Another memorable chapter…Scarborough rallies to tie Falmouth

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Falmouth senior Robbie Armitage fires a shot during Tuesday’s regional final rematch versus Scarborough. Armitage scored twice to help the Yachtsmen rally from a 2-0 deficit, but the Red Storm scored late to forge a 3-3 tie.

Chris Lambert photos.

More photos below.

FALMOUTH—When the Falmouth and Scarborough boys’ hockey teams get together, you never know what might ensue.

Other than it will be dramatic and down-to-the-wire.

The powerhouses renewed their rivalry Tuesday at Family Ice Center and 45 minutes weren’t enough to produce a winner.

After a scoreless first period, the defending Class A South champion Red Storm, playing their season opener, struck first when senior Skylar Pettingill scored shorthanded on a rebound midway through the second period.

The Yachtsmen entered the third period having not scored in nearly two full games against Scarborough and when the Red Storm took a 2-0 lead on sophomore Anthony Burnham’s power play tally with 12:17 left in regulation, the hosts were on the ropes, but they responded like the champions they hope to become.

With 10:46 left, senior captain Robbie Armitage broke the ice with a power play goal.

With 9:07 to go, also on the power play, Armitage did it again to tie the score.

Then, with 7:43 remaining, Falmouth junior Parker Wyatt scored his team’s third goal in a 3:03 span, giving the Yachtsmen the lead for the first time.

But just when it appeared Falmouth was going to produce its second dramatic come-from-behind win in four days, Scarborough rallied, getting a rebound goal from senior Cam Smith with 41.7 seconds to go and that forced overtime.

Neither team was able to break through in the eight-minute, “sudden victory” extra period and the game ended 3-3.

The teams will meet again, probably twice, and it’s clear that they’re both championship caliber.

“It was a typical Falmouth-Scarborough match,” said Red Storm coach Norm Gagne. “It wasn’t pretty at times, but it was a heck of a game. We’ll meet them again and we’ll probably meet them again in the playoffs too.”

“Win, lose or draw, to have these kids come out and have that rivalry is what high school hockey is all about,” said Yachtsmen coach Deron Barton.

No separation

Either Falmouth or Scarborough has represented the region in the state game each of the past four seasons and the teams have met in the playoffs each of the past five years.

Last winter, the Red Storm blanked the Yachtsmen, 1-0, in the regional final, then lost, 2-1, to Lewiston in the Class A state final. Scarborough has the pieces in place to make another title run this season.

Falmouth is right there with the Red Storm and opened with a dramatic, 4-3, come-from-behind victory at highly touted Biddeford Saturday.

Entering play Tuesday, since the start of the 2001-02 season, Scarborough had won 16 of the 32 meetings with Falmouth taking 14 and two others ending in ties (see sidebar, below).

This one ended in a tie as well, but there would be 53 action-packed minutes first.

The first period featured each team getting a pair of power plays, but having nothing to show for it.

The Red Storm almost broke through with 5:16 to go, but a shot from senior Kyle Jacques with Yachtsmen junior goalie Spencer Pierce out of the cage went just wide.

Scarborough junior goalie Brandon Wasser then robbed Armitage twice.

As time wound down, Jacques had another chance, but Pierce made the save, keeping the scoreless after 15 minutes.

Defense remained the theme in the second period, but the visitors finally broke through to take the lead.

After Wasser denied Falmouth junior David Hawkes and Wyatt shot wide, the Red Storm took a penalty, but instead of surrendering a power play goal, they scored man-down.

With 8:24 remaining in the period, sophomore Mason Parks got the puck to sophomore Brett Rockey who shot. Pierce made the save, but the rebound sat free and Pettingill banged it home for a 1-0 lead.

The Yachtsmen hoped to draw even with 3:14 to go in the second, but Wasser robbed Hawkes and Scarborough took a 1-0 lead to the third.

There, both offenses roared to life.

Early in the period, the Red Storm went on the power play and this time, they struck, as Burnham roofed home a shot from the blue line for a 2-0 lead with 12:17 remaining in regulation. Senior Soty Giftos was credited with an assist.

Falmouth, which was shut out in last year’s regional final and for two periods Tuesday, appeared doomed to another frustrating defeat at the hands of Scarborough, but Armitage didn’t let it happen.

After Burnham took a penalty, Armitage scored unassisted with 10:46 to go to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Then, after another Burnham penalty, Armitage sent a wrister past Wasser to make it 2-2 with 9:07 left in regulation.

“I’ve learned that leading by example is the best way to do it,” said Armitage. “If I stay positive no matter what, the guys respond and pick it up a notch.”

“That’s why he has the (captain’s) letter on his shoulder,” Barton said. “He’s a captain through and through. He did the same thing against Biddeford. I knew he’ll do the same thing all season.”

The Yachtsmen then sent their packed-to-the-gills, partisan crowd into a frenzy with 7:43 to go as Wyatt sent a shot on goal from the blue line and it got past Wasser for a 3-2 lead.

“I think we got a little comfortable and that killed us,” Smith lamented. “We knew they could come back and it happened.”

“We got a little tired,” Gagne said. “We’re missing a couple players. That took its toll. We were trying to get the most out of what we had.”

Falmouth didn’t allow Scarborough to threaten again until 2:49 remained, when an interference penalty on sophomore Jack Kidder put the Red Storm on the power play.

Their lone chance man-up saw senior Eric Murray’s shot blocked with 1:05 to go, but Scarborough kept possession and with 41.7 seconds showing, after the penalty expired and Parks had a shot saved, Smith banged home the rebound to tie the game again, 3-3.

“I got a lucky bounce there,” Smith said. “It was a shot by Mason Parks and I just got the rebound.” 

“That’s what we expect from (Cam),” Gagne said. “He missed some chances earlier where he lost control of the puck. That’s what we had to do. Good teams take advantage of other team’s mistakes and we did that at the right time.”

“We had defensive zone breakdowns we don’t usually make,” Barton said. “Tonight it cascaded. The harder we tried, the worse it got.”

Murray almost won it as time expired, but his shot while falling to the ice was saved by Pierce and it was on to overtime.

Both teams had chances in the extra session.

Just 32 seconds in, a rush from Falmouth junior Theo Hembre was broken up by Wasser at the last second.

Two minutes later, senior Reece Armitage’s shot was wide.

The teams then traded penalties, setting up a 4-on-4 situation. Hembre nearly won it with 4:04 to go in the overtime, but Wasser made the save.

Scarborough had a flurry with just under two minutes to go, but a shot by senior Thomas Marshall was shot saved, Smith sent the rebound just high and a follow-up bid by Marshall was saved by Pierce as well. 

The Yachtsmen took a final penalty with 18 seconds left and the Red Storm had one last look to win it, but Pierce denied Parks and the teams settled for the 3-3 tie.

“They’re my favorite team to play,” Smith said. “It’s probably the best game we’ll play all year, Falmouth-Scarborough. It’s always fun.”

“For playing our first game and playing a rival, I’m really pleased with my kids,” Gagne said. “We faced adversity and we reached down and came back.”

Scarborough finished with a 30-26 shots advantage and got 23 saves from Wasser. Pierce made 27 saves for Falmouth.

“It’s a good learning experience,” Armitage said. “I think we came out slow. It shows how much heart we have. It was a C-plus effort tonight, but even if we didn’t play well, we found a way to tie.”

“We were probably the flattest we’ve been as a team since I’ve been at Falmouth,” Barton said. “All the things I fear as a coach unfolded. The good, bad and ugly were out there tonight. I give credit to Scarborough for coming out and playing hard. They put themselves in position to win. We’re a young team and we were able to come back from two goals down against Biddeford and again tonight. That’s character building stuff. As a coach, I have to look at that as a positive this early in the season. That will pay off down the road.”

Much fun ahead

Scarborough plays its home opener (the Red Storm are playing all their home games at the Colisee in Lewiston this season) Saturday when Greely pays a visit. Scarborough is at Lewiston for a state final rematch Wednesday of next week.

“We’re young and we have to come together as a team,” Smith said. “We always get better as the year goes on. We want to be strong for the playoffs.”

Falmouth plays state finalists in each of its next two games, as it goes to Lewiston Saturday, then visits Class B runner-up Yarmouth Tuesday of next week.

“We’re young, but we have a lot of heart and talent and I think we’ll keep getting better and better,” Armitage said. “I have a lot of faith in the guys. It’s nothing but upwards from here.”

“I think the parity in the league is as tight as it’s been for years, so we’ll be in games like this all year, especially in the South,” Barton said.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Scarborough sophomore Anthony Burnham lines up a shot. Burnham had a third period goal.

Falmouth senior Reece Armitage shoots the puck as Scarborough senior Thomas Marshall defends.

Falmouth senior Robbie Armitage gets around Scarborough senior Eric Murray.

Scarborough junior goalie Brandon Wasser denies Falmouth senior Robbie Armitage on the doorstep.

Falmouth goalie Spencer Pierce watches in vain as the puck gets past him into the net.

Recent Falmouth-Scarborough results

Scarborough 2 @ Falmouth 1
@ Falmouth 5 Scarborough 0
Class A South Final
Scarborough 1 Falmouth 0 

Scarborough 3 @ Falmouth 1
@ Scarborough 2 Falmouth 1
Western A semifinal
Scarborough 5 Falmouth 4 

@ Scarborough 2 Falmouth 0
@ Falmouth 4 Scarborough 3
Western A Final
Falmouth 5 Scarborough 2  

@ Scarborough 4 Falmouth 3 (OT)
Scarborough 2 @ Falmouth 1
Western A Final 
Falmouth 4 Scarborough 3 

@ Scarborough 5 Falmouth 2
@ Falmouth 6 Scarborough 0
Western A semifinal
Falmouth 5 Scarborough 3 

@ Falmouth 4 Scarborough 0 

@ Scarborough 3 Falmouth 0
@ Falmouth 4 Scarborough 4 (tie) 

Scarborough 4 @ Falmouth 2
@ Scarborough 4 Falmouth 1 

@ Falmouth 6 Scarborough 0

@ Falmouth 5 Scarborough 2
Falmouth 3 Scarborough 1
Western A semifinal
Scarborough 5 Falmouth 1

Scarborough 4 @ Falmouth 2
@ Scarborough 2 Falmouth 0

@ Scarborough 3 Falmouth 2
@ Falmouth 3 Scarborough 3 (tie)

Falmouth 9 @ Scarborough 2

Falmouth 6 @ Scarborough 0 

Falmouth 7 @ Scarborough 0
@ Falmouth 5 Scarborough 0

Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.