Canton 2 – Salmon River 1
Going into Wednesday, Coach Caufield’s boys knew the situation. With their win on Monday against Potsdam, Canton was just one game behind both Salmon River and Massena for the Central Division lead. Win, and there would be a three-way tie, resulting in “tri-champions.” However, if they lost or even tied the game, they would end up in third. The boys understood that there was more significance to this game then just the League title; when they had beaten Salmon earlier in the season, it began an eight-game win streak for the Bears.
The Bears played probably their greatest first half of the year, as they completely dominated the Shamrocks. Having the wind on your side is a big advantage, and Canton made sure to capitalize. Junior Jonney Mclear scored the lone goal of the half, off of a pass from senior Josh Aldous. Sophomore goalie Jackson Ames locked down attempts from Salmon senior Kade Cook, and the Bears took a 1-0 lead into halftime. Fresh off of a call-up from JV, sophomore Lucas Howie filled in for senior Brad Frank, who suffered a head injury in the game.
The Bears continued their strong play into the second half, but it was Salmon’s turn to use the wind to their advantage, which they did. The Shamrocks pressured the Bears for the first 20 minutes of the half, and their shots were either off target or spoiled by Ames. Finally, Cook connected with the back of the net and tied the game at one apiece. The Bears knew that a tie wouldn’t get the job done, they needed a win. Aldous ripped a shot into the box, and junior Ethan Francey won the battle against the opposing goalie, resulting in him ripping the go-ahead goal into the net.
The following 13 minutes felt like ages for the Bears, who just kept denying Salmon River from scoring. Defensemen Aldous, junior Griffin Scafidi-Mcguire, and seniors Owen Hall and Jack Kerrigan played the Bears’ best defense all season in the closing minutes, and Canton ultimately walked away with the 2-1 win.