Maine Hockey Journal

Thornton balanced attack blanks Scarborough

Biddeford, ME – Five different players scored for Thornton Academy along with Jameson Finch stopping all 20 shots he faced in blanking Scarborough, 5-0, in Western Maine Class A boys’ hockey action at the Biddeford Ice Arena on Saturday evening.

The pivotal point in the game came early into the second period when Scarborough’s Connor Gullifer was hit from behind at 3:24 by Thornton’s Seth Prior, sending him sliding head-first into the boards in front of his own bench.

Prior was give a five minute major and game misconduct for the hit.

“Any time a kid goes head first into the boards the refs want to protect the kids and I’m personally not going to argue about that,” said Thornton Academy’s head coach Shawn Rousseau. “Nevertheless, I think game disqualifications usually ought to be something malicious. This one was not, they got locked up together. Seth certainly did not mean to do that so I feel bad that he got the call he did, but at the same time I’m grateful that refs want to protect kids.”

“But, as it turned out it was the best thing that happened to us because our penalty kill has been very strong, we saw a lot of shots blocked, a lot of courageous kids made real big plays and once we killed that off (the 5 minute major), I think the momentum was all ours for the remainder of the game.”

Up until this point of the game, the refs had been a little more lenient with the penalty calls, but afterwards they became quick to make the call to keep things from getting out of hand, which ended up hurting Scarborough, who were becoming frustrated after failing to capitalize on the five minute major power play.

Two of their players received game misconducts for arguing calls, disrupting their lines.

“We were shuffling around lines like you wouldn’t believe,” said Scarborough head coach Norm Gagne. “It wasn’t our comfort zone. We had to take guys and shuffle them around so nobody was comfortable with who they were playing with.”

This, combined with a flurry of penalties called against the Red Storm late in the second period ended their hopes of making up the two goal deficit. They gave up a shorthanded goal at 10:41 of the second period, scored by C.J. Maksut, to send them into the intermission trailing 0-3.

With penalties lingering from the end of the second period, the Red Storm began the third period shorthanded with a two man disadvantage. The Golden Trojans capitalized on the 5-on-3 with a goal from Samuel Canales at 1:17 of the third. They would add another power play goal at 2:36 from Jonathan Herlihy with just 14 seconds to go on the 5-on-4 advantage.

Seth Prior and Robert Downing also had goals for the Golden Trojans, making for five different goal-scorers for Thornton Academy. Prior scored the first goal of the game, and what would prove to be the game winner at 9:34 of the first period, taking a nice pass from Andrew Carignan on a 2-on-1 and tucking it through the five hole of Scarborough’s Doug Pitts.

Downing scored early in the second period at 1:22 to put the Golden Trojans up 2-0, collecting a second rebound and putting it past a disoriented Pitts who had lost sight of the puck and got turned around after making the first two saves.

Jameson Finch held on for Thornton’s first shutout of the season despite a close call in the first period when he had come out of the net to play the puck, which was then intercepted by a Scarborough player, catching him out of position. The Golden Trojans defense came through, forcing the Scarborough shot wide of the open net until Finch could get back into position.

“It was a little scary when I was playing the puck, but I feel like we came together back in the second period for that penalty kill and that was really the game changer for us,” said Finch. “There were some good chances but I felt confident with my defensemen tonight, they were everywhere they needed to be to bail me out.”

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