CANTON — The Beekmantown girls’ hockey team has got itself in a familiar position, playing in the Upstate Girls’ Hockey League semifinals for the fifth consecutive year.
The Eagles (19-1-1) challenge Section VI champion Kenmore/Williamson today at the Canton Pavilion for 2 p.m.
Ray Guay, whose team defeated Albany Academy 4-2 in the Section VII title game Feb. 1, looks to avenge three state championship game losses in the last four years.
A pair of senior forwards lead Beekmantown in point production. Amanda Peterson (20-19-39) and Emily Raville (22-15-37) top the list, while freshman Katie Matott (16-13-29) ranks third.
“They have a nose for the net,” Guay said. “You don’t come across goal scorers like that very often. It has taken (Peterson) and (Raville) five years to get to where they are. (Matott) is one of the premier U-14 players in the Northeast.”
Goaltender Kayleigh Bell will likely get the call between the pipes. The sophomore has accumulated 226 saves on 244 shots faced with shutouts against Salmon River, Alexandria Bay, Skaneateles and Massena.
“Your best offense is your defense,” Guay said. “She’s a young goalie and has a good team in front of her. We’re hoping she can remain poised.”
Kenmore/Williamson, who plays its home games in Amherst, picked up its second straight sectional championship with a dramatic 2-1 double-overtime win over Williamsville Wednesday night.
Netminder Lauren Pray stopped 35-of-36 shots faced in back-stopping Kenmore/Williamson to the win and a berth in the state semifinals.
“I haven’t had the opportunity to watch any teams play from the Buffalo area,” Guay said. “There is no in-depth scouting report. Our players have to step up and leave it all on the ice. This isn’t a good time to change anything.
“We’re just hopeful for a successful weekend. We’ve been to the big show five times now, and it’s a matter of a few bounces of the puck. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if we could have lady luck on our side.”
Because there are four sections in the state that offer girls’ hockey, the tournament isn’t sanctioned by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.
Today’s semifinal games will be broadcast live on www.northcountrysports.net with the Beekmantown-Kenmore/Williamson winner playing either Section III champion Alexandria Bay or Section X’s Potsdam for the title Sunday at noon.
Top scorers: Amanda Peterson 20-19-39, Emily Raville 22-15-37, Katie Matott 16-13-29, Kallie Vilemaire 11-10-21, Alexis Guay 7-11-18, Clara Giroux 5-13-18.
Goaltending leaders: Kayleigh Bell .926 save percentage, four shutouts. Alyssa Pelkey .821 save percentage, zero shutouts.