SARANAC LAKE - Lake Placid came out strong early Friday night in a 5-3 win over Niskayuna/Schenectady in the first round of the second annual Casey McHugh Tournament at the Saranac Lake Civic Center.
The Blue Bombers scored two goals in the first period and one early in the second to grab a 3-0 lead.
"I think we came out, and I think we were skating pretty well in the first period," Lake Placid coach Keith Clark said. "We outplayed them. We doubled them up in shots, and our first period was clearly our best period."
Lake Placid’s Ryan Meyer (19) fights for the puck with two Niskayuna players during Friday night’s Casey McHugh Tournament game at the Saranac Lake Civic Center.
(Enterprise photo — Mike Lynch)
The Bombers got on the board in the first with the help of senior forward Keegan Barney, who had the first two goals of the game. Both goals were on power plays.
"One of my teammates took a shot at the net, and I just rushed to it to get the rebound and poked it in," Barney said about his first goal.
In the second period, the Bombers kept up the pressure by scoring with a little more than five minutes left to take a 3-0 lead
The Blue Bombers tallied the third goal after Connor Preston skated behind the net and found a wide open Shane McNierney, who was open in front of goal for a shot.
"Connor Preston made a nice turn and I just shot it as quick as I could," McNierney said. "It was a nice shot."
Lake Placid's Ryan Damp tacked on another goal at the end of the second period when he beat the goalie on a short-handed breakaway. That gave the Blue Bombers a commanding 4-0 lead.
"We came out a little flat," Niskayuna coach Todd Templeton said. "They outshot us in the first period. I think it was 11-4 or something like that. But maybe we had bus legs. It's only our second game of the year, so maybe we were still a little nervous. We have a lot of young guys."
In the third period, Lake Placid seemed to lose a bit of its momentum. Niskayuna scored the first two goals of the period to make it 4-2, before McNierney answered with his second goal of the game to make it 5-2.
Niskayuna added another goal by Evan Mahoney late in the period to make it 5-3.
"We gave ourselves a chance in the third period by coming back, but we've got to play all three periods in order to be successful," Templeton said.
Lucas Maloney and Matt Peretti scored Niskayuna's other goals.
Blue Bomber goalie Jeffrey Smith had 23 saves, while Niskayuna's goalie Spencer Moran had 20.
This is a points-based tournament, with teams earning one point for winning a period and two for a victory. Lake Placid finished with four points. Niskayuna finished with one.
Saranac Lake plays to tie
Saranac Lake rallied from a 3-0 deficit to forge a 3-3 tie against Burnt Hills-Ballston Spa in the second game of the night.
Burnt Hills got on the scoreboard first with two goals from captain Clark Grabb, one in the first and another in the second. Justin Andolina then increased the lead to 3-0.
But in the third period, Saranac Lake made some changes to lines to force some turnovers that resulted in goals.
Senior Nick Bayruns scored the first goal for the Red Storm with an assist from Quinn Urquhart. Senior captain Grant Strack then added two more with Urquhart and Drew Sturgeon picking up assists.
"I thought we played with more heart in the third period," Saranac Lake coach Will Ellsworth said. "We got some leadership out of some guys who have been there done that, and we were able to tie it. So awfully happy with the tie from third period play, but the first two periods wasn't our style of hockey."
Saranac Lake goalie Blake Darrah had 14 saves while Burnt Hills goalie Ben Koszelak had 34.
Saranac Lake earned two points in the game while Burnt Hills earned three.
The tournament resumes today with the Blue Bombers facing Burnt Hills-Ballston Spa at noon and Niskayuna taking on Saranac Lake at 2 p.m.