LEWISTON — There’s no such thing as a perfect hockey game, but Scarborough came pretty close to playing one in a Western Class A semifinal Saturday afternoon at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
The second-seeded Red Storm thoroughly dominated No. 6 Thornton Academy to roll to 7-1 win and advance to Tuesday night’s regional final against defending state champion Falmouth.
“Our kids came focused tonight and played with a lot of energy, and they kept that energy throughout the whole game,” Scarborough Coach Norm Gagne said. “That’s why we won the game.”
It was the Red Storm’s third win of the season over Thornton, including a 7-1 victory just two weeks ago.
“We knew we were going to have to be really focused,” said defenseman Cam Loiselle, who assisted on three of Scarborough’s goals. “We knew that beating a team three times in one season is really hard. We really wanted to get to the next round.”
Solid special-teams play helped the Red Storm (14-5-1) build an early 3-0 lead.
Less than four minutes into the game, Sean McGovern and Jake Gross scored power-play goals 14 seconds apart.
Scarborough was skating with a two-man advantage when a shot by Loiselle went wide left and caromed off the back wall to McGovern, who slid it into the right side of the net.
Moments later, Gross scored from just below the left hash mark.
Then the Red Storm scored a short-handed goal just over two minutes later. Matt Henderson put in a low shot from the top of the slot after stealing the puck in the neutral zone.
“Getting down early really changed out game plan,” Thornton Coach Jamie Gagnon said. “When that happens, it’s risk/reward. You’re either going to get a couple (of goals) or open up the ice for them coming back the other way.”
The Red Storm held a 10-1 edge in shots in the first period. Ben Bragg didn’t have to make his first save until more than nine minutes had elapsed.
Scarborough’s domination continued in the second period. The Red Storm outshot Thornton 11-2 edge, limiting the Trojans to long-range shots more than 10 minutes apart.
Eric Grantz made it 4-0 when he finished off a two-on-one break with Ian Morris, firing a shot from the left circle past goalie Oliwer Hogberg-Karlsson.
“They absolutely played an entire complete game,” Gagnon said. “We were battling from behind early and couldn’t find the offense to get back into the game.”
The Red Storm stretched their lead to 6-0 when Cameron Nigro and Cam Brochu scored 46 seconds apart early in the third period.
After Taylor Browne scored a power-play goal for the Trojans (8-11-1), Grantz got his second goal of the game with less than five minutes left.