April 8, 2014

Eagles' Foster, Bombers' Clark lead CVAC hockey all-stars


— Finishing one-two in the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference regular season and Section VII Division II championships, the Lake Placid and Beekmantown boys’ hockey teams were well-represented on the 2013-14 CVAC All-Star Team.

The Blue Bombers had four all-star selections, while Keith Clark was nominated by his peers as Coach of the Year within the section. Beekmantown had three players selected, including Most Valuable Player Nate Foster.

Plattsburgh High and Saranac Lake had two all-stars with Northeastern Clinton earning one representative.

The all-stars and individual awards were chosen by the CVAC coaches.

Most Valuable Player

Nate Foster (Beekmantown)- Foster established himself as one of the top offensive threats in the state this past season, totaling 41 goals and 20 assists for 61 points. He led the Eagles to back-to-back final fours, including a state championship game appearance in March. Foster’s commitment and dedication to playing at both ends of the ice earned him the section’s MVP, a Division II First Team All-State selection and the Division II MVP award. He excelled during his junior and senior seasons, recording 72 goals on 112 points during that span. Foster will continue his hockey career next season in the Central Canada Hockey League with the Smiths Falls Bears in Smiths Falls, Ontario.

Coach of the Year

Keith Clark (Lake Placid)- Clark’s Blue Bombers went 9-1 in league play to earn the CVAC regular-season title. After an 18-3 start, Lake Placid was upended by Beekmantown in the Section VII Division II championship, 5-2. With Clark behind the bench, the Blue Bombers went 15-1 during a 16-game span from Dec. 15 to Feb. 13. In his 13th season at the helm, he helped guide Lake Placid to a No. 6 ranking in the final NYSSWA rankings.

First Team

Nate Foster (Beekmantown)- Foster’s speed and quickness helped him score three or more goals in a game on seven occasions. A senior, he tallied eight times in five of the Eagles’ postseason games.

Eric Bechard (Plattsburgh High)- Bechard’s explosiveness proved beneficial for the Hornets. A junior, he gave maximum effort at all times and played at both ends of the ice. Scoring 15 goals and 23 assists for 38 points, Bechard was a great leader and team player for Plattsburgh High.

Shane McNierney (Lake Placid)- McNierney led by example in the effort he gave and numbers he put up. He was a top-six scorer in the CVAC, leading the Blue Bombers offensively with 10 goals and 19 assists for 29 points.

Reece Tucker (Northeastern Clinton)- A four-year player for the Cougars, Tucker was a strong defenseman for Northeastern Clinton with both his defensive and offensive attributes. Accumulating five goals and seven assists for 12 points, he was chosen as a captain for the Cougars during his senior go-around.

Bradley Shumway (Saranac Lake)- Shumway is a returning First Team defenseman. After being an integral part of the Red Storm’s final four run in 2012, he captained this year’s club, firing four goals and eight points.

Tucker Angelopoulos (Lake Placid)- Angelopoulos backstopped the Blue Bombers to a CVAC regular-season title and runner-up finish in the Section VII playoffs. His positive attitude and athleticism helped the junior record 3.5 shutouts and a 92.8 save percentage.

Second Team

Brandon Buksa (Beekmantown)- Buksa not only served as a team captain, but was the inspirational leader for the Eagles. As one of the league’s top centerman, he produced in the offensive end (9-14-23) and was Beekmantown’s best defensive forward. His ability to kill penalties, block shots, win draws, backcheck and neutralize the opposing team’s best players was a key ingredient to the Eagles’ runner-up finish.

Jack Tolosky (Plattsburgh High)- Tolosky was an offensive threat every time he stepped on the ice, which was proven over the past five seasons in the CVAC. During his senior season, he took on more defensive responsibilities, but still managed to be one the league’s top point-getters with 15 goals on 39 points.

Kyle Constanty (Beekmantown)- As the second-leading scorer in the league, Constanty showed his ability to be an offensive threat, and he continuously played with the grit and toughness needed to be a complete player. As a junior, he recorded 21 goals and 20 assists for 41 points.

Dillon Savage (Lake Placid)- A five-year player in the CVAC and four-year member for the Blue Bombers, Savage was converted to a defenseman this year and performed well for Lake Placid. He used his strength and competitive edge to serve the Blue Bombers in all roles, totaling four goals and 14 points.

Nzoni Thompson (Lake Placid)- Thompson was a great-skating defenseman for the Blue Bombers. Despite being injured during the season, he still managed to score seven times for 14 points. A team captain, he defended well, played a physical game and quarterbacked Lake Placid’s power-play unit.

Blake Darrah (Saranac Lake)- Darrah’s ability to keep the Red Storm in every game helped him to two shutouts and a 92.2 save percentage. The highlight of his career, though, occurred during his sophomore campaign when he carried Saranac Lake to the 2012 final four.

First Team

Nate Foster (Beekmantown), Eric Bechard (Plattsburgh High), Shane McNierney (Lake Placid), Reece Tucker (Northeastern Clinton), Bradley Shumway (Saranac Lake), Tucker Angelopoulos (Lake Placid).

Second Team

Brandon Buksa (Beekmantown), Jack Tolosky (Plattsburgh High), Kyle Constanty (Beekmantown), Dillon Savage (Lake Placid), Nzoni Thompson (Lake Placid), Blake Darrah (Saranac Lake).

Honorable Mention

John Fine-Lease (Plattsburgh High), Jeffrey Smith (Saranac), Ryan Marks (Northeastern Clinton), David Cluckey (Saranac Lake), Elias Smith (Lake Placid), Matt LaClair (Beekmantown).

MVP: Nate Foster (Beekmantown).

Coach of the Year: Keith Clark (Lake Placid).

Ray Holmes Sportsmanship Award: Saranac Lake.