The Norwood-Norfolk and St. Lawrence Central hockey teams pulled away to convincing wins over NAC Division II rivals on Monday.
N-N 7, Franklin Academy 4: At the Malone Civic Center, the visiting Icemen (14-4, 11-4) built a 5-2 lead after two periods then scored the final two goals of the game as the clinched the regular season title and top seed for the upcoming Section 10 Division II playoffs which are slated to get underway this Friday with a pair of opening round games between the four lower seeds.
Kaden Pickering netted the first goal of Monday nights game by finishing off a play set up by Zeb Brown and Tyler Fobare just 5:46 into the first period. Jeff Mott made it 2-0 with an unassisted goal at the 10:28 mark before Jacob Scharf got the Huskies on the board with an unassisted goal with 3:11 left in the opening frame.
Tucker Bartenslager tied the game just 1:48 into the second period with an unassisted goal but the Icemen countered with three unanswered goals in the final 5:11. Brown put N-N back on top at the 9:49 mark assisted by Austin Cousineau and Pickering. Pickering struck for his second of the game just 59 seconds latger assisted by Coby Munson and Shane Cryderman before Munson tallied the eventual game-winner off an assist from Mott with 3:21 remaining.
Bailey Conklin cut the deficit to 5-4 with back-to-back goals in the opening five minutes of the third period before Pickering helped seal the win by completing his hattrick at the 6:04 mark assisted by Brown and Cousineau then setting up an empty-net goal by Brown with 1:06 left in regulation.
Kyler MacIntire (13 saves) and Brandon Richards (10 saves) combined to backstop the win while Joey Brown turned aside 23 shots before giving way to Danny Burl, who made two stops in the closing minutes for the Huskies (6-13-1, 4-10-1).
The Icemen wrap up the regular season on Wednesday at home against Potsdam starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Dominic Zappia Arena while the Huskies get set to open the sectional tournament on Friday at home against the Islanders starting at 6:30 p.m.
As the top seed for the playoffs, the Icemen draw a first-round bye before they get set to host a semi-final round game on Wednesday, February 19.
SLC 7, OFA 0: At the Tri-Town Arena, the Larries worked their way to a 3-0 lead by the end of the first period then sealed the win with three more unanswered goals in the third as they clinched the second seed for the Division II tournament.
Kody Kocsis scored the first two goals of the game less than three minutes apart in the first period, converting off an assist from Jacob Sutton at the 3:54 mark then from Drew Rose at 6:47.
Lukas Arquiett made it pushed the lead to 4-0 with two straight goals of his own, the first with 1:29 left in the opening period assisted by Kocsis and Sutton and the second unassisted just 38 seconds into the middle frame.
Kocsis completed his hattrick 4:10 into the third assisted by Luke Peets. Nate Stickney made it 6-0 just 25 seconds later assisted by Hadyn St. Hilaire before Nick Kowalchuk closed out the scoring at the 11:12 mark off an assist from Jack Pullano.
Nate Burnett stood tall turning aside the 29 shots he faced to earn the shutout while David Prudhomme (1 period, 9 saves) and Adam Bouchey (2 periods, 17 saves) shared crease duties for the Blue Devils (8-11, 6-8), who are slated to host a first-round game against Tupper Lake on Friday starting at 6:30 p.m.
The Larries (12-6-1, 8-5-1) close out the regular season on Wednesday at home against the Islanders. As the second seed, they also draw a first round bye for the playoffs before hosting a semi-final round game On Wednesday, February 19, starting at 7 p.m.
In other high school boys hockey action on Monday, Canton rallied to gain a 2-2 NAC tie on the road against the Islanders while Saranac Central skated to a 7-4 non-league win over Tupper Lake.
Saranac 7, Tupper Lake 4: At the Tupper Lake Civic Center, Kevin Fisher and Tristan Archambault each generated two goals and an assist as the Chiefs overcame a 4-3 deficit for the win. Alex Zurlo, Jacob Lilledahl and Dylan Baker each finished with a goal and assist while Jeff Smith posted 26 saves backstopping the win.
Hudson Sparks had a goal and two assist for the Lumberjacks (0-18-1). Elliott Fletcher and Gabe Burns netted the other goals. Kris Crouse logged a pair of assists while Matt Corrow had a solo helper and netminder Tyler Nilsson handled 32 shots working the crease.