PLATTSBURGH — The LaSalle Institute boys’ hockey team used three first-period goals and held off Saranac’s late-game charge for a 5-3 nonleague win Saturday.
Shon Lilledahl, the Chiefs’ (0-1) first-year coach, said the early 3-0 deficit proved costly.
“A lot of that has to do with our youth,” Lilledahl said. “They’ve got bigger kids. A lot of those goals were just size, fighting (and) battles in front of the net. You’ve got to go with what you’ve got.”
Saranac managed to outscore the Cadets (2-1) by a 3-2 margin in the final 30 minutes.
The Chiefs received goal contributions from Luke Carpenter, Tristan Archambault and Kevin Fisher, and Lilledahl was satisfied with the effort.
“They never gave up,” Lilledahl said. “They kept going at it right to the end. That’s all I can preach to them. Play our game (and) move the puck. We don’t have a lot of size to play that physical game.
“We’ve got to pass the puck well. When we do that, the ice opens up for us and the guys play well. I saw a lot of that. It was very positive.”
While Archambault’s tally came on a point shot, Carpenter and Fisher were able to slip the puck past LaSalle Institute goaltender Kenny Joseph down low.
Lilledahl has made that a point of emphasis in the early going.
“We always preach guys in front of the net, looking for rebounds (and) screening that goalie,” Lilledahl said. “That’s where all the goals are scored — in that little 25-foot section in front of the net. That’s a hard-working area right there.”
After falling to Beekmantown 7-3 Friday, LaSalle Institute received a 40-save performance from Joseph.
Goaltender Jeffrey Smith, who attended AuSable Valley and played for Lake Placid a season ago, is now attending Peru and playing for Saranac. Smith racked up 51 saves in the two-goal loss.