alex Bay Islanders to Malone.

“Both championship games should be great hockey with teams going to toe-to-toe all the way,” said Trimboli.

“It has been a great season for Section 10 Hockey.”

Massena 2, Canton 1 (3OT): Tyler Young one-timed a pass from behind the net from Grayson Phillips into the top of the net from the top of the slot for his 14th goal of the season 3:13 into the third overtime to lift the Raiders into the Division I final. Zach Robert also assisted on the game-winner.

The Raiders opened the scoring with just 28 seconds left in the second period when Phillips redirected home a shot from the left point by Anthony Cortese for a power play goal. Robert also drew a assist on the second goal..

The Bears took advantage of a defensive zone turnover to pull even at 2:31 of the third period when a sharp-angle shot from the right corner by Sean Rodee found its way into the back of the net. Jay Proulx and Jack Alberty combined to set up the equalizer.Connor Paquin cooly turned aside 23 shots working the crease for the Raiders.

“Connor Paquin continued to be a huge asset for us. He has done a great job down the stretch and again today he did everything he had to do,” said Coach Trimboli.

Potsdam 2 - Salmon River 1: The Stoners denied a determined effort by Salmon River to make a fresh start after a disappointing regular season record.

Trevor Kelleher scored a pair of goals two minutes apart in the second period and Devin Crary made 23 saves in a fine duel with SR’s Cory Garrow (20 saves).

Kelleher stole the puck along the boards and darted out in front to score unassisted for a 1-0 Stoner lead. Kelleher’s second goal came off an assist from Chad Varney.

Ty Terrance scored SR’s lone goal unassisted after a steal.

“We didn’t have a very good regular season record but we were in almost every game. We just didn’t get many breaks,” said Salmon River Coach Tim Cook. “But the guys kept their heads up and believed they could play with any team in Section 10. Today they proved it against an outstanding Potsdam team.”

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