PLATTSBURGH — The Beekmantown boys’ hockey club claimed this year’s Champlain Valley Athletic Conference regular-season title heavily relying on its team speed.
Thursday night, however, the ninth-ranked Eagles (17-3-1) used the element of physicality to their advantage.
Beekmantown defeated Saranac Lake 4-0 in Section VII semifinal action with who Dustin Plumadore getting a record-setting seventh shutout between the pipes.
“I think the nice thing about our team is that we can play any style that we want to play,” Eagles coach Justin Frechette said. “At the end of the day, it comes down to just competing and winning those 50-50 battles, and I think we did that very well (Thursday). I was pleased with the boys winning those one-on-one battles.”
The Eagles advance to the Section VII championship for the second time in three years. They’ll face tonight’s Plattsburgh High-Lake Placid winner next Wednesday at Stafford Ice Arena.
Nathan Foster helped Beekmantown to an early 1-0 lead at 2:25 of the opening period.
After collecting a loose puck in the neutral zone, Foster raced in all alone, beating Red Storm (7-9-4) goaltender Blake Darrah with a finesse move in front.
The Eagles concluded the first stanza leading 1-0 on the scoreboard and 18-3 in shots on goal.
After an expired penalty, Kyle Bisonette extended the differential to two when Brenden Carnright hit the junior forward with a one-time feed in the low slot at 4:28 of the middle period.
Then, with just one minute and 50 seconds elapsed since Bisonette’s goal, Brandon Buksa scored on an eerily similar play just outside the paint. Cole Carter was credited with the assist.
“Coach (Frechette) gave me the signal to try and get the puck on net,” Buksa said. “I just happened to be in the slot with my stick down. The puck came out, and I put it five-hole. It gave us some momentum.”
Foster concluded the game’s scoring with his second of the contest in the third period with a shot from the bottom of the far circle, beating Darrah glove side. The power-play goal was scored at 6:03.
“I was just trying to use my speed to get around them on the first (goal),” Foster said. “I was looking at some things, and I just anticipated what was going to happen. I took it post-to-post and put it upstairs on him. On the second one, the puck just came to me and I tried to snipe him.”
Plumadore, who recorded 13 saves in the win, now holds the Section VII single-season shutout record with seven and is now in a tie for fourth all-time in the New York State High School Hockey Coaches Association record book.
“It’s not really an individual record; I can’t do it without the rest of the team,” Plumadore said. “It shouldn’t go in the record book as me; it should go in there as ‘Beekmantown team 2012-2013.’ It’s wonderful to be able to say I finally took it home. With the team we have, I hope we can keep this thing going.”
Beekmantown finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while Saranac Lake was 0-for-5 on the man advantage.
Darrah made 39 saves in the loss.
The Eagles are looking forward to the final.
“We’ve got to come to play the way we play hockey,” Bisonette said. “We can’t worry about anything else. The past is the past. We’ve just got to come into the game and know if we play our brand of hockey, we’re going to be on our way to Utica.”
Beekmantown 4, Saranac Lake 0
Saranac Lake 0 0 0 — 0
Beekmantown 1 2 1 — 4
First period- 1, BCS, Foster (unassisted), 2:25.
Second period- 2, BCS, Bisonette (Carnright, Foster), 4:28. 3, BCS, Buksa (Carter), 6:18.
Third period- 4, BCS, Foster (Bradish), 6:03 (pp).
Shots: Beekmantown 43. Saranac Lake 13.
Saves: Plumadore, BCS, 13. Darrah, SL, 39.
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