CHAMPLAIN — At this rate, Northeastern Clinton boys’ hockey coach Rob Francis should consider changing his team’s nickname to the “Cardiac Cougars.”
Nick Palmer’s game-winning goal helped Northeastern Clinton to its third overtime victory of the season, defeating Plattsburgh High 4-3 in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference play Tuesday.
“Ryan Roberts played a great game in net,” Francis said. “We were able to keep them to the outside and eliminate rebounds. We jumped out early, but they battled back. But we were able to find a way to win in overtime.”
The Cougars (6-4-1, 3-3-1) got out to a three-goal lead inside the first 23 minutes and four seconds on tallies from Reece Tucker, Ryan Marks and Dayton Roberts.
However, the lead was short lived.
Kurtis Olsen, Eric Bechard and J.D. Side helped the Hornets (7-8, 3-4) record three unanswered goals, including Side’s game-tying goal with 2:19 remaining in the third period.
But Palmer’s late-game heroics helped Northeastern Clinton capture two crucial points in the CVAC standings.
“Anytime you can pick up two points, it’s great,” Francis said. “We’re battling for home-ice advantage for the playoffs. We just have to work hard every night.”
Plattsburgh High managed a 47-25 advantage in shots on goal in the tilt, with Ryan Roberts totaling 44 saves in all.
“He’s playing really well,” Francis said. “We’ve given him a chance. He and Anthony Piche have each played well. On any good night, I’d give the nod to either one of them.”
The loss snapped the Hornets’ two-game winning streak.
“I’d like to give full marks to Northeastern Clinton for its effort (Tuesday),” Plattsburgh High coach Jamie Reidy said. “I thought it was one of the better goaltending efforts from any goalie that I’ve seen in my six years in the league.