SACO—Falmouth defended an early lead, hanging on to defeat Scarborough, 3-1, in a pivotal Western Class A boys’ hockey showdown Thursday at the MHG Arena.
The Yachtsmen defense was key in protecting a 2-0 first period lead.
“We have great D,” Falmouth coach Adam Nicholas said. “As Class A hockey goes, we have five great defenseman. Ill put them against anybody any day.”
Seniors Matt MacDowell and Tim Hanley, along with Alden Weller, Jack Pike and Andrew Emple anchor the Falmouth defense.
Against Scarborough, Weller put Falmouth on the board 2:34 into the first period, shooting through a screen past goalie Doug Pitts. MacDowell was credited with an assist.
Pike got an assist on Falmouth’s second score, a power play goal, which would eventually prove the game winner. With 1:50 remaining in the first, Pike passed to Billy Mullin, who fired on goal from the top of the circle. Pitts made the initial save but Kris Samaras was there to send home the rebound.
Points from the defense were a boost to an offense that has struggled for consistency at forward.
“Scoring goals isn’t our strength right now,” Nicholas said. “Hopefully as we get into the second part of the season, we can find the back of the net because that’s what we need. One thing we are lacking is a guy up front that just knows how to put it in the back of the net every night. That’s what Biddeford and Lewiston have.”
Scarborough pulled within one early in the second. Mark Pearson sprung a two-on-one in transition with a spinning backhanded pass to Hunter Lynch, who sent a pass through the slot to a streaking Jordan Bathe. Bathe beat Jay Hurdman to pull the Red Storm within a goal.
Scarborough’s best opportunity to tie it came with five minutes remaining in the third. Shorthanded, Zach Pettengill fought through two defenders and fired high to the far post. Hurdman couldn’t glove it, deflecting the puck downward, off the post and away from goal.
“He had the whole top corner from where I was,” Scarborough coach Norm Gagne said. “We had a lot of close ones. That happens. It’s hockey. I am pleased with the effort. We played hard and that’s all you can ask for. We didn’t get the bounces to go our way tonight.”
Hurdman and Pitts had 13 saves apiece in goal. Scarborough outshot Falmouth 12-6 over the final two periods.
Hugh Grygiel added an empty-net goal with 1:04 remaining to put Falmouth back up by two.
The loss ends the Red Storm’s season-high three-game winning streak. They’ll try and get back on track Saturday at 6 p.m. against Kennebunk at MHG arena.
Falmouth has now won two in a row and six of its last eight. It will face undefeated Lewiston Saturday at the Family Ice Center. Wednesday, the Yachtsmen will play Thornton Academy at the Biddeford Ice Arena. The Trojans’ only loses have been to Lewiston and Biddeford, the other undefeated team remaining in Class A.