LAKE PLACID-From December to February, the Beekmantown varsity boys hockey team was able to get through unscathed.
But it only took one day in March and a team that lived up to the saying: "It's tough to beat the same team three times in one season," to change all of that.
The Saranac Lake Red Storm scored two early goals - the first just over one minute into the game - and a third late in the third period to score a 3-2 win against the top-seeded Eagles to capture the Section II/Division II title.
"We kept it simple out there tonight," head coach Will Ellsworth said. "The first two goals, we got pucks to the net. They were the result of faceoffs won in the offensive zone. We wanted to get pucks inside in the offensive zone. We got pucks on the goalie and put pressure on him."
With just over a minute in the opening period, Nicholas Magro won a faceoff for the Red Storm, which found the stick of Grant Strack.
"I just shot it," Strack said. "It was great to get a goal early. We knew that if we scored early, we would have an advantage."
"Just before the game started, I reminded them that if you score the first goal in a playoff hockey game, you are going to put pressure on the other team," Ellsworth said.
"Got the puck on the net and good things happened," said goalie Tyler O'Neill. "I think that really gave us some confidence. Coming out and getting the first goal really helped."
With the 1-0 lead 1:09 seconds into the game, the two teams battled until an attempted clear out of the Beekmantown end found the stick of the Red Storm's Alec McLean.
"I wanted to get it on net and look for someone to get a rebound," Said McLean. "It was fumbled a little so I'm thinking it might go in. I saw the light, and it was sweet."