Maine Hockey Journal

Thornton Academy makes a statement against cross-town rival

Portland, ME – Thornton Academy made a case for being a top team in Class A boys’ ice hockey after a resounding 5-3 defeat over top-ranked Biddeford High School at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Wednesday night.

The win by Thornton Academy improved them to 11-2-1, while, the Tigers started the season at 10-0-0, but have dropped two of their last four games to fall to 12-2-0 on the season.

The game was originally schedule for Biddeford Ice Arena, but was moved to the Civic Center in order to accommodate the increased crowd.

The venue didn’t matter for Thornton Academy as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period.

“We went back to basics,” said Thornton Academy head coach Shawn Rousseau. “We kept it very simple. We did a good job playing within ourselves tonight.”

Peter Remmes, in his first game back after missing the majority of the season due to injury, scored his first goal of the year after a miscue by Biddeford goalie Matt Roy behind the net allowed Remmes to scoop the puck into an empty at 9:23 of the period.

“Having Peter in the lineup… he’s effective and a first line player of us, but just the emotional lift of finally getting your captain to play for the first time,” said Rousseau. “And, to follow that up with the first goal in an emotional goal was huge for us.”

Less than two minutes later, Alex Howard slipped into the slot, finishing off a two-on-one as he beat Roy between the legs.

Howard also return to his first game action since suffering what was believed to be a broken clavicle, but further test revealed it was only a bruise.

“He was misdiagnosed,” Rousseau said. “He had an x-ray taken and with the swelling and his given mobility of the time. They assumed it was a broken clavicle… suddenly on Sunday he did 70 pushups in a row and had a follow up.”

Biddeford pressed the play for the majority of the game, putting 42 shots on goal, only to see Thornton Academy goalie Rick Hebb make big stops at key moments.

“Hebb is one of the best goalies I’ve ever coached,” said Rousseau. He’s confident; he’s poised and was very good tonight.”

Biddeford was able to finally breakthrough in the second period with the help of special teams.

At 5:23, a turnover by Thornton Academy led to a two-on-one between Trevor Fleurent and Derek Reny, who snapped the puck past Hebb, cutting the Golden Trojans led in half at 2-1.

At 10:59, Biddeford pulled even with Thornton Academy as Senior Eric Grover pulled the trigger on a blast from the bottom of the right faceoff dot, beating Hebb just under the crossbar.

It was a short-lived lead, however, as Thornton scored a power play goal of their own with 1:27 left to play in the period as Howard scored his second of the game, beating Roy with a shot from the left faceoff circle.

“He’s never played in this building before… and sometimes you can lose your angle and that makes a big difference,” Biddeford coach Richard Reissfelder. “He’s been fantastic all year. He’s picked up the (team) a ton of times, and we need the (team) to pick him up.”

The Tigers continued to apply pressure in the third period, but Thornton scored a deflating goal just 4:03 into the final period as Nick Chen tipped Sam Canales blast by Roy.

Howard capped of the scoring for Thornton Academy with his first hat trick of the year after he stuffed the puck into the net along the shortside at 6:55 of the third period, giving the Golden Trojans a commanding 5-2 lead.

With 1:13 left in the game, Trevor Fleurent scored his 22nd of the season, sending a shot through a screen past Hebb.

Hebb made 39 saves in the win for Thornton Academy, while Roy stopped 21 of 26 shots faced in the loss for Biddeford.

Both teams are back in action on Saturday as Biddeford schedule doesn’t get any easier with a game at home against Lewiston, while Thornton Academy will travel to take on the 4-10-0 Kennebunk Rams.

NOTES: Thornton Academy was without leading scoring CJ Maksut due to a suspension for breaking a team rule. No word on how long the suspension will last.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply