PORTLAND — With under a minute to play in the fourth annual Fix Cup Saturday at the Portland Ice Arena, Falmouth turned the puck over on its own blue line. Biddeford’s Ethan Pratt took advantage, skating uncontested at goalie Jay Hurdman and flicking the puck into the back of the net.
The only silver lining of that careless play – and this is a stretch – is that the game had long been decided.
Falmouth lost, 6-1, to Biddeford, playing uncharacteristically sloppy in the final of the charity tournament.
“I was expecting a much better effort from us,” said senior captain Dan Hanley. “It was a frustrating performance overall. I think we are a much better team than this.”
Falmouth looked like that better team earlier in the day, defeating Cape Elizabeth, 7-2, in the semifinal of the four-team event. Biddeford overcame a 3-1 deficit in its semifinal matchup against Thornton Academy.
The Yachtsmen were regional finalists a year ago. And, with 12 seniors and an experienced goalie, are considered an early-season favorite to finally reach the state final.
After a scoreless first period Saturday, Biddeford scored three goals in a span of just over two minutes, including two strikes over 28 seconds. The flurry gave the Tigers a three-goal lead 2:57 into the second period.
Falmouth never recovered.
“We gave up a few goals and just panicked,” Hanley said. “People started to get frustrated and we started slapping around the puck. We were dead from there.”
The Yachtsmen were without head coach Scott Rousseau who was attending a wedding. Rousseau did coach his team in the semifinal earlier in the day.
“Overall, we just weren’t poised with the puck or making good decisions,” Hanley said.
The Tigers added a fourth goal, off another Falmouth turnover, late in the second period. They netted their fifth four minutes into the final frame.
Falmouth ended the shutout with just over five minutes remaining in the contest. Mitchell Tapley won a face off in the offensive end, then quickly scored on a pass from Ford Bohrmann.
“Mitch Tapley got in there and put it home,” Hanley said. “That’s what we weren’t doing tonight. We weren’t scrapping in front and getting those dirty goals. That’s what we needed more of.”
Biddeford got three goals from Trevor Fleurent, who also had a hat trick in the semifinal. His linemates, Brady Fleurent and Craig Anton, had a goal apiece.
The Fix Cup is played annually in honor of the late Frank Fixaris, a longtime local sports broadcaster, anchor and reporter. Fixaris died in a fire at his Falmouth home in January 2006. Proceeds benefit the Frank Fixaris Memorial Scholarship
Falmouth won the inaugural tournament, but had failed to reach the final in each of the last two seasons. With Saturday’s victory, Biddeford becomes the first two-time champion.
Falmouth will look to get back on track Thursday against Cape Elizabeth at Family Ice Center.
“We have a strong team with a lot of depth and seniors,” Hanley said. “We’re going to improve.”
Falmouth ? shoots during the Fix Cup Final.
Falmouth senior goalie Jay Hurdman sprawled to make a save during Saturday’s Fix Cup Final loss to Biddeford.