LAKE PLACID - While the Saranac Lake varsity boys hockey team was able to control the opening minutes of its Jan. 15 game against Lake Placid, the Blue Bombers were doing a good job keeping the Red Storm off the scoreboard.
Something needed to break.
That's when Matt Phelan hustled to collect a puck that had been sent down into the Lake Placid zone during a Blue Bomber power play and found a wide open Devin Darrah, who beat Bomber goalie Brody Hayes gloveside to score a shorthanded goal that opened the doors for a 4-1 Red Storm victory.
"I saw the puck go deep and I had a good jump on it, so I went for it," Phelan said, who later scored the second goal of the game on an assist from Darrah. "Devin was wide open and he made a good play on the puck to beat the goalie."
"Matt really hustled down the ice," Darrah said, who scored his second goal of the game with just over one minute left in the second period. "I could tell the goalie was thinking I was going to go left and I was able to stop and change my shot."
"That first goal kind of got them back on their heals," coach Will Ellsworth said after the game. "Matt came down the ice and dug the puck out and found the open skater."
The short-handed tally was part of a spectacular day for the Red Storm penalty kill unit, which blanked the Blue Bombers on seven power play opportunities, including a 33-second span where the red Storm was two men down.
"We work on that a lot in practice," said Darrah. "We work to force the opponent to one side and make sure that they are not getting clean shots."