GORHAM – The Rams never found an inroads against visiting Cheverus on Saturday evening, Jan. 21. Patrick Griffin struck early for the Stags and the team maintained a head of steam from there, fending Gorham off for three full periods and picking up a 3-0 W.
“We forechecked and held the offensive zone better today than we have at any point in this season,” said Gorham head coach Jon Portwine, asked if his boys generated any good looks in the shutout loss. “We didn’t get many scoring opportunities or shots on net when we did have it in the offensive zone, but at least we were not putting the pressure on the defensive side of things. We weren’t backs-to-the-wall.”
“I spend a lot of time just thinking about how to put things together,” said Portwine, “so to say I had a game-plan for Cheverus wouldn’t be accurate. I knew they were a good team. It’s been a long time since we played them. We needed to play our best game, and we needed contributions from everyone.”
Griffin put Cheverus up 1-0 on assists by Jackson Wilson and Max St. John at 10:19 of the first period. Gorham couldn’t find the back of the net themselves, however – not even handed a pair of 5-on-3s late in the stretch. Stag Alex Brewer pulled two minutes for tripping with 3:37 to play before the break, then teammate Jesse Pierce joined him in the box at 1:58 for slashing. The Rams settled into their power play formation, but failed to sneak the puck inside. At 1:00, Stag Mike Hatch entered the sin bin, having committed interference, but still Gorham couldn’t capitalize.
In fact, Cheverus struck again shortly after Hatch’s sentence expired. Just 1:15 into the second, Colby Anton, on a feed from Kieran Conley, scooted up the left side of the ice and behind the Rams’ defense to earn a successful, off-angle one-on-one with Gorham netminder Noah Bird. The Stags capped their shutout victory when Hatch and Marco Giancotti assisted Pierce in punching a puck home from behind Bird.
“They’re a very good team,” Portwine said of Cheverus, asked what his boys could’ve done defensively to shave goals off the Stags’ tally. “I think, for the most part, those goals were going to come. A couple of them were off rebounds, and maybe if we didn’t give up those rebounds. We made a couple of mental errors, and didn’t get back, and they beat us on a couple of rushes.”
No. 6 in B South, Gorham goes to 4-7. The Rams host Thornton on Wednesday the 25th and Bonny Eagle/Massabesic/Old Orchard Beach on Saturday the 28th.
Cheverus, meanwhile, moves to 5-3 in A North. The Stags welcome Portland/Deering on Thursday the 26th.
Adam Birt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME
Gorhamite Jack Richards fires the puck away as Stag Jackson Wilson zooms in on defense.
Stag Alex Brewer works through heavy Gorham coverage.
Cheverus goalie Jason Halvorson and teammate Jesse Pierce defend as Gorham’s Holden Edwards presses the attack.