UTICA — The top-ranked Beekmantown boys registered come-from-behind wins in three of its first four postseason games.
The Eagles, though, ran out of magic at the wrong time Sunday.
Behind two first-period goals from captains Joseph Schuler and Jeremy Caulkins, No. 2-ranked Webster Schroeder of Section V held off Beekmantown’s late-game surge to capture the NYSPHSAA Division II ice hockey championship at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
“Our kids battled,” Eagles (19-5-1) coach Justin Frechette said. “In championship hockey, we knew we would get our chances, and we did. I thought we wore them down at the end of the game, but their goalie was just making save after save after save.
“We really believed it was going to start to fall or bounce our way. In games like this, you need a few bounces to go your way, too. Unfortunately (Sunday), we didn’t have that.”
Schuler put the Warriors (18-7-2) on the board at 7:59 of the first period with a short-handed goal, slipping around a Beekmantown defenseman and beating goaltender Dustin Plumadore on the short side.
“(The) kid just had a great shot from the outside,” Frechette said. “Put it right inside the far post. Great shot, great play by him.”
It remained a 1-0 game until Caulkins netted a power-play goal at 12:56. A senior forward, Caulkins went uncovered on the doorstep, allowing him to fire a shot blocker side.
“He just went in 1-on-0,” Frechette said. “They had a play where one of our defenseman got picked. You know, he came in free on Dustin. He just had a great shot.”
Like Saturday, the Eagles were outshot in the first period by a 15-4 margin.
“We had four or five breakaway opportunities with some of our better players…three 2-on-1s,” Frechette said. “We just weren’t able to put the puck in the net (Sunday). Just didn’t bounce our way. We had chances.