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OFA scores blue collar win

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Before OFA’s Coaches Vs Cancer Hockey Game against Massena, on Saturday, a moment of silence was held for Jerry Ferguson, a 1982 Blue Devil captain, who passed away earlier in the week after a gallant fight against cancer.

OFA Coach Jon Frederick called Ferguson a “blue collar player” and before the game OFA Frederick showed his players a picture taken on the ice of the Golden Dome after Ferguson helped his team to a 4-3 triple overtime win over Massena.

The Blue Devils went out and offered a fitting tribute to Ferguson by scoring a 3-1 “blue collar” NAC interdivision win over the Raiders which featured two hustle-type goals and well-coordinated defense on front of a brilliant 36-save performance by goalie David Prudhomme.

The Devils (4-3, 4-1 NAC) used their first home win of the season to stay tied in the loss column in the multi-team NAC Division II race with 5-1 St. Lawrence Central which downed Salmon River 6-3 on Saturday, earned OFA its first win over Massena since 2010 and gave Coach Frederick the first home win over Massena in his 12-year tenure.

“This was just a monumental win. Massena has such a great program and we haven’t been able to get many wins against them. It is such a big win for our seniors and we are now 2-0 against Division I teams which is very important,” said Frederick.

“They outshot us by quite and a bit and they hit a few posts but we weathered the storm in the first period and killed off six minutes of penalties in second period. Joe Giglio and Gian Rufa logged a lot of minutes leading our defense which did great job taking their hands away in front of the net. But what can you say about the guy between the pipes. Dave Prudhomme was just outstanding, he didn’t allow many rebounds.”

Not only did the Devils weather some heavy Massena offensive pressure, sustained by its forcecheck, in the first period but they also took a 2-0 lead on a pair of opportunistic goals.

Just 2:22 into the game, Brandon Mullin, who generated any number of shifty rushes up-ice, scored on a nifty wrap-around from behind goaltender Logan Brothers (18 saves).

“Brandon Mullin created alot of offensive pressure for us with his puck-carrying abilities and he also helped the defense with his ability to break out,” said Frederick.

The Devils took a 2-0 lead with 57 seconds remaining in the opening period when Jake Garrison deflected home a shot by Joe Giglio for an unassisted power play goal. Massena countered 7:46 into the second period with what proved to be their only goal of the game. Evan Kassian lifted a rebound high into the net with Patrick Manning and Anthony Cortese picking up assists on the power play sequence.

“We got outworked in front of our net on a couple of their goals but the big key is that we just didn’t capitalize on our chances. We just missed the net on too many shots and didn’t play three periods of good hockey,” said Massena Coach Mike Trimboli.

The Raiders(5-4-1, 3-2-1 NAC) pressed hard with a 13-4 shots-on-goal advantage in the third period but the Devils netted a very important third goal 1:13 into the stanza. Garrison won a race for a loose puck and relayed it to Drew Costigan who netted a short range shot.

$824 FOR THE CAUSE: Saturday’s game raised an $824 for OFA’s Coaches Vs Cancer donation to the St. Lawrence County Cancer Society: $704 from the gate and donations, $55 from the raffle run by Block O Booster Club and $25 from the OFA Cheerleaders who staged a chuck-a-puc contest.

“We had a great day and we thank the fans from both communities,” said OFA Athletic Director Tony Bjork.

Other NAC D2 action of the day saw the Islanders drop Malone 4-2 and Potsdam blanked Canton 3-0 in a Division I matchup.

Potsdam 3 - Canton 0: The 6-2 Stoners climbed to 3-0 in NAC by stroking for two goals in a seven-minute span of the second period. Jason Cardinal scored at 6:25 from Logan Ford at 6:25 and Trevor Kelleher converted from Max Worden at 11:44.

“We played a pretty solid game. We just had a bit of letdown in the second period and Potsdam capitalized,” said Canton Coach Randy Brown.

Ford netted a third period goal unassisted to complete the offensive support for Devin Crary’s 18-save shutout. Jake Watson handled 18 shots for Canton.

SLC 6, Salmon River 3: A five goal second period lifted the Larries (8-2, 5-1) past the host Shamrocks (1-8-1, 0-5-1) for their sixth straight win.

Kody Kocsis (3 goals, 1 assist) tied the game at 1-1 in the first period and connected for two of the five second period goals. Devin Euto generated a pair of second period goals while Luke Arquiett added a goal and one assist. Logan Peets and Blake Baldwin each logged an assist while Nate McLaughlin had 22 saves.

Skylar Thomas, Jarid Gray and Naylen Laffin scored for Salmon River and Dennis Bero many 25 saves in net.

Islanders 4, Malone 2: Kyle Delaney scored the first two goals in the first period and assisted on the game-winner for the Islanders.

Sean Sheppard scored the game-winner from Delaney and Nick McCabe at 6:37 of the third after Malone connected for two early goals in the period to tie the game at 2-2. Evan Dier had an insurance goal for the Islanders to go with his two assists. Trevor Hughes added two assists.

Kelsey Head scored twice for Malone and Cam Daniels had two assists.

Cole James collected 29 saves for the winners (4-4-1, 2-4) and Joey Brown had 34 saves for the 5-2-1, 3-2-1 Huskies.

Tupper Lake 2, Saranac 0: Marcus Richer turned away 26 shots as the Lumberjacks scored a goal in each of the second and third period for their first win of the season. Bryce Guerette scored from Hudson Sparks and Jon Kopp at 6:50 of the second and Sparks converted unassisted at 11:30 of the third for Tupper Lake.

Lareau made 22 saves for Saranac Central.

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