Falmouth boys' hockey has no answers against Biddeford

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FALMOUTH—The Falmouth boys’ hockey team is having its share of growing pains under first-year coach Adam Nicholas.

Thursday night, the Yachtsmen were handed their third loss in a row, a 6-1 defeat to Biddeford, the defending Class A state champions, at Family Ice Center.

The Tigers opened the scoring with a power-play goal 6:07 into the first period. Falmouth turned the puck over in its own zone and Scott Callahan took advantage, sending a wrist shot top shelf past Falmouth goalie Jay Hurdman.

The power play was the result of a too many men on the ice penalty.

“That was my fault,” Nicholas said. “Totally my fault. That’s probably what got the train going for (Biddeford). At the same time, we have to be mentally tough and forget about it.”

Biddeford (4-0-2) added another goal 10 seconds later when Brady Fleurent broke free off the face, cut in front of Hurdman and backhanded a shot low inside the left post.

Falmouth (1-3-2) went down by three later in the period. Nick Gagne passed across the middle to Nate Crepeau, who rattled a shot off the post. Gagne was there for the rebound, cleaning up and sending it to the back of the net.

“(Falmouth) came out with a lot of energy,” Biddeford Coach Rich Reissfelder said.”They were all over us the first two or three shifts. We were able to calm down, get control and bury a goal. We ended up scoring three in the first period. I think that took the wind out of their sails a bit.”

The second period didn’t get much better for the Yachtsmen. Six minutes in, Falmouth rattled a shot off the post, but Biddeford controlled the long rebound. Fleurent fed a wide open Bryan Dallaire in transition, and Dallaire shot high pass Hurdman for a 4-0 lead.

Less then three minutes later, Travis Guay scored a power-play goal off a rebound for Biddeford’s fifth.

Trailing 5-0, Nicholas pulled Hurdman, his senior goalie, with hopes of giving his young team a spark.

“All but one of the five goals were off turnovers that they cashed in on,” Nicholas said. “He made the first save on all but one of them. It wasn’t his fault.”

Hurdman finished with nine saves on 14 shots. Freshman Dane Pauls had five saves on six shots off the bench.

The second period closed with Biddeford taking a flurry of penalties and the Yachtsmen skating with a five-on-three advantage. Finally, 30 seconds into the final period, they were able to take advantage when Matt MacDowell sent a slap shot past Biddeford goalie John Fields. Jack Pike was credited with the assist.

“After so many power plays it’s about time we cashed in.,” Nicholas said. “We hadn’t scored in five periods.” 

Falmouth finished 1-of-10 on the power play. It outshot Biddeford, 27-24.

Fleurent scored Biddeford’s sixth and final goal, unassisted, 4:56 into the final period.

Falmouth tied Biddeford, 2-2, earlier in the season on a goal by MacDowell with 2.8 seconds remaining.

While admittedly young, Falmouth hasn’t won since a 5-3 victory against South Portland to open the season. Monday it was shutout, 1-0, by Kennebunk.

“Our inexperience is just an excuse to not win,” Nicholas said. “We have the talent and ability to win games. We’ve now lost three in a row. We have to find the catalyst to get us going. We need to take control and get it done. Any time you get a whipping like this you have to learn.”

Falmouth plays South Portland Monday at high noon at Family Ice.

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