LEWISTON — Isac Nordstrom and Hugh Grygiel scored 16 seconds apart late in the third period Tuesday night to lift second-seeded Falmouth over top-ranked Scarborough 4-3, winning its first Western Class A boys’ hockey championship at the Colisee.
The Yachtsmen (17-3-1) will play Lewiston (16-4-1) at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Colisee for the state title.
With 3:26 left, Nordstrom, a sophomore forward from Sweden playing his second season for the Yachtsmen, put in a rebound for his 10th goal of the year to make it 3-3.
Moments later, following the faceoff on Falmouth’s fourth power play of the game, Grygiel finished off a rush with his team-high 24th goal to win it.
The key to the Yachtsmen’s victory was their ability to limit the Red Storm to 18 shots on goal.
“We executed our game plan,” Coach Deron Barton said. “We knew we had to play defense first. We knew there were certain guys on their team we couldn’t let shoot the puck, certain guys on their team we knew we couldn’t let control the puck down low, so we isolated those guys.”
The score was 1-1 at the end of the first period. Falmouth opened the scoring six minutes into the game when Grygiel stuck a rebound into the right side of the net after goalie Dalton Finley kept J.P. White’s shot out of the left side.
Jake Gross scored short-handed 3:24 into the game to make it 1-1. It came after Falmouth goalie Dane Pauls ranged out to the top of the slot to stop a breakaway by Trevor Murray, but Gross hustled in and slid the puck into an open net from the top of the left circle for his 18th goal.
The Red Storm held a 3-2 lead after two periods.
The Yachtsmen regained the lead less than two minutes into the second when Tyler Jordan put in a shot from the top of the left hashmark for his second goal of the season.
Less than two minutes later, Scarborough pulled into a 2-2 tie when Cam Loiselle scored his 10th goal on a shot from the bottom of the right circle.
The Red Storm (19-2) moved into the lead for the first time less than six minutes into the period when defenseman Nick Bagley snapped a shot in from just above the left dot for his 15th goal during Scarborough’s second power play of the game.
During the regular season, Scarborough, making its third appearance in the regional final since 2006, pulled out a 4-3 victory against the Yachtsmen at MHG Arena in Saco on Dec. 17, then came away with a 2-1 win in Falmouth on Feb. 19.
“You’ve got to give (Falmouth) credit,” Scarborough Coach Norm Gagne said. “Every game has been a one-goal game. We knew we were going to be in for a battle. They knew they were going to be in for a battle. They got the bounce tonight.”
“It could have gone either way,” Barton said. “Fortunately for these kids, they stuck it out.”
Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org