PLATTSBURGH — Seven seconds separated the Beekmantown boys’ hockey team from advancing to the NYSPHSAA Division II championship game a season ago.
Up 3-1 with over five minutes remaining in regulation, the Eagles surrendered three unanswered goals, falling 4-3 in overtime to Syracuse CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt of Section III.
But No. 1 Beekmantown has a second chance and a new life when it returns to the Utica Memorial Auditorium this weekend. The Eagles (18-4-1) face No. 3 Auburn of Section III in the NYSPHSAA Division II semifinals at 2:30 p.m. today.
“I don’t view it as a bad experience, I view it as a learning experience,” Beekmantown coach Justin Frechette said. “There are certain components we have listed …10 or 15 things that every game we try and accomplish. It’s the little things that win or lose championships. Again, I think that was apart of the learning experience last year.
“Six point six seconds has been something we talk a lot about. It was the time left on the clock when CBA tied it up. We realize that, in championship hockey, every second of every game matters. You can’t take a second off.”
The Maroons (17-7) earned a trip to the state semifinals after a 3-1 defeat of Williamsville East of Section VI in the state quarterfinals Saturday.
Auburn is located 25 miles southwest of Syracuse. Its enrollment (1,500) is nearly three times the size of Beekmantown and Chazy combined.
While the Maroons have scored just 76 goals all season, the team rallies around goaltender Brendan Entenmann. A senior captain, Entenmann sports a 1.19 goals-against average, a .951 save percentage and has totaled five shutouts on the season.
Entenmann recently signed a letter of intent to play lacrosse for Le Moyne College next year.
“There are systematic approaches to obviously every game plan we have,” Frechette said. “But we played a lot of great goalies all year. You look at the kid from Lake Placid, (Tucker) Angelopoulos, is probably one of the best goalies in the state. We’re excited about the challenge he presents, and we’re looking forward to executing our game plan on him.”