Maine Hockey Journal

Prior nets OT winner for Thornton

Biddeford, ME – For the second time this season, Thornton Academy and Waterville required an overtime period to decide the game, and for the second time, Thornton Academy emerged victorious with a 3-2 victory at Biddeford Ice Arena.

Back on Jan. 17, the Golden Trojans travelled to Waterville and skated to a 4-3 OT victory, and tonight the Purple Panthers came back late once again to force the overtime period; this time on Thornton Academy’s home ice.

“Waterville, no matter who they line up with they go hard and they compete in every play, and I love the way they play,” said Thornton Academy coach Shawn Rousseau. “I like the fact that we come up with wins, but they don’t make it easy.”

It was all Waterville for the beginning of the O.T. period, with two good shots on net that Golden Trojans goaltender Jameson Finch was able to redirect over the net, but one nice play was all it took for Thornton Academy to break it out of their zone and net the game-winner.

Seth Prior scored the overtime goal to seal the deal, but credits his teammates with a good set-up.

“It all started with a nice chip off the glass from Dakota (Matthews) then it got off to Andrew Carignan to me and then I just skated down,” said Prior. “I took the open ice and I just put it in the back of the net.”

Prior started off on the right side of the ice and after a nice move, got Waterville goaltender Cody Thibodeau to the ice and put it past him on the left.

“I went across my body and then just put it in (backhand),” said Prior.

After a scoreless first period, Thornton Academy jumped out to the lead in the second when Robert Downing redirected a shot from the point from Brandon Veilleux to beat Thibodeau at 9:12, the only goal of the second to give the Golden Trojans a 1-0 advantage heading into the third.

Waterville took advantage of a power play in the third to tie things up. Their first goal was also a redirected shot from the point, senior defenseman David Cook taking the shot that J.T. Whitten then redirected past Thornton Academy’s goalie Jameson Finch to tie things up 1-1 at 9:28.

Thornton would then take the lead again on the power play with a sniper goal from C.J. Maksut. Maksut found the top corner of the net just over the shoulder of Thibodeau to put the Golden Trojans up 2-1 at 13:14.

Prior to this goal, the Golden Trojans had been struggling on the power play. Waterville had killed off all of their penalties up to this point, including a 3-on-5 disadvantage in the second.

“Our power play is typically so strong,” said Rousseau. “Some days an element of your game just doesn’t have it. The puck wasn’t moving well, we weren’t supporting the puck well — even the times we got the puck through the seams it was just a bit off. We weren’t getting the pucks away as quickly as we needed to, the power play was just off tonight. And I would say offensively, generally we were off today.”

Waterville got a late power play goal of their own to tie things up again and send the game into overtime. After a shot from the point, Kyle Bishop collected the rebound and fired it home at 14:03 to tie the game again. J.T. Whitten and Matt Lee got assists on the goal.

Despite a good effort by Waterville early on in the overtime period, one good play by the Golden Trojans was all it took for Prior to get the deciding goal at 0:59 of O.T. for the 3-2 victory.

“Our guys fought back, fought back hard. It was a great game, our goaltender stepped up his game, they just took advantage of a late break,” said Waterville coach Dennis Martin.

“They played real hard. It’s just tough to take when you battle yourselves back and tie the game up with less than a minute to go.”

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