LEWISTON – St. Dominic Coach Steve Ouellette didn’t say a word to goalie Grant Carrier during a Class A boys’ hockey game Wednesday night against Scarborough.
“You never say anything to jinx your goalie so you don’t talk to him,” Ouellette said. “You wait until after the game.”
It’s a good policy.
Carrier made 33 saves in his first start of the season to lead the Saints to a 1-0 victory against the Red Storm.
“We obviously knew coming into the season we had good goaltending and tonight that was the deciding factor,” Ouellette said. “It certainly wasn’t our play, our forecheck, and it wasn’t necessarily stellar play in the (defensive) zone.”
Scarborough Coach Norm Gagne agreed that Carrier, a senior who shares goaltending duties with classmate Austin Christopher, was the difference.
“He made a couple of saves in the second period that were unbelievable,” he said. “We threw everything but the kitchen sink at him and he came up big.”
Gagne, in his 39th season as the head coach of a Maine high school hockey team, said he could find little fault in the way the Red Storm played.
“We’ve got to get traffic in front and we did,” he said. “They were giving us the opportunities. We just couldn’t buy a goal.”
Meanwhile the Saints, who were limited to 12 shots on goal, cashed in on their first good chance.
That opportunity came with less than three minutes left in the first period after Scarborough goalie Dalton Finley stopped Will Desmarais from muscling the puck inside the left post. Finley lost sight of the rebound, and the puck lay inside the crease in front of the open net long enough for Kyle Holtet to reach out from a group of players to the right and tap it in.
Carrier was at his best in the first 10 minutes of the period when the Red Storm averaged about a shot per minute.
“We started going to the net but he was equal to the task,” Gagne said. “I was proud of the way we played. We just couldn’t buy (a goal) tonight.”
Carrier limited the Red Storm to one shot per chance.
“There were not any second chances,” Ouellette said. “Either things were covered up or they were put out to the dead zones.”
The Saints never really got their offense going.
“As a team, we’ve been sick for over a week and we’ve had guys out,” Ouellette said. “We’ve haven’t been able to have much (fluidity) going in our practices. I think we’re a good four days behind. By New Year’s, I think we should be ready for the second half of the season.”
The teams, both 1-1, won’t meet again in the regular season.
Last Saturday night, Scarborough opened with a 2-1 win against Lewiston at Saco, and Falmouth skated to a 5-3 win in the Saints’ opener at Lewiston.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: