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Red Storm repeat as Section VII hockey champs

Members of the Saranac Lake hockey team mob goalie Blake Darrah to celebrate their second straight Section VII title Feb. 27.

Members of the Saranac Lake hockey team mob goalie Blake Darrah to celebrate their second straight Section VII title Feb. 27. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

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Saranac Lake's Devin Darrah skates in on the Plattsburgh High net to score his first goal of the game and the second for the Red Storm.

— The Section VII/Division II championship boys hokey game between the second seed Saranac Lake and fifth seed Plattsburgh High Hornets has ended, with the Red Storm claiming their second straight crown by a score of 4-1.

“We knew from the get-go that we had a target on our backs as the defending Section champ,” league MVP Devin Darrah of the Storm said. “We were just digging throughout the year. This is a better feeling then the first because we were able to go back-to-back.”

“We are really excited right now,” head coach Will Ellsworth said. “Going back to back has a lot of emotion, and we are sky high right now. We are playing confident hockey and we want to keep this rolling.”

For the game, Saranac Lake held a 35-31 advantage in shots, with Blake Darrah making 30 saves in the win for Saranac Lake, while Rob Knowles made 30 for the Hornets.

“It’s been great to have him back there,” brother Devin said. “He has been backing us up all season and improving in every game.”

After a feeling out period of two minutes, scoring came quickly between the two teams, as Red Storm standout Devin Darrah was able to fire off a pair of shots, the second rebounded and put past PHS goalie Rob Knowles to give Saranac Lake a 1-0 lead 2:37 seconds into the opening period.

“We stress playing sound hockey and getting the first goal,” Ellsworth said. “That has been our plan in the playoffs.”

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Plattsburgh's High's Marshall Maynard tries to get past Saranac Lake defender Bradley Shumway during the Section VII/Division II championship game.

On the ensuing face off, Hornets Brandon Matott and Jack Tolosky got together on an odd man rush, with Matott feeding Tolosky for the equalizer off a second assist from Eric Bechard.

“I was surprised because hockey is such a game of momentum that we had just taken some of theirs, and they turned around and did it to us,” Ellsworth said.

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