FORT COVINGTON - A third-period comeback came up short for the Salmon River Central boys hockey team on Friday.
Last year, we were a younger team and some night we were just happy to be competitive. The bar has been raised this year and our expectations are higher. We have to play the whole 45 minutes and not just show up and play the third period like we did tonight, said coach Tim Cook after the Shamrocks opened the 2013-14 season by dropping a 3-2 non-league decision to Section 6 Division II contender Kenmore East at Tom Cavanaugh Arena.
The visiting Bulldogs, who were also making their season debut, worked their way to a 3-0 lead through the first two periods before the Shamrocks use a pair of quick strikes to pull to within one in the early stages of the third. Ryan Zier opened the scoring by finishing off a play set up by AJ Marinelli and Gage Holler with 2:08 left in the first period.
The Bulldogs then fashioned the only two goals of the middle frame, going ahead 2-0 at the 5:31 mark when Alex Bluff converted off an assist from Anthony Tulipane before Marinelli struck for the third KE goal with 7:37 remaining assisted by Joey Spataro.
Tye Terrance got the Shamrocks on the board just 35 seconds into the third period assisted by Nate Smoke. Sean David made it a one-goal game 44 seconds later on a play set up by Chad George and Skklyar Thomas.
Salmon River went on to produce a 9-2 edge in shots in the final frame but were unable to generate the equalizer.
Hopefully we can learn from this one, noted Cook.
Luke Stewart went the distance working the Kenmore East crease for 19 saves while Aidan Comins handled 11 of the 14 shots he faced before freshman Jarrod Jackson came on made five more saves the rest of the way in his high school hockey debut.
The Shamrocks will be hosting a scrimmage carnival throughout today at Cavanaugh Arena starting at 9 a.m. Other teams slated to be on hand along with Kenmore East are Massena, The Islanders, Mohawk Valley and Grand Island, which opened its season with a 3-0 non-league loss at OFA on Friday night.
Salmon Rivers next game is at home against non-league Section 7 rival Plattsburgh High on Wednesday, December 4.
OFA 3, Grand Island 0: At the Golden Dome in Ogdensburg, the host Blue Devils scored a pair of empty-net goals in the final 95 seconds of regulation and junior netminder David Prudhomme stopped the 25 shots he faced to earn the shutout against the Vikings of Section 6.
The only goal scored when the two keepers were both on the ice came at 11:14 of the first period when Jon Tayler passed the buck to Burke Comeau at the blue line and then deflected the defenders slap shot into the net. With 1:25 remaining in the game Tayler scored OFAs first empty-netter in the first shift after the Vikings pulled their goalie off an assist from Jared Barr. Dave Middlemiss scored with 12 seconds to play unassisted shuffling a long clear into the net.
Greg Nicolia made 19 saves backstopping the Grand Island effort.
The Blue Devils are slated to host Kenmore East on Sunday at 2 p.m. while Grand Island heads to Brasher Falls to take on St. Lawrence Central at the Tri-Town Arena starting at 1 p.m.