CANTON — It was a tremendous sense of relief for Beekmantown girls’ hockey coach Ray Guay on Sunday.
The Eagles skated to a 3-0 victory over Potsdam to capture its first-ever Upstate Girls Hockey Championship in its fifth trip to the Final Four and fourth to the finals.
“I feel like a big block has been taken off my shoulders,” Guay said. “The girls came out hard right from the get-go and it was a high-paced game.
The third time was a charm for Beekmantown (20-1-1), which had lost to Potsdam twice in previous finals, including a 2-1 setback a season ago.
“Definitely, it was good to play them in the finals again and to beat them this time,” Guay said. “We had beaten them, 2-1, in a regular season game that could have gone either way.
“But I knew we could beat them if we played our game. We shortened our bench a little — you have to do what you have to do. We didn’t look for certain matchups and felt good about what we had.”
The Eagles took the lead for good at 8:06 of the first period when Alexis Guay scored off an Emily Raville pass.
Then, at 3:14 of the second, it was Raville who scored with Guay assisting to make it 2-0.
Katie Matott, who moments earlier came up empty on a breakaway, was able to get behind the Potsdam defense again and made sure this time, giving Beekmantown a 3-0 lead at the 8:00 mark of the second.
The Eagles held a 31-13 advantage in shots on goal and Kayleigh Bell made 13 saves in net for the shutout. Ali Compeau stopped 28 shots for the Sandstoners.
“Matott played a great game,” Guay said. “And I can’t say enough about the leadership we got from seniors Alexis Guay, Amanda Peterson, Emily Raville and Ashley Terry. They led the way for us.
“The girls played very well — they played outstanding. We were tied of getting to the finals and not winning. We didn’t allow a shot on goal in the third period. We played a 1-2-2 and wanted to keep the play in their end. We were able to do so.”
The Eagles advanced to the finals with a 3-2 victory over Kenmore the day before in the Final Four semifinals. Potsdam, meanwhile, was a 3-1 winner over Alexandria Bay.
Beekmantown 3, Potsdam 0
Beekmantown 1 2 0 — 3
Potsdam 0 0 0 — 0
First period- 1, Beek, Guay (Raville), 8:06.
Second period- 2, Beek, Raville (Guay), 3:14. 3, Beek, Matott, 8:00.
Shots: Beekmantown 31, Potsdam 13.
Saves: Bell, Beek, 13. Compeau, Pots, 28.