FALMOUTH – Beware the counterpunch.
Greely erased an early 1-0 deficit by scoring three first-period goals on the way to a 5-1 victory over Falmouth in a girls’ hockey game Wednesday night at Family Ice Center.
Sarah Kurland led the Rangers (14-2-1) with a goal and an assist, and Paige Tuller added two assists. Maura Perry (14 saves) was strong in goal for the Rangers, who extended their unbeaten run to 11 games (10-0-1). Greely, No. 3 in the Eastern Maine Heal points, hasn’t lost since a 4-2 loss at Lewiston on Dec. 12.
Abby Payson scored a power-play goal to give Falmouth the 1-0 lead just 2:07 into the game.
“More than anything, it gave us motivation to come back hard,” Tuller said. “The first goal gives that team the momentum and we just wanted to stop them in their tracks.”
That the Rangers did, 41 seconds later. Collecting the puck along the end boards, Tuller snapped it to Danita Storey, who was crashing the nearside post. Storey tucked the puck inside the post to make it 1-1.
Mary Morrison gave Greely the lead about two minutes later, sending a hard shot along the ice that got by goalie Kirsten Mazur for a 2-1 lead. Kurland jammed in the rebound of Meg Finlay’s shot from in close at 14:46 to make it 3-1 after the first period.
“Falmouth is a great team, they’re going to have the opportunity to make some noise in the playoffs,” Greely Coach Nate Guerin said. “We kind of knew we were capable of a game like this, so it’s nice for the girls to actually do it.”
Greely’s penalty-kill units stood tall in the second, killing off a five-on-three to keep Falmouth off the board. Tuller set up Finlay for a late goal to push the lead to 4-1. Kurland made it 5-1 just 23 seconds into the third.
It was a third straight loss for Yachtsmen (11-7), No. 3 in the West, who were bolstered by the return of goalie Mazur (33 saves).
Mazur had missed two weeks with a concussion.
“We need to find a way to match the other team’s intensity,” Falmouth Coach Rob Carrier said. “Greely had three goals just because they wanted it more. They were making an effort to get in front of the net to get rebounds or a nice one-timer. We weren’t able to match that.
“Hopefully the girls will think about mistakes we made and we’ll fix it when we get back to practice Friday.”
Greely, meanwhile, closes the regular season against top-ranked Leavitt-Edward Little on Saturday at Family Ice.
“We’re mostly looking forward to celebrating our seniors,” Guerin said. “Playing Leavitt makes it a high-stakes game but that’s what you want heading into the playoffs. It gets the girls in the right mind-set, working that much harder.”