LEWISTON—Scarborough boys’ hockey coach Norm Gagne didn’t have an explanation for his players.
His team did everything to win, but they ran into St.Dominic goaltender Grant Carrier, who stopped all 33 shots he faced in a 1-0 victory at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee Wednesday evening.
“We threw everything but the kitchen sink,” said Gagne. “(Carrier) came up big. I told the kids, I can’t see any faults except we needed to get traffic in front of the net. We did, but we missed a few opportunities. We couldn’t buy a goal. I told the kids, I’m proud in the way we played.”
For the Saints, they know goaltending will win games.
“Obviously, coming into the season we knew we had goaltending,” said St. Dom’s coach Steve Ouellette. “Tonight, that was the deciding factor. Certainly it wasn’t our forecheck and certainly it wasn’t our play in the defensive zone.”
The Saints (1-1) started out slow in the first period as the Red Storm outshot them, 6-3, but they went into the locker room with the lead.
There was a scrum in front Scarborough goalie Dalton Finley’s net and Kyle Holtet was the St. Dom’s player to touch the puck as it rolled into the goal. Will Desmarais and Caleb Labrie were credited with the assists at the 12:45 mark.
“One thing I do have to say, even in the first game, the first three goals we got we were strong in front of the net,” Ouellete stated. “That’s how we got this goal tonight, and we almost had a second one that was bouncing around.”
The second period was all Scarborough as it peppered 13 shots on Carrier, but Carrier was calm, cool, and collected as he made all 13 saves. St. Dom’s struggled to get pucks on net whether it was missed opportunities on the breakaway or careless passes that were intercepted by the Red Storm (1-1).
“I’ve said this for a while we are still young back there,” said Ouellette, of his defensemen. “They are still learning some of those guys; some are playing bigger minutes than before. We will get there.”
The Red Storm called a timeout with 2:26 remaining in the contest, but couldn’t get the goaltender off for the extra man at the end of the game.
“I moved (Nick) Bagley up to forward,” Gagne added. “He’s a goal scorer. We tried to put a little more pressure. We didn’t get the puck down low. We stress that if get that sixth man we need to get the puck down low.”
Ouellette was making sure his team was ready for the final few minutes.
“(Gagne) had his big line ready to go, but at that point I was more worried about who we had ready to go.” Ouellette said.
Both teams were 0-for-1 on the power play.
Finley made 11 saves in the losing effort.
Scarborough plays York on Saturday while St. Dom’s faces Thornton Academy.