Falmouth knocks Biddeford from undefeated ranks
FALMOUTH—The last remaining undefeated team in boys' high school hockey is perfect no more, thanks to a superb 45-minute effort from the Falmouth Yachtsmen Saturday night.
Facing a Biddeford squad that beat them 3-1 10 days prior, the Yachtsmen took command with two first period goals and added a third on an empty netter in the final minute to continue their recent surge with a 3-0 victory at Family Ice Center.
Falmouth got goals from seniors Ford Bohrmann, Julien Clement and Dan Hanley and 24 saves from junior goalie Jay Hurdman as they improved to 6-3-2 on the season.
"We did need a signature win," said Yachtsmen coach Scott Rousseau. "We thought we were getting on a roll. We're getting confident in ourselves. I'm very proud and happy for them."
Falmouth was up-and-down during the 2009 portion of its schedule, going 3-2, but a new year brought rebirth as the Yachtsmen won 3-0 at Eastern A power Lewiston, rallied to tie Scarborough 4-4, then, after the loss at Biddeford, Falmouth rolled 6-2 over defending Class A champ Waterville and tied host Thornton Academy 1-1.
The Tigers had no trouble in their first 10 outings, but Saturday night would be another story.
The Yachtsmen broke on top and got the only goal they'd need when junior defensive standout Matt MacDowell (who missed the first meeting) set up Bohrmann for a score six minutes in.
"Matty had the puck and I just broke out of the zone and he hit me with a perfect pass," Bohrmann said. "I just came down and shot it. It was important to get the first goal. It gave us momentum and made it that much easier the rest of the game."
Just over three minutes later, Falmouth went up 2-0 when Bohrmann set up Clement.
"I passed the puck to Julien," Bohrmann said. "He was in good position and put it away."
After a scoreless second period, everyone on hand expected a Biddeford charge in third and while the Tigers had their chances, the Yachtsmen defense and Hurdman kept them at bay.
With 2:09 to go, Falmouth sophomore Cam Bell was sent to the penalty box for interference, the first penalty of the game, giving the Tigers hope. With 46 ticks left, Biddeford pulled goalie Matt Roy for a two-man advantage, but with 28.1 seconds to go, Clement fed Hanley for the backbreaker, an empty net goal which made the final score 3-0.
"It was a penalty kill, so I wasn't too nervous," said Hurdman. "Everyone did a great job winning draws and we got it out. Obviously it's huge, because they were 10-0, but it's just a win and we have to keep going."
Not only did Falmouth win, but it kept the prolific Tigers off the scoreboard.
"(Senior) Dixon (Pike) was playing with a bum shoulder tonight," Rousseau said. "He and Julien and Ford had the assignment to stop the best line in the state. They started leaving that line on too long, so instead of burning our line, we went with Dan's line to go for two for one against them. We wrapped them up pretty good."
Hurdman made 24 saves as he continues to emerge as one of the state's best.
"Jay struggled in December, but now he's playing in fine form," Rousseau said.
"In the beginning, I wasn't in very good shape, so coach had me working out every day and eating healthier," Hurdman said. "I have a great defense."
Falmouth was third (behind Biddeford and Thornton Academy) in the latest Western A Heals, but has the look of a legitimate title contender.
"We got off to a slow start for a multitude of reasons, but since January 1st, we have one blemish," Rousseau said. "We've been playing sound, fundamental hockey. We're getting out of our zone. You'd think we'd be built around Dixon and Dan, but we're getting goals from different guys every night. More than in a long time. We're getting a lot of contributions across the board."
The Yachtsmen are idle until next Saturday when they go to Cheverus. The schedule does ease up the rest of the way, but don't expect Falmouth to rest on its laurels.
"This is a big win, but we can't start coasting," Bohrmann said. "We have to keep playing hard."
"We have a week off now," Rousseau added. "We're happy we won, but we have a lot of work to do. We have pretty big goals. We still have two games with St. Dom's. We've already done two against Scarborough, TA and Biddeford and we've already had Lewiston, Waterville and Brewer. We can get on a pretty long roll here if we keep playing like we are. I still think we can get better."
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com