The Canton Golden Bears split the weekend, defeating Massena at home 2-1 and losing to St. Lawrence Central 5-3.
Canton faced a tough D1 rivalry game on Friday. Canton started the first period playing hard. Very few mistakes were made, aside from not getting the puck up ice in critical areas. Canton’s Hayden Todd saw 14 shots in the first period and saved 13. Todd saved every shot thereafter. Canton only had 4 shots, but the shot total was not reflective of the Bears effort. A lot of pressure in the offensive zone and on the backcheck made Massena settle for shots around the tops of the circles and defenders tied up in front of Todd.
Canton trailed by 1 at the end of the first, but while it was not a complete first period effort, Canton built on and corrected their successes and failures of the first period. Everybody appeared to settle down in the second, and Rhett Palmer took the game into his hands when he carried it all 200 feet and scored, evening the game at one.
Canton continued to play hard and get the job done. Johnny McLear played a physical game while also playing smart hockey, and he helped advance the puck on many occasions. The Bears effort on the forecheck carried over, and they tripled their shot total, although only one found the back of the net. Massena had 15 shots, but the shots taken were mostly easy saves for Todd. When the Bears made one of the rare mistakes in this game, Todd made an unbelievable save to keep the game tied when he reached out with his glove to rob a Massena forward of a goal.
The game remained tied 1-1 going into period three. Canton would dominate for most of the third, and when Massena took a penalty, Canton used the powerplay to their advantage, when Garritt Palmer passed out of the corner to Rhett Palmer, who drove the net and shot. Josh Aldous tipped the puck past the Massena netminder, putting the Bears up 2-1. This would be the score for the rest of the game. Canton stifled Massena defensively, and would make the plays necessary to win the game.
Saturday was a different story, and it almost felt like a different team was playing. Canton did not play well in the first, and let in a goal early. A nice play at the end of the period led to Tanner Hazelton’s first goal of the season off a pass from Rhett Palmer. The period ended with the score tied at one.
Canton continued to play poorly in the second period, letting in two more and only scoring one. Canton’s goal came from Rhett Palmer on a pass from Tanner Hazelton. Canton did get more offensive chances in the second, but could not bury the puck to take a lead. A tough defensive third led to the Bears’ demise, as SLC took a 4-2 lead in the third. Canton’s Jonney Mclear made it 4-3 after Rhett Palmer and Tanner Hazelton strung together some passes in offensive territory. SLC scored not too long after to take a 5-3 lead. Canton’s final minute push was not enough to win, even with the extra attacker.
Canton will play Wednesday in Ogdensburg.