BHBS Rookie goalies show out in weekend tournament

It wasn’t exactly the weekend that the Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa hockey team had hoped for, going 0-1-1 in the Alexandria Bay Tournament, but the team got strong performances by sophomore goalies Kyle Grace and Zack Maddalone, who each made their first varsity starts over the weekend.

Friday night, the team was scheduled for a 6 PM tilt with Ontario Bay, but that all changed when their school was cancelled with a snow day, not allowing them to play. The game was rescheduled to 8 PM, and was to be played against the #11 team in the state in the Division 2 rankings, Northeast Clinton.

Sophomore Kyle Grace made his first career start in between the pipes for BHBS, and the start wasn’t ideal. After Nick Koszelak put home a great pass from Geordan Buffoline to give the team a 1-0 lead just 14 seconds in, a loose puck found its way to the slot, where Clinton’s Kyler Guay buried the wrister to tie the game. Both teams scored on their first shot on goal. Grace settled down, however, and played a strong period, and Koszelak’s second goal gave BHBS a 2-1 lead at the intermission.

All year long, the Spartans have struggled the most in the second period, and that didn’t change on Friday. Clinton came out strong, and found the equalizer when Nick Rowe sniped a wrister home on a power play, making it 2-2 heading to the third.

BHBS looked better in the third, and Alec Lind, who had hit the post already 3 times in the game, drove to slot, where he was knocked to his knees. He still got a shot away, and tipped home his own rebound off the pad to give BHBS a 3-2 lead. Clinton was able to tie it up late, and the game went to a scoreless overtime, ending in a tie.


1st period

(14:46) BHBS: Nick Koszelak (7) ASST: Geordan Buffoline (19), Henry Koch (6)

(14:27) NEC: Kyler Guay ASST: Bailey LaBombard

(6:50) BHBS: Nick Koszelak (8) ASST: Geordan Buffoline (20)

2nd period

(6:36) NEC: Nick Rowe ASST: Aidan LaValley, Brady Lafountain

3rd period

(9:53) BHBS: Alec Lind (14) ASST: Nick Koszelak (10), Geordan Buffoline (21)

(4:22) NEC: Kyler Guay ASST: None


BHBS: Kyle Grace 26/29 (.897%)

NEC: Anthony Barcomb 17/19 (.894%), Cody Lyon 21/22 (.954%)


The second game was able to go on as schedule on Saturday afternoon, and after a lengthy senior night presentation for Thousand Islands/Alexandria Bay, the puck was dropped. Zack Maddalone was in net for BHBS, in his first career start.

The game was extremely fast-paced, and both teams had dozens of chances. BHBS struck first when Alec Lind buried a backdoor feed from Buffoline on a power play, making it 1-0. Maddalone made some great saves in the period, including a nice pad stop on a 2-on-1, and also got some help from the crossbar in the period.

Thousand Islands was finally able to answer on a man advantage, thanks to a goal from Kyle Granet, tying the game 1-1. They scored again less than a minute later, when Riley Youngs buried a slapshot home. A few minutes later, they were awarded a penalty shot when the puck was covered by the hand of Sam Swingruber in the crease. The shot was converted on a nifty move by Michael Wetterham, making it 3-1.

BHBS head coach Jim Buffoline preached to his guys in the intermission, trying to get them motivated for the third period, but Thousand Islands scored again, converting on a scrum in front to make it 4-1 early in the third. Nobody scored again until Nick Koszelak made it 4-2 with 55 seconds left in the game. It was a tough loss, but there were some bright spots. Maddalone played a great game in net, making 40 saves in the loss. They were able to get good ice time to guys that normally don’t see a lot of time, and overall it was a pretty encouraging weekend against two very talented teams. BHBS will be back at it next week when they host CBA on Friday and Nisky/Schenectady for senior night on Saturday.


1st period

(6:15) BHBS: Alec Lind (15) ASST: Geordan Buffoline (22), Nick Koszelak (11)

2nd period

(6:12) TIAB: Kyle Granet ASST: John Angus, Landon McCaulley

(5:38) TIAB: Riley Youngs ASST: Tyler Turgeon

(4:31) TIAB: Michael Wetterham ASST: None

3rd period

(13:58) TIAB: Kyle Granet ASST: Landon McCaulley, Michael Wetterham

(0:55) BHBS: Nick Koszelak (9) ASST: Grant Rice (1), Geordan Buffoline (23)


BHBS: Zack Maddalone 40/44 (.909%)

TIAB: Josh Slate 47/49 (.959%)


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