TUPPER LAKE - After seeing a young team advance to the state Division I semi-finals last winter, Massena Central boys hockey coach Mike Trimboli hopes that a season-opening 12-1 win on the road over Tupper Lake on Wednesday marks the start of another banner year for the Raiders.
We saw some good things tonight and we saw some bad things so we still have more to work on as we move forward, noted coach Trimboli after the Raiders steadily pulled away from a 1-1 first intermission tie at the Tupper Lake Civic Center.
We have quite a few players back from last year. They competed well enough to get to the state final four and now theyve had a taste of what that was like, he added. We didnt lose a lot of players but the ones we lost were big, strong players. Were hoping that well be able to make up for that loss of strength with our speed because we are a good skating team.
The Raiders have a busy opening week to the season with three games in four days. They return to action this weekend at the West Genesee Tournament where they go up against the host team in the opening round on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Suffern and Fairport meet in the other first-round game. The consolation and championship games are slated for Saturday.
This is going to be a big test for us, said Trimboli. Well see right away how this group shapes up against some tough competition.
In the win over Tupper Lake, the sophomore duo of Patrick Manning and Jordan Robert accounted for most of the offense. Both players generated hattricks along with three and two assists respectively as the Raiders took control with three shorthanded goals in the first 4:10 of the second period. They added two more goals later in the middle frame before rattling off six more in the third, including four during a two and a-half minute span.
Junior Dylan Stone opened the scoring for the Raiders when he finished off a play set up by seniors Ryan Thomas and Tyler Young just 34 seconds into the game but the Lumberjacks pulled even at the 12:57 mark after Elliot Fletcher connected for a power play goal off assists from Tim Fuller and Bryce Gueretta.
Manning and Robert helped the Raiders take control when the combined to produce shorthanded goals 38 seconds apart in the opening minutes of the second period. Manning scored both off assists from Robert at 1:46 and 2:22 before Young made it 4-1 with a third straight shorthanded goal at the 4:10 mark assisted by Stone.
The Raiders got solo goals from Devin Paige, Maddox Merry, Ben Sprague and Thomas over the course of the win. Young and Thomas each finished with a pair of assists while Evan Kassian, Zach Kozsan, Cameron Marsh and Jon-Paul Chauvin all logged solo helpers.
Senior Connor Paquin had 11 saves backstopping the win while the Tyler Nilsson (2 periods, 28 saves) and Garrett Kopp (1 period, 12 saves) combined to work the crease for the Division II Lumberjacks, who dropped their second NAC game in as many nights to start the season.
The Raiders feature just five seniors on their roster heading into the 2013-14 season but return a total of 20 players from last years squad which finished one point behind Potsdam in the race for the NAC Division I regular season title before going on to capture the Section 10 title in dramatic fashion then advancing to the state Division I semi-finals.
Newcomers expected to make an impact this winter include junior defenseman Jacob Vierno, sophomore forwards Turner Thomas and Patrick LaGrow and the freshman duo of forward Wyatt Wilmshurst and Chauvin on defense along with freshman goaltender Noah Kormanyos.
SALMON RIVER WINS
In the lone other high school boys hockey action in the section last night, Salmon River gaijned a 4-3 non-league decision in overtime at home over Plattsburgh High.
The Shamrocks netted the first two goals of the game as Tye Terrance scored a power play goal set up by Kyle Lewis and Sean David at 2:36 of the opening period before Chad George converted off an assist from Tylar Thomas at 7:23 of the second.
The Hornets battled back to tie the game, getting on the board with just 36 seconds left in the second period on a goal by Jack Tolosky that was set up by Eric Bechard then pulling even when J.D. Side converted from Bechard at 7:06 of the third.
David put the Shamrocks back on top at the 9:44 mark assisted by Lewis but Tolosky struck for his second of the game just 23 seconds later from Bechard and Ray Weeden, setting the stage for five minutes of sudden victory overtime where Nate Smoke lifted the Shamrocks to the win at the 2:50 mark when he finished off a two-on-one break centering pass from Tyren Boots after Lewis had worked the puck away from a Plattsburgh player along the boards.
Senior Aidan Comins made 40 saves backstopping the win while Dean Dashnaw handled 30 shots as the Hornets got the season off to a losing start.
The Shamrocks (1-1) hit the road this weekend for a pair of games in the Central New York area, playing at Skaneateles on Friday at 7 p.m. before taking on defending state Division II champion CBA-Jamesville-Dewitt on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Onondago Nations rink in Nedrow.