Maine Hockey Journal

Scarborough wins Class A South title for return trip to state championship

(PHOTO: RAM Sport)

(PHOTO: RAM Sport)

LEWISTON – The Scarborough Red Storm are returning to the Class A state championship to defend their title after a thrilling 1-0 victory over the Falmouth Yachtsmen Tuesday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

The top-seeded Red Storm will play the North’s top-seeded Lewiston Blue Devils Saturday night at 6 pm at the Colisee.

“I was really proud of the kids,” said Scarborough coach Norm Gagne. “We really gritted it out tonight. Our defense won again.”

It came down to the last seconds of the game, but Scarborough’s goal would stand as the only one.

Falmouth used their timeout at the 13:09 mark of the third period but chose not to pull their goaltender to get the extra attacker for the faceoff in their offensive zone. The decision ended up being the correct one for Falmouth’s coach Deron Barton as Scarborough’s most lethal scorer, Matt Caron, picked the puck up and skated in on a breakaway.

“We weren’t having success off the faceoffs, and I was a little concerned,” said Falmouth’s head coach Deron Barton. “I wanted to get possession of the puck, and it ended up working out that way.”

Instead of picking a spot and rifling a shot, Caron decided to move left and right, but Falmouth’s goalie Spencer Pierce stuck his left leg pad in the way of Caron’s shot to spoil the attempt.

“A credit to their goalie,” said Gagne. “Caron came down on him all alone, and he made a big, big stop right there. That could have been the end of the game. It was a battle when you have both teams playing right until the end.”

Finally, with 58 seconds to go in the contest, Barton called for Pierce to skate to the bench to gain the extra skater.

Falmouth couldn’t maintain enough offensive pressure to crack the stout goaltending for Scarborough even with the vacant net at the other end of the ice.

“When we needed him, he came up big time and time again,” said Gagne. When they were putting pressure on him, he came up big.”

With 4:54 remaining in the second period, Falmouth’s Louis Mainella skated to the penalty box for elbowing.

On the penalty kill, the Yachtsmen got their best chance of the game to that point when Robbie Armitage ripped a shot past Ross LeBlond that clanked the post and bounced to the corner.

With a few second remaining on Mainella’s penalty, Scarborough got a shot on goal that was blocked by the goaltender but sitting to his right. The puck trickled behind Pierce, and the puck was flat in front of the gaping net for Scarborough’s Cam Smith to punch into the goal. The tally officially came a second after the power play expired.

The goal would prove to be the game-winning goal for the Red Storm.

Gagne, who has coached 42 years in high school hockey, is headed for his 18th state championship game seeking his eighth state championship victory. Last year Gagne led the Red Storm to a double-overtime victory over the St. Dominic’s Academy Saints to claim his first title with the team.

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