BIDDEFORD — It doesn’t make up for what happened nine months ago, Scarborough defenseman Cam Loiselle said. Not by a long shot.
But Monday’s 2-0 victory over Falmouth in a boys’ hockey game at the Alfond Forum was a good opening statement for his Red Storm team.
The Yachtsmen ousted Scarborough in the Western Class A final in March en route to their first state championship.
That loss still stings, Loiselle admitted, but shutting them out in the second game of a new season did offer some solace.
“It’s always in the backs of our minds,” Loiselle said. “But instead of fearing it again I think it motivated us today. We really wanted some revenge and we wanted to show them that they weren’t going to be able to manhandle us again.”
Loiselle’s long shot got Scarborough on the board in a game both defenses dominated. With his team on a five-on-three power play midway through the second period, Loiselle grabbed the puck in the high slot and had plenty of time to stare down Falmouth goaltender Dane Pauls. His blast landed in the lower left corner of the net.
But the slim lead felt even slimmer considering Falmouth scored twice in the final 4 minutes of that Class A final for a 4-3 victory.
“Last year, we had quite the choke in the playoffs,” Loiselle said. “So we knew we had to jump on them and get some insurance goals.”
The Red Storm (1-1) got that breathing room in the third period when Cam Brochu one-timed a nifty crossing pass from Jake Gross past Pauls’ stick for another power-play goal.
Scarborough’s new-look defense, led by senior goaltender Alex Cherry’s 20 saves, made sure this lead stood up.
The biggest moment came when Cherry fended off a five-on-three advantage for Falmouth (1-1). He slid from one side of the crease to stuff Robbie Armitage at point-blank range, preserving his second career shutout of the Yachtsmen (he also had one as a sophomore).
Loiselle was moved from forward to the blue line at the outset of this season in an attempt to replace the team’s top two defensemen from a season ago. He lends experience to a young unit that Cherry said is making strides.
“At first it was a little iffy,” Cherry said of his defense. “But we’ve worked hard on it. Tonight, I was talking to them a lot and they were good about getting the guy out of the way so I could see the puck.”
Falmouth, meanwhile, got plenty of practice for its penalty-kill unit. The Yachtsmen were whistled for eight infractions, and eventually that caught up to them.
“Guys have to find their balance,” Falmouth Coach Deron Barton said. “I think the refs are calling it a little tighter than they normally would just to set the tone. We were a little over-anxious at times, a little under-anxious at other times. Plus, it was a big ice surface out there and I think the fatigue set in a little earlier than it would in our building.
“Still, I liked what I saw from my younger guys. Some of my returning guys with experience I was a little disappointed in.”
The teams next meet Feb. 20 in the regular-season finale.
Loiselle was already looking forward to that game, along with a potential playoff matchup that might finally provide the redemption his team is seeking.
“It’s obviously a great steppingstone,” he said of Monday’s win.
“But we have a lot of work to do. We know they’ll get a lot better as the season goes on; we will, too.”
Mark Emmert can be reached at 791-6424 or [email protected]Twitter: MarkEmmertPPH