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Host SLC, N-N net first round wins at Christmas Tournament

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BRASHER FALLS - The first meeting of the season between NAC Division II rivals St. Lawrence Central and Norwood-Norfolk will also be the championship game of the annual Larries Christmas Tournament after both squads skated to first-round wins at the Tri-Town Arena on a snow-covered Friday night.

SLC and N-N were already scheduled to meet today at 2:15 p.m. regardless of the outcomes of their Friday night matchups which saw the Larries outlast the Islanders 5-4 in overtime and the Icemen pull away to a 7-3 non-league decision over Saranac Central. SLC’s game against the Islanders, who will take on Saranac starting at noon, was an NAC Division II contest as well.

SLC 5, Islanders 4 (OT): The Islanders took the lead four times through the course of regulation only to have the Larries answer then pull out the win in overtime.

“For us to come back and tie the game four times just showed a lot of determination and character on our part,” said coach Mickey Locke after his squad improved to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the NAC.

“This was one of those games where both teams had to fight for every inch of ice they could get. It was real war of attrition and our guys really gutted it out,” he added.

The Islanders took their first lead just 1:02 into the game when Zach Walti broke through for an unassisted goal. Ian Lynch produced the first tie at the 4:58 mark after finishing off a play set up by Kody Kocsis and Lukas Arquiett.

The Islanders got off to another strong start in the second period with Sean Shepard making it 2-1 just 37 seconds in off an assist from Austin Marshall. Arquiett pulled the Larries even at the 2:45 mark from Lynch and Joe DiMatteo and the teams went into the second intermission knotted at 2-2.

The see-saw trend continued in the third period where the Islanders regained the lead at the 2:39 mark on a goal by Evan Dier that was assisted by Kyle Delaney and Nick McCabe only to have the Larries come back less than three minutes later when Lynch connected from Arquiett at the 5:13 mark. Dier’s second of the game, assisted by Colby Hunter, put the Islanders ahead 4-3 with 7:26 left in regulation.

Arquiett scored the final equalizer of the game with 3:56 remaining, turning a perfect long lead pass from the defensive zone by Jarek Crump into a breakaway tally.

“That was as nice a pass and goal as I’ve ever seen,” Locke noted.

Kocsis completed the SLC comeback 1:54 into the five-minute overtime by finishing off a play set up by Lynch and Arquiett.

Nate McLaughlin turned aside 31 shots backstopping the win while Cole James recorded 45 saves for the Islanders (2-3, 1-3).

N-N 7, Saranac 3: Kaden Pickering scored three goals and Troy Kovach added two as the Icemen (4-2) steadily pulled away from a 2-1 first-intermission lead. Coby Munson and Cody Smith also scored for the Icemen. A.J. Doran and Austin Cousineau each contributed a pair of assists toward the win while Smith and Kovach each tallied solo helpers along with Dan Fyckes. Matt McCasland, Kyle Erickson and Jacob Lilledahl scored for the Red Storm.

Kyler MacIntyre made 22 saves working the crease for the win. Lereau stopped 31 shots in the loss.

OTHER GAMES

Other non-league games involving NAC teams on Friday saw Canton fall to Bellows Free Academy 5-2 and Tupper Lake skated to a 3-3 overtime tie with Saranac Lake.

BFA 5, Canton 2: At the Doc Tulip Tournament in St. Albans, Vermont, BFA scored three straight goals in the third period to pull away from a 2-2 tie over the Bears (2-4).

Nate Gibson opened the scoring for Canton at 8:04 of the first period but Bellows tied the game with 1:45 left in the first on a goal by Cam Russell then took the lead at 5:59 of the second when Jack Vallee broke through for the only goal of the middle frame.

Jay Proulx pulled the Bears even at 2-2 just 1:15 into the third period but BFA countered with goals by Matt Boudreau at 5:19 and Russell at 6:53 before Caleb Rudden sealed the win by scoring an empty-net goal with 25 seconds left in regulation.

Jake Watson made 38 saves in the losing cause. Andre Morin (4 saves) and Ryan Santo (6 saves) split crease duties for BFA.

The Bears close out the tournament today against Essex starting at noon.

Tupper Lake 3, Saranac Lake 3, (OT): Elliott Fletcher scored midway through the third period to give the Lumberjacks (0-5-1) a tie with Saranac Lake in a nonleague game in Tupper Lake. Devin Roberge and Jon Kopp scored goals for the Lumberjacks in the first period. Chris Spicer scored two goals for SL and assisted on a goal from Bradley Shumway.

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