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Scarborough seniors Sam Neugebauer (9) and Marc Guerette celebrate a goal during the Red Storm’s 11-3 home win over Cheverus Monday evening. Neugebauer had four goals as Scarborough won its fifth game in a row.
Mike Strout photos.
More photos below.
C- 0 1 1 1- 3
S- 2 3 1 5- 11
7:22 S Guerette (unassisted)
1:37 S Neugebauer (Thibault)
10:57 S Neugebauer (unassisted)
9:38 C Hatch (unassisted)
7:24 S Thibault (unassisted)
5:51 S Neugebauer (Guerette)
8:02 C Cawley (unassisted)
5:36 S Neugebauer (unassisted)
11:11 S Parks (Thibault)
10:21 C St. John (Coffin)
9:34 S Granzier (Thibault)
5:58 S Cusson (Quirk)
3:15 S Thibault (Neugebauer)
2:54 S Guerette (Lagerquist)
C- Cawley, Hatch, St. John 1
S- Neugebauer 4, Guerette, Thibault 2, Cusson, Granzier, Parks 1
C- Coffin 1
S- Thibault 3, Guerette, Lagerquist, Neugebauer, Quirk 1
Faceoffs (Scarborough, 9-8)
C- Haines 7 of 16, Hatch 1 of 1
S-Quartararo 9 of 17
Ground balls (Scarborough, 42-25)
C- Coffin 5, Haines 4, Walsh, Wilson 3, Hatch, St. John 2, Anton, Cawley, Conley, Conzelman, Galardo, Griffin 1
S- Murray 8, Quartararo 7, Lagerquist, Quirk, Thibault 4, DaRosa, McKelvy 3, Blaisdell, Guerette, Neugebauer 2, Granzier, Joy, McDonnell 1
Shots on cage:
C (Walsh) 17
S (Joy) 10
SCARBOROUGH—Scarborough’s potent offense needs no introduction.
Now, the Red Storm’s defense is starting to make a name for itself too and that combination will make the defending Class A state champions very tough to beat as the postseason nears.
Monday evening at the Kippy Mitchell Sports Complex, Scarborough hosted another Class A contender, Cheverus, and while it took awhile for the Red Storm to start scoring goals, they never allowed the Stags an opportunity to breathe when they had the ball.
In the first quarter, Scarborough forced eight turnovers and took an early lead behind goals from seniors Marc Guerette and Sam Neugebauer.
Cheverus hung tough, thanks to eight saves from senior goalie Sean Walsh, but the Red Storm would extend their lead in the second period.
After a Neugebauer goal was countered by one from Stags junior Michael Hatch, which got the visitors on the board, Scarborough got goals from junior Cam Thibault and Neugebauer to lead, 5-1, at halftime.
Junior Finn Cawley gave Cheverus momentary life with a goal early in the third quarter, but the Stags wouldn’t score again the rest of the frame and Neugebauer got the goal back moments later.
The Red Storm then pulled away and didn’t look back in the fourth period, as sophomore Mason Parks made it 7-2 and after junior Chris St. John scored Cheverus’ final goal, Scarborough got tallies from sophomore Andrew Granzier, junior Drew Cusson, Thibault and Guerette and went on to an impressive 11-3 victory.
Neugebauer scored four times and the Red Storm got key contributions from all positions as they won their fifth game in a row, improved to 7-2 and dropped the Stags to 5-3 in the process.
“This is a huge win for us,” said senior defensive stalwart Eric Murray. “We’ve scored a lot of goals, but we’ve also let up a lot. We knew we needed to bear down. A solid defensive win is something we’ve taken pride in. It’s great for us to play the best teams. That’s how we improve and we want to improve as much as we can.”
Both teams expect to play deep into June and could even square off in the Class A state final June 17 at Fitzpatrick Stadium if all goes well.
Scarborough opened by sandwiching wins at Gorham (15-9) and at home over Westbrook (14-3) around a 14-13 overtime setback at South Portland. After a 13-6 home loss to Cape Elizabeth, the Red Storm held off host Thornton Academy in an overtime epic (18-17), handled visiting Portland (15-2), prevailed at Deering, 20-8, and Saturday doubled up host Yarmouth, 16-8, in a crossover.
Cheverus lost its opener, 16-7, to Thornton Academy, then got on track with an 11-3 victory at Deering and a 6-4 win at Kennebunk. After a 10-4 home loss to South Portland, the Stags outlasted visiting Gorham 8-7 in a four-overtime classic, won at Bonny Eagle (9-2) and Saturday, held off visiting Greely in a crossover, 11-8.
Entering play Monday, since the start of the 2004 season, Scarborough had won nine of 13 meetings between the teams (see sidebar, below), including victories in the 2012 (9-4) and 2013 (15-4) Class A state finals.
Last year, the Red Storm rallied to win a shootout, 14-13, at Cheverus, on a Guerette goal with 2:57 left.
This time around, the Stags sought their first victory over Scarborough in three years, but the Red Storm won for the eighth time in the last nine meetings and this time, it didn’t come down to the wire.
For most of the first quarter, Cheverus couldn’t hold on to the ball, but Scarborough couldn’t take advantage, as Walsh stood tall.
The Red Storm did go on top for good with 7:22 left in the opening stanza, when Walsh stopped an initial shot, but Guerette pounced on the rebound and sent it into the net.
After Neugebauer hit the crossbar, he scored for the first time with 1:37 remaining, taking a feed from Thibault and finishing.
In the final minute, both Neugebauer and Guerette had great looks to extend the lead, but Walsh turned aside both bids (his seventh and eighth saves of the frame) to keep the score 2-0.
Little changed in the second period.
With 10:57 to go, Neugebauer was blanketed by a defender but still managed to unleash one of his patented rockets and he got it past Walsh for a 3-0 advantage.
The Stags finally broke through with 9:38 left in the half, as after a turnover, Hatch broke in on Scarborough senior goalie Dom Joy and finished.
That would be it for Cheverus’ offensive production in the first half, however, and after Thibault scored unassisted with 7:24 showing, Guerette set up Neugebauer for a goal with 5:51 left and the Red Storm took a 5-1 lead to halftime.
In the first half, Scarborough had a big edge in ground balls (22-14) and shots (29-12) and the Stags turned the ball over 18 times to just six for the hosts. Only Walsh’s 10 saves kept the visitors’ hopes alive.
Those hopes rose slightly when Cawley bounced a shot past Joy from up top with 8:02 left in the third quarter, but after a steal, Neugebauer barreled in on the defense and while falling to the ground, he beat Walsh to make it 6-2 with 5:36 remaining.
Neither team scored the rest of the period.
It didn’t take long in the fourth quarter for the Red Storm to squeeze the remaining life out of the visitors.
After Guerette hit the post, Thibault set up Parks for a goal with 11:11 remaining.
St. John (from junior Max Coffin) answered 50 seconds later to make it 7-3, but Cheverus wouldn’t score again.
With 9:34 to play, Granzier finished Thibault’s feed.
Then, after playing so well on the defensive end, a pair of defenders got in on the scoring fun.
With 5:58 left, junior Eric Quirk spun around a defender, ran across the midfield stripe, eluded another defender, then passed to Cusson, who raced in and beat Walsh to deliver the coup de grace.
After Thibault took a pass from Neugebauer and went top shelf with 3:15 to play, junior defender Reece Lagerquist earned an assist 21 seconds later, setting up Guerette, and that brought the curtain down on the Red Storm’s 11-3 victory.
“The zone they play doesn’t put a ton of pressure on the ball, so we had it a lot, but we didn’t get great looks or great shots on net,” said Scarborough coach Joe Hezlep. “They did a good job of forcing us to take tough shots. We made some adjustments and did alright.”
Scarborough, which was playing without injured junior Marco Manfra, still got plenty of offensive production.
Neugebauer had four goals. Guerette and Thibault added two goals apiece. Cusson, Granzier and Parks had one each.
“It’s tough to see good shots get turned away, but when you see one or two go in, your confidence goes up,” Thibault said. “We tried to move the ball and get (Walsh) off balance. Marco’s a big loss, but we put a few different guys up there and they showed up and played hard. Sam helps a lot. Four guys are looking at him, so that means three guys are open and that gives us good looks in close.”
Joy made 10 saves.
The Red Storm had a 9-8 edge in faceoffs, grabbed 42 ground balls (Murray led the way with eight and sophomore faceoff specialist Nick Quartararo collected seven) to 25 for the Stags and outshot the visitors, 47-33 (24-13 on cage).
Scarborough turned the ball over just 13 times and forced 30 Cheverus turnovers.
“Our defense was solid tonight,” Murray said. “We came ready to play. We had a bunch of good matchups. Reece really held them down. Dom made a bunch of big saves in tight. The offense did a good job of holding the ball and letting us rest.”
“When we work as a unit and make our calls, we’re really good,” Hezlep said. “Those guys have mostly played a lot in the past, When they play within our concepts, they’re tough.”
Cheverus got goals from Cawley, Hatch and St. John. Coffin had an assist. Coffin had a team-high five ground balls and Walsh made 17 saves.
“Sean’s a very good goalie,” said Stags coach Bill Bodwell. “I think he’s the best in the league this year. He gave us a chance.
“We did much better in the second half, but if you don’t possess the ball, you’re going to have a rough night. They do that Cape Elizabeth ride that we really hadn’t seen all year. Once we adjusted to it, we did better. It was a combination of that and us not holding on to the ball.”
If Cheverus and Scarborough play again, it would be on the big stage, but both squads have many obstacles to overcome first.
The Stags (second to Brunswick in the Class A North Heal Points standings) hope to bounce back Friday when Noble pays a visit. After playing its final home game May 23 against Westbrook, Cheverus closes with games at Portland and Marshwood.
“There are a lot of good teams in the (South) and we got to play them all,” Bodwell said. “They all have deeper benches, but I’m proud of where we’re at. We have some nice wins over Gorham, Kennebunk and Greely. We just have to keep working at it.”
The Red Storm have the inside track to homefield advantage in Class A South. After playing at Windham Friday, Scarborough welcomes Marshwood Tuesday of next week, then closes at home versus Biddeford May 29.
“I don’t think homefield advantage is a big deal for us, because no matter where we go, we’ll play our best and show up and be ready to go,” said Thibault. “We still have to work on our ride and clear, hold on to the ball on offense and stop it on defense. That’s what we need to do.”
“We’ve learned from our losses,” Murray said. “Our coaches are on us every day. We know we’re improving more than any team in the state. We know we’ll be ready for that big run come playoff time.”
“I happened to see we were one today (in the Heals) because my Dad showed me, but we just have to continue to get better,” Hezlep added. “We could go from May 29 through June 10 without a game. We’ll make sure we find some other teams to play.
“We have to finish better. On all spots of the field. We still have some miscommunications that shouldn’t happen. We have to continue to clean up the little details.”
Scarborough sophomore Andrew Granzier, left, Red Storm senior Matthew Blaisdell and Cheverus senior George Conzelman fight for a loose ball.
Scarborough senior Marc Guerette shoots the ball past Cheverus sophomore Finn McLain.
Scarborough senior Sam Neugebauer shoots and scores past Cheverus junior Jason Halvorsen.
Scarborough senior Eric Murray has the ball knocked away by Cheverus sophomore Ian Haines.
Cheverus sophomore Colby Anton gets a step on Scarborough junior David McKelvy.
Cheverus junior Chris St. John shoots on Scarborough senior goalie Dom Joy.
@ Scarborough 10 Cheverus 9
@ Cheverus 13 Scarborough 8
Class A Final
Scarborough 15 Cheverus 4
Class A Final
Scarborough 9 Cheverus 4
Scarborough 12 @ Cheverus 4
Cheverus 8 @ Scarborough 7
Scarborough 13 @ Cheverus 3
@ Scarborough 11 Cheverus 2
@ Cheverus 12 Scarborough 9
Cheverus 12 @ Scarborough 5