SACO — Give senior defenseman Nick Bagley a chance, and he’ll make the most of it.
Give him three, and you’re in trouble.
Bagley scored three goals, including the winner on a two-on-none break in overtime, to lift Scarborough to a 4-3 victory over Falmouth in a Western Class A hockey game Monday at MHG Arena.
“I gave Nick the credit card. If he sees something, he can go get it,” said Scarborough Coach Norm Gagne. “We tell the wing on that side to drop back, because when (Bagley) gets an opening, he’s not a guy that’s going to miss.”
After scoring on the power play in the first period and while shorthanded in the third, Bagley got the winner at even strength in the back-and-forth game.
Moments after Scarborough killed off a penalty called in the final seconds of regulation, Bagley came up with a loose puck at center ice and broke in with Garrett McDonald on Falmouth goalie Dane Pauls (21 saves).
“(McDonald) was screaming at me to take it, so I did,” said Bagley, who played last season with the Portland Junior Pirates. His shot from the slot rang off the crossbar and into the net. “I was fortunate to get some opportunities and just made the most of them. I just shot where I saw net.”
Alden Weller and Hugh Grygiel scored in the second period as Falmouth surged back from a 2-0 deficit.
Scarborough regained the lead when Bagley found the top corner at 10:33 of the third. Isac Nordstrom tied it at 12:08.
“We gave up that third goal and our guys got down,” Gagne said. “I said, ‘Guys, it’s 3-3. Believe in yourselves. We’ll get our chance, we’ll just need to execute.’ Unfortunately for Falmouth, we got that break.”
Falmouth (2-1) got two assists from Kris Samaris and J.P. White.
“There’s so much benefit to a game like this. Losing or winning at this point is insignificant,” Falmouth Coach Deron Barton said. “We’re getting players in situations they’re going to be in again, and we’ll need to execute next time.
“We’re a better team than we were three games ago, and we’ll be a better team three games from now.”
It was the third challenging game of the early season for the Red Storm (3-1), who opened with a 2-1 win over Lewiston and fell 1-0 to St. Dominic before routing York 11-0.
“Playing tougher competition early brings us together,” said Scarborough goalie Dalton Finley, who made 22 saves. “We’re playing the better teams now, so we’ll just keep getting better.”
Scarborough started strong, and with a touch of luck.
While killing a penalty, Matt Henderson golfed in a puck from just inside the red line to free Scarborough for a line change. The puck glanced off Pauls’ left shoulder and caught the inside of the pipe for a 1-0 Scarborough lead at 6:42.
Two minutes later, Bagley snapped a shot from along the right boards into the crowded slot, and the puck found its way into the net.
Weller, a defenseman who shined all night, broke through at 3:32 of the second. Grygiel tied it three minutes later, spinning in the slot and snapping the puck into the lower right corner.
“This was a benchmark game for us,” Gagne said. “We’d heard Falmouth is the team to beat, and we wanted to know if we could battle with them. We’ve answered that. When we come to play and do the things we need to do, we’re a pretty good team.”