The boys varsity hockey team notched its first win on Dec. 21 in a 4-1 victory over Tupper Lake to kick off Section X league play.
The Bears opened the scoring at the Canton Pavilion against the Lumberjacks in the first period, when a blocked shot from freshman defenseman Carter Premo found its way to his brother and defensive partner, freshman Caleb Premo. Caleb Premo’s shot on net resulted in a scrum in front of the Lumberjack netminder, and senior forward Bradley Frank made the most of the chaos, burying the contested puck into the back of Tupper Lake’s net.
The Bears doubled their lead in the second period when junior Jonney Mclear, who recently converted to defense, capitalized on a miscue from a Tupper Lake defenseman who bobbled the puck off a face-off in the Bears’ end. Mclear took off on a breakaway and slid the puck home around a sprawling Tupper Lake goaltender.
In the third, the Bears went back to scoring hard-nosed goals when senior forward Josh Aldous slapped home a loose puck in front of the Tupper Lake net to extend the Bears’ lead to three. Junior Reid Doyle, who moved from the blue line to play his first career game at forward, wrangled a puck rimmed below the Tupper Lake net by freshman defenseman Jack Brandy and moved it to the net front, where junior forward Drew Blevins played it into space for Aldous to jam home.
Tupper Lake cut the lead to two on their lone tally of the game moments later, when they capitalized on a sluggish faceoff start from the Bears and beat sophomore goaltender Daniel Creurer short side.
The Bears would regain the lead thanks to Doyle, who continued his impressive debut at forward. Doyle created a turnover in the neutral zone, and was able to take advantage of poor gap control from the Lumberjack defense by stepping around the defender to the outside and burying Canton’s fourth and final goal short side on the Tupper Lake goaltender.
Canton ended the game with a 40-19 shot advantage, by far their highest shot total of the season. Creurer finished the game with 18 saves in the winning effort. The Bears are now 1-3 overall and 1-0 in league play as they look to dig into the meat of their Section X schedule.