Massena Central used a late scoring surge to break away from Division I rival Salmon River while a see-saw interdivisional battle between host St. Lawrence Central and Potsdam Central ended in an overtime tie in the two NAC boys hockey matchups on Wednesday.
The Canton Central at Islanders game was postponed.
Massena 6, Salmon River 1: At the Massena Arena, the Raiders worked their way to a 2-0 lead in the first period then answered the only Salmon River goal in the second with four in the third as they clinched the 2013-14 Division I regular season banner by improving to 10-0 with two games left against NAC rivals.
Evan Kassian opened the scoring just 2:19 into the game off an assist from Ryan Thomas. Patrick Manning made it 2-0 at the 9:15 mark when he redirected a shot by Dylan Stone into the back of the net for a power play goal that drew another assist for Thomas.
The Shamrocks took advantage of a two-man advantage to score their only goal when Sean David finished off a play set up by Ty Terrance and Chad George with 1:14 left in the middle frame.
Thomas then sparked a decisive three-goal outburst when he converted from Manning and Stone at 4:55 of the third. Tyler Young made it 4-1 just 43 seconds later off an assist from Maddox Merry before J.P. Reagan struck just 24 seconds assisted by Dalton Mullin. Ben Sprague closed out the scoring by finishing off a play set up by Stone and Young with 2:36 left in regulation.
Connor Paquin turned aside 19 shots backstopping the win while Jarrad Jackson posted 23 saves in the losing cause.
One of our goals at the start of the season was to put ourselves in position to have a home game for the first round of the playoffs and we accomplished that with this win, noted coach Mike Trimboli after the Raiders climed to 12-4 overall.
We didnt play our best game tonight. We were inconsistent in the second period but we responded well in the third, he added. Moving forward, we need to focus on playing a complete game.
The game was marred by a serious-looking injury suffered by junior Ryan Moffitt following a second-period collision with a Salmon River player near center ice. As the players skated away from each other, one of the Shamrock players blades swept across the top of one of Kassians skates, slicing through the tougue and causing a serious laceration to his foot.
It was just one of those things that can happen in a hockey game. Fortunately, the rescue squad was already there at the arena and thanks to their quick response, we were able to get Ryan immediate help and they got him to the hospital right away, said Trimboli, who noted that Moffitt received several stitches to close the wound at Massena Memorial and that his status would be day-to-day.
From what everyone has told me, he added, Ryans going to be okay.
The Raiders are slated to host Division I rival Potsdam Central on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. while the Shamrocks (5-8-2, 3-5-1) play host to Tupper Lake on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
SLC 4, Potsdam 4 (OT): At the Tri-Town Arena, the fans got their moneys worth as the teams traded goals and leads from start to finish before settling for the draw.
It was definitely very exciting, said coach Mickey Locke after his team stretched its last-season unbeaten streak to eight games with the hard-fought tie.
The Larries opened the scoring when Luke Peets connected from Lukas Arquiett and Hadyn St. Hilaire just 2:53 into the game and that stood as the only goal of the first period.
The Sandstoners pulled even when Corson Green netted an unassisted goal 52 seconds into the second period, sparking a wild scoring flurry that saw the teams combine to score four goals over the first nine minutes. Peets put SLC back on top at the 2:27 mark assisted by Kody Kocsis but the Stoners tied the game just 39 seconds later when Logan Ford converted off an assist from Chase Palmer.
The Larries took their third lead of the game at 8:46 with an unassisted goal by Arquiett but Potsdam notched its third equalizer at the 11:19 mark when Ford finished off a play set up by Josh Locey and Riley Clark and the teams went into the third knotted at 3-3.
Locey gave the Sandstoners their only lead of the game just 44 seconds into the third assisted by Ford and Green and they held it until the Larries pulled netminder Nate Burnett with time winding down and Arquiett tied the game with 54 seconds left in regulation when he scored from Peets and Drew Rose.
Burnett finished with 41 stops working the SLC crease while Zach Bolt stood equally tall between the pipes for the Sandstoners with a 37-save effort.
Both teams had three or four really good chances in overtime but both goaltenders came up with some incredible saves, noted Locke.
The Larries (10-5-1, 6-3-1) are slated to play at Canton on Monday starting at 7 p.m. while the Sandstoners (5-8-2, 4-3-1) play at the Massena Arena on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.