By Keith B. Wehmeyer
FALMOUTH — Skating without two of its top players, Falmouth’s boys’ hockey team toughed out a win, 5-2, Saturday against Thornton Academy at Family Ice Center.
The Yachtsmen entered the game with a losing record in the New Year, but found its scoring touch – and its power play – to defeat the Golden Trojans.
With just under two minutes remaining in the second period, senior Seth Fortier sent a shot on goal and classmate Mike Chase poked the rebound past Thornton netminder Rick Hebb, making the score 3-1, with what would eventually prove to be the game-winning goal. Fortier and senior Emmett Brennan were credited with assists.
“Not every goal can be a highlight-reel goal,” Chase said. “I think that’s why we haven’t been scoring too much. We’ve been looking for the perfect backdoor pass. We really have to get to the net, especially going into the playoffs. We have to get ugly goals.”
Entering the season, the majority of the Yachtsmen’s returnees were on offense, but at times their scoring has lacked. Falmouth hadn’t scored more than three goals in a league game since its second of the season when it scored five against St. Dom’s.
“We need to get more ugly goals,” said Falmouth coach Scott Rousseau. “We need more rebounds, tips, screens and pucks to the net. That’s the majority of goals in hockey. When we lost to Lewiston, they outworked us in the front of the net to get a bunch of those nasty goals. We haven’t been getting them. We have been spending a ton of time in practice on getting pucks to the net and getting nasty goals.”
Saturday, Falmouth did its scoring without two of its forwards. Senior Gabe Hoffman-Johnson was at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America´s All-American banquet in St. Louis and junior Julian Clement sat out with a hip flexor injury.
Earlier in the second period, Chase broke a 1-1 tie, forcing a turnover and taking the puck to the net himself, beating the goal near post.
“I was looking to pass over to Seth Fortier but the defense stayed with him,” Chase said. “I went to the net but the goalie slid over like I was going to the pass, so the whole short side was open.”
Falmouth outshot the Golden Trojans, 11-3, in the decisive second period.
Still, the visitors made things interesting in the third, scoring on a rebound just two minutes in to make it a one-goal game.
However, with 5:44 remaining in the game, a nasty hit along the boards by Thornton Academy freshman Bryan Dallaire bloodied Fortier’s mouth and gave Falmouth a five-minute power play.
Entering Saturday’s contest, Falmouth was 0 for 16 on the power play in its last five games. Prior to the hit on Fortier, they were 0-fer in the game as well.
“Something had to give,” said Rousseau.
And something did.
Junior Dan Hanley shot and scored from inside the right face-off circle with 1:37 remaining, giving the Yachtsmen a two-goal lead. Brennan added another with just under a minute remaining to ensure the victory. Junior Dixon Pike, who sat out 10 minutes for a misconduct penalty midway through the game, assisted on both goals. Hanley assisted on the second as well.
Both were power-play goals.
Falmouth’s first goal of the game came with 3:34 remaining in the first period and the Golden Trojans leading, 1-0. Junior Ford Bohrmann dove at a rebound and tipped it inside the near post. Sophomore Matt MacDowell was credited with an assist.
Falmouth improved to 6-3 Monday with a 4-1 win at two-time defending Class A state champion Biddeford. Hanley, Brennan and Chase all scored in a three-goal third period that gave the Yachtsmen their third straight win.
Falmouth (?t in the Western Class A Heal Points standings) is home with Cheverus Saturday.