Kane paving the way for state-ranked Lake Placid hockey
LAKE PLACID – Eddie Kane is having a lot of fun during his fifth and final season as one of four seniors on the Lake Placid High School team.
The talented forward is also one of the key reasons that the Blue Bombers in the thick of the battle for a Section VII championship, which would be the school’s first since 1998.
Heading into Friday’s Champlain Valley Athletic Conference regular-season finale at Plattsburgh, Kane was leading the league in goals scored with 27, and he’s been on a tear during the past week that saw Lake Placid push its winning streak to five games, including the Blue Bombers 1-0 triumph over the Hornets. Kane was blanked on the scoreboard in that contest, but in the three games prior, he buried eight pucks, starting with four on Saturday, Feb. 9 in an 8-1 win over rival Saranac Lake. The next day, Kane sent home the game-tying and winning goals during the final four minutes of the Blue Bombers 4-3 non-league over Shaker-Colonie.
Kane followed that effort by notching two more goals Wednesday in a 4-1 victory over Northeastern Clinton that clinched the third seed for the Blue Bombers in the playoffs.
“It’s been a fun season so far,” said Kane, who started skating with the Blue Bombers as an eighth-grader. “We’re playing pretty well right now, and we all get along. We’re all friends on this team. Hopefully, we are a championship team.”
Lake Placid finished the CVAC schedule with a 6-3-1 mark carry a 14-4-2 overall record into Tuesday’s home playoff game against Saranac Central. The Blue Bombers are also ranked 15th in the New York state division II poll. Kane and his teammates started the season by rattling off seven straight wins, with their first loss coming against Beekmantown in a game he missed due to a shoulder injury. Kane returned to the lineup for the team’s next start, and played through the pain for two games, but said he’s fine now as the Bombers begin postseason play.
Kane showed plenty of signs of being a dominant force in the CVAC as a junior a year ago, but this year, he’s been coming up big day in and day out.
“I went to hockey camps in Michigan and Minnesota over the summer, and they really helped me,” Kane said. “It was hockey at a much faster pace with a lot more speed. I took everything I could out of those camps.”
“Eddie’s biggest improvement from last season has been his consistency,” Lake Placid head coach Keith Clark said. “He was really good last year, but he had some ups and downs. He’s been very steady for us this year. Win or lose, Eddie has been an impact player at times in every game.”
When it comes to skill, Clark said Kane’s best assest is a knack for putting the puck in the net, with more than one of those occasions coming end-to-end rushes this season.
“He has the shown the ability to bury the puck,” Clark said. “That’s something you can’t coach.”
Clark added that Kane has also become a team leader this season, just like the three other seniors he skates with. Clark said, however, that Kane is more comfortable leading by example rather than vocally.
“He’s really been a quiet leader,” Clark said. “Even though Eddie has nice stats, he’s not really all about numbers. He just wants to help the team win. When he is out there playing consistently, the other kids see that. They feed off of that.”
“He’s the first one at practice every day and he’s always ready to go,” added assistant coach Butch Martin. “He’s a likeable kid, his teammates like him, and he’s a player who we count on.”
In addition to his 27 goals, Kane also finished the regular season with 14 assists for 41 points. Kane and his teammates are the third seed in the playoffs, and this year, winning the Section VII title will have an even bigger bonus than usual. This season’s Section VII champion will advance directly to the state final four in Utica to play for a Division II crown.