Falmouth hockey rallies to tie Scarborough

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FALMOUTH— Both teams refused to lose, but neither could hold on for a win as Falmouth and Scarborough battled to a 4-4 tie in a wild boys’ hockey matchup Saturday at Family Ice Center.

Falmouth senior Dixon Pike scored the tying goal with 1:16 remaining as the Yachtsmen fought frantically to overcome the Red Storm’s controversial go-ahead goal just 1:26 earlier.

Trailing by a goal with under two minutes remaining, Falmouth pulled goalie Jay Hurdman in favor of an extra skater.

“We just kept trying to put the puck on the goal…we got the sixth guy on the ice and outnumbered them in front,” Falmouth coach Scott Rousseau said. “We put our best players in the best situation and Dixon was able to get a stick on it and put it upstairs.”

The Red Storm had gone up, 4-3, with 2:46 remaining in the third when Nate Tolman sent a wrist shot clanging off the crossbar. The puck ricocheted back across the right faceoff circle, but not before crossing the goal line according to at least one official.

“When no one in the stands and no one on the ice reacts, its a good sign that it probably didn’t go in,” Rousseau said. “The only person in the building that thought it went in was the guy that made the call.”

The goal gave Scarborough its second lead of the game after overcoming an early 2-0 deficit.

Senior Trevor Hoxsie scored on a breakaway 1:10 into the second, outskating Falmouth defenseman Jackson Pike and beating Hurdman low to pull the Red Storm within a goal, 2-1.

With 3:31 remaining in the period, Falmouth defenseman Matt MacDowell was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for spearing during a scrum behind his own goal

“Every time there was a whistle at either goal they were letting Scarborough’s players come in and initiate contact,” Rousseau said. “We were really upset with the officials that they were allowing it. So what happens? Our guy was trying to protect himself.”

“To kick a kid out of a game and make him miss another game you have to be sure,” Rousseau added. “To do that in such a really questionable situation is tough to swallow.”

Correct or not, the call was a momentum changer. With under a minute remaining in the period, Hoxsie scored again to tie the score, this time stuffing home a rebound.

Then, just seconds into the third, with the five-minute major still on the board and another Falmouth player in the box as well, Scarborough took a 3-2 lead when Andrew Nigro fired a low shot from the point past Hurdman.

“I told the players in the locker room that they took advantage of what they got,” Scarborough coach Norm Gagne said. “They gave us a 5-on-3 and we capitalized. That was big.”

But like Scarborough, Falmouth wouldn’t quit. With 5:19 remaining in the third, Julien Clement re-tied the score, sending home a rebound from close range on the power play.

“We came out of the first period down, 2-0, and credit to the kids, they took some pride and came back in the second period,” Gagne said. “In the third period we took the lead and they came back again. It was a battle of two good teams.”

Given the back-and-forth nature of the contest, both coaches were happy to come away with a tie.

“Nothing was going our way, yet the kids kept fighting and staying positive,” Rousseau said. “We would have liked to have won, we feel like we deserved to win, but a tie was a pretty positive result for us.”

Falmouth took a 2-0 lead with first-period goals from Ford Bohrmann and Hanley. Hanley’s goal came when he broke free down the left boards, cut to his right and back again to beat Scarborough goalie Matt Mayo inside the left post.

“Things aren’t going to be perfect every night,” Gagne said. “You have to adapt and overcome adversity. Credit to our boys, they did that tonight. They stopped crying and started playing and that’s what you have to do. It’s a tough lesson to learn sometimes, but that’s part of what athletics teaches.”

Scarborough had defeated Falmouth, 3-0, earlier in the season.

The Yachtsmen (now 4-2-1 and second to Biddeford in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings) were at the Tigers Wednesday, host defending state champion Waterville Saturday and go to St. Dom’s Monday.

The Red Storm (4-3-1 and seventh in Western A after Monday’s win at Brunswick) are at Greely Saturday and Lewiston Monday, as Gagne makes his return to face the school he led to three straight state finals, only to leave amid controversy after his contract was not renewed.