PORTLAND – Early season games tend to serve as great teaching tools. The Cheverus and Portland-Deering girls’ hockey teams took away two big lessons from an 8-8 tie Wednesday night at Portland Ice Arena: No lead is safe, and stay out of the penalty box.
The visiting Stags scored six goals in the third period — including three while short-handed and two on the power play — to overtake the Bulldogs, who scored late to tie it.
Drew Barry scored six goals and Mia Thurston had a goal and an assist for Portland (0-1-1).
Katie Roy and Jill Hannigan each had a hat trick for the Stags in their season debut.
Hannigan gave Cheverus a 1-0 lead 1:36 into the game, but Portland, thanks to stellar play from goalie Leanne Reichert (37 saves), carried the momentum for a long stretch thereafter. Barry beat Kat Binford (15 saves) for a short-handed goal to tie it at 8:19, then Thurston, the Bulldogs’ one Deering student in the lineup, set up Barry on the power play for a 2-1 lead at 13:14, then added her own goal about 1:30 later for a 3-1 lead.
In the second period, Barry scored twice more on the power play, around Roy’s first of the night, finishing off a breakaway while short-handed to give Portland a 5-2 lead after two.
“We tried to get the girls all pumped up, this was Cheverus, the biggest game of the year,” Barry said. “In the third, calls didn’t go our way and I got that big penalty, which didn’t help.”
Cheverus entered the third period with 1:02 left to kill on a tripping penalty. After a late return to the ice, the Stags were hit with a 2-minute protocol violation. The Bulldogs seemed in charge.
“Between periods, I told the girls to just keep working,” said Cheverus Coach Amy McNally. “Just keep playing our game and getting shots on net.”
Sophia Giancotti raced in with Barry following to score a short-handed goal 41 seconds in. As the puck hit the netting, a collision sent Giancotti into the end boards and Barry to the box with a 5-minute roughing penalty.
Hannigan and Roy scored twice in 36 seconds and the game was tied at 5.
Katie Rutherford then joined Barry in the box at 13:08 on a hooking call. Roy and Taylor Coutois scored to push the Stags ahead, 7-5.
Later, Barry capped another long rush to make it 7-6 with 6:10 to play. Hannigan got her third before Georgia Drew and Barry scored to send it into overtime.
“That last period we were kind of hesitant,” said Reichert. “Next game, we have to go out like we did in the first two periods.”
The reverse is true for Cheverus.
“We very nervous early on,” Roy said. “But that’s what I love about these girls. We don’t clash, we come together.”