SARANAC LAKE - The Saranac Lake hockey team completed a regular-season sweep of Saranac Central with a 4-1 victory over the Chiefs Monday at the Civic Center.
The win was Saranac Lake's second in less than a week over Saranac Central, and senior Grant Strack led the way with a hat trick. Nick Bayruns notched the other Red Storm goal, and netminder Blake Darrah made 17 saves in his first game after returning from an injury.
Saranac Lake broke the game open with three third-period goals to improve to 3-3-1 in the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference and 6-6-4 overall.
"It's February and we're getting to that realm of playoff hockey," Saranac Lake head coach Will Ellsworth said. "We're just keeping things simple, and we did a lot of things correct to get the 'W.'"
The teams played scoreless hockey in the opening period, with Strack putting the Red Storm on the board at the 2:31 mark of the second stanza. The Chiefs tied the contest on a tally from Kyle Erickson. Strack netted the game-winner just 56 seconds into the third period, and completed his hat trick at the 2:57 mark for a 3-1 Red Storm lead. Bayruns notched the game's final goal midway through the period.
Bayruns also added and assist to finish with two points, Quinn Urquhart chipped in a pair of assists and Chris Spicer also had an assist for the winners.
Saranac Lake next plays Friday in the annual Lake Placid High School Winter Carnival Tournament against the rival Blue Bombers. The game will be the second of a doubleheader and also counts as a league matchup. Shaker-Colonie and Middlebury square off in the opener at 6 p.m., with the Saranac Lake-Lake Placid game slated to start at 8 p.m.
The Red Storm will be without Bayruns and Urquhart, who are participating in the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival as members of the royal court. Drew Sturgeron and Trevor Keough will be in action for the game after returning from injuries.
Saranac 44, Saranac Lake 31
PICKETTS CORNERS - The Saranac Lake girls basketball team fell into an early hole and never recovered in a 44-31 road loss Monday at Saranac Central.
The Chiefs carried a 27-15 lead into intermission and held on for the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference victory.
Nicole Viscardo tied for game-high scoring honors, leading Saranac Lake with 14 points. The senior knocked down four 3-pointers in the contest. Tori Trim of Saranac also had 14 points to pace the winners, and she also drained four shots from behind the arc. Summer Gillespie had nine points and 13 rebounds for the Chiefs.
The Red Storm girls next play at home Thursday against Beekmantown.