PORTLAND — Cheverus took the ice Wednesday prepared for a tooth-and-nail game, ready to prove for the second time this season that they could take on last year’s Tier II state champs, Scarborough. Earlier this month, the Stags had taken a one-goal victory over the Red Storm, but were itching for more. Scarborough led the Stags in the Heal Point standings, at third place, but Wednesday, Cheverus left the rink with an 8-2 victory.
“When you go up against a team like Scarborough, its a big game, you need to come out with intensity,” Cheverus coach J.P. Lavoie said after the win, which put his team at 9-1 for the season and above Scarborough in rank.
And his girls did exactly that – sophomore Emily Sawchuck found the net just 17 seconds off the faceoff, for her first of two goals.
The Red Storm was able to answer quickly with a goal from junior Jordan Finley, but spent most of the remainder of the game on defense.
“(Cheverus) outplayed us, outshot us, out-everythinged us,” Red Storm coach John Fortiguerra said. “We just had problems holding them off.”
While the Red Storm managed to hold the score at 1-1 for most of the first half, Cheverus erupted late in the period for a streak that continued through much of the second, scoring three unanswered goals in each of the two periods, going into the third ahead 7-1.
That lead, according to Sawchuck,” was definitely surprising. But it felt really good,” considering their squeak past the Red Storm in their first matchup.
Stag scoring was as diverse as it was unstoppable, coming from six different girls who slap-shot, slid, and poked the puck over the goal line. Junior Alyssa Audet led scoring with two goals and two assists. Sawchuck complemented her pair with one assist, with sophomore Grace Fitzpatrick and juniors Caitlin Pleau, Sage Witham, and Maggie Grindatti scoring one goal a piece.
Scarborough junior Marina Sterrer gave the final chirp from the Red Storm with four minutes left in the game, but was answered by Audet’s final goal a minute later for a game score of 8-2.
“They’re an excellent team,” Fortiguerra said of the Stags, adding that the teams’ first match-up two weeks ago had come just after vacation, when the Stags were still a bit sluggish. “They’re certainly not sluggish now,” he said.
But, he said, he had no regrets about Wednesday’s loss. “The girls played well, they did the best they could, and got everything we could on them. We’ll pick up from there tomorrow.”
Highlights for Scarborough included shutting down two Stag breakaways in the second period, thanks to quick defense and freshman goalie Emma Chaloux-Pinette, who made eight saves in two periods of play. The team is now 6-5-2.
Cheverus goalies Saundrine Lanouette and Taylor Witham shared 22 saves, each allowing one goal.
For Lavoie, it was a victory within a victory – it was proof that his girls could stand up to a tough team and come out far ahead on the scoreboard. “So far in tough games, we haven’t come out,” he said. “We’ve been due for this.”