BIDDEFORD—Outnumbered, outshot and eventually out of gas, the South Portland boys’ hockey team was outscored by Biddeford, 6-0, in the Western Class A quarterfinals Tuesday at the Biddeford Ice Arena.
Seeded eighth, South Portland drew the No. 1 ranked, undefeated, defending Class A state champion Tigers. It was a lopsided matchup on paper, but played out even for the opening half of the contest. The score was tied at zero until midway through the second period.
After a scoreless first period, Biddeford (16-0-3) finally got on the board 7:24 into the second when Stephen Comar cut from left to right through the slot and backhanded a shot past South Portland goalie Dominic Desjardins.
Biddeford scored two more goals in the period. Bryan Dallaire found the top left corner 10:56 in and Tyler Audie scored an opportunistic goal, knocking the puck in from the doorstep when Desjardins bobbled it at 13:18 in the second.
“I thought things looked good,” South Portland coach Joe Robinson said. “We were playing well for what we have, but that second period has been a killer for us all season against these tougher teams.”
Biddeford was the No. 1 seed for a reason and they are deep, with four players who have scored at least 14 goals. South Portland (6-11-2) skated only two lines and four defensemen.
“With the lack of numbers we just run out of gas,” Robinson said “It’s been a theme through out the year… we have a lapse in the second period. We fall apart and pick it back up but its just too late.”
Biddeford kept its foot on the gas in the third period as well. Scott Callahan scored on power play 3:16 into the period, Audie scored his second of the game with 5:45 remaining and Brady Fleurent closed out the scoring with 1:42 remaining.
Fleurent finished with a goal and four assists.
South Portland had three power plays in the first period, but couldn’t take advantage, getting only five shots on net in the opening 15 minutes.
“We had a lot of opportunities that we missed because we kept hitting shin guards and sticks,” Robinson said. “It costs you. Against good teams you have to take advantage of the opportunities you get. We had that problem all year. Every time we shoot from the point, we are hitting shin pads and sticks. If that was a stat I think we’d lead the league.”
Desjardins made 41 saves in goal for South Portland.
“He has kept us in it all year,” Robinson said. “If it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t be here, that’s for sure. It’s a team effort but its pretty obvious how he has kept us in games all season. It’s tough to face 40-something shots night after night.”
A junior, Desjardins should be back, but the future is uncertain for the Red Riots whose 18-man roster includes eight seniors.
Biddeford moves on to face No. 4 Falmouth Saturday at the Colisee in Lewiston in the semifinals.