LAKE PLACID — The Saranac Lake Placid boys hockey team has had a tough start to the new year.
On Tuesday, the SLP boys fell to the Plattsburgh Hornets in overtime, marking their third straight loss.
In SLP’s first game of the season at the recently renovated Olympic-sized rink — the Jack Shea 1932 arena in Lake Placid — Plattsburgh’s Hayden Colburn spoiled the night for the home team when he buried the game-winning goal in overtime to lift the Hornets to a 3-2 victory.
“That was not our best effort. There is something about playing on the big ice that’s hard, but we’ve got to use that to our advantage,” SLP head coach Brennen McHugh said. “Other teams don’t play on it. We get to practice on it every now and then. We were just too disconnected tonight. Just one guy working and a couple of other guys hoping the puck would come to them. Just not working.”
Plattsburgh had things rolling early and seemingly controlled the puck, while SLP, on the other hand, looked lackluster.
During that time frame, SLP allowed the Hornets’ Braeden Calkins and Bostyn Duquette to score a goal each.
With momentum leaning toward the Hornets’ bench, it took was a power-play goal from Kaden Darrah to snap SLP out of its early funk. Darrah’s power-play goal came at 13:04 into the opening period to make the score 2-1.
After a scoreless second period, SLP scored once again on the powerplay to even up the game at two. SLP’s Hugo Hobson netted the game-tying goal after Noah Munn-Jennings made a cross-ice pass that split the Hornets defenders, allowing Hobson for the easy goal. SLP’s Bailey Bartholomew was also credited with an assist on the play.
Despite SLP scoring two goals on the power-play, the power-play line was not necessarily playing well. The team was given 10 power-play opportunities and only converted on two, while Plattsburgh, on the other hand, was given four power-play chances and converted on one.
“I think the power-play mirrored the rest of the game,” McHugh said. “Both of them were kind of broken plays. That’s how we’re gonna score goals. They’re all going to be ugly. That is how we’re going to score.
“We did have two power-play goals but we had a lot more power-play chances,” he added. “I think it was really just kind of lucky that they happened to be on the power-play.”
In overtime, Plattsburgh saw multiple scoring chances, including a breakaway that was shut down by SLP’s eighth-grade goaltender Scottie Nicholas.
In Nicholas’ second career varsity start, he had a solid night in the net, with 24 saves. On the other side, the Hornets’ Ty Calkins stopped 20 SLP shots in the win.
With 16.6 seconds left on the clock, Plattsburgh’s Colburn put the puck over the shoulder of Nicholas to seal the win for his team.
“We did a really poor job tonight of supporting each other. Just chipping the puck up the wall, skating onto it. These little 15- to 20-foot passes,” McHugh said. “It is natural on the big ice. But we talked a lot about it. We were just too far away from the action all night.”
With the overtime loss, the SLP boys move to 4-4-1 on the season. The team will look to rebound after its poor start to the new year against Beekmantown Central at the Saranac Lake Civic Center today at 6 p.m.