LEWISTON — Playoff time brings out the best in the Falmouth boys’ hockey team.
How else do you explain Tuesday night’s 5-2 victory over Scarborough in the Western Class A final at the Colisee?
There was Tyler Jordan, flat on his stomach, completing a hat trick to seal the win.
There were freshmen Reece and Robbie Armitage setting up that momentous goal.
There was Dane Pauls, standing tall in the net and turning aside all the Red Storm could throw at him.
And there were the Yachtsmen again swarming the ice at the final horn, showering the rink with their gear in another madcap celebration.
“I went into this game not knowing if I was going to play another game, so it was unbelievably special,” said Jordan, a senior forward. “Coach (Deron Barton) was telling us before the game, ‘Play for your families because they’re the ones who got you here, they sacrificed so much.’ So to get three goals, it’s awesome. I can’t wait to go home and celebrate with my family.”
Falmouth (16-5) will defend its state title at 6 p.m. Saturday against St. Dominic. But that was far in the future Tuesday. First the players savored a second consecutive Western A final victory against a strong Red Storm opponent.
“Our game plan was to roll three lines and just keep coming at them,” Barton said. “They have very skilled players, dangerous to the last minute. You couldn’t let your guard down.”
That lesson was learned Saturday, when Falmouth built a 3-0 lead against Noble/Wells, only to see the Knights rally to make it 4-4 in the third period. The Yachtsmen won it with 1:23 remaining and immediately realized they couldn’t afford to relax in the playoffs.
“That game against Noble I think galvanized us, and in kind of a weird way it was what we needed,” Barton said. “And they got it; they didn’t need me to tell them.”
Falmouth took another 3-0 lead after one period Tuesday when Jordan scored after Robbie Armitage won a faceoff in the right circle, then added a goal on a two-on-one break.
Andre Clement completed the onslaught, and this time the Yachtsmen were able to build on that effort.
Brandon Boehm stretched the lead to 4-0 early in the second period.
Finally, Scarborough (14-6-1) started to crawl back into the game, getting goals from Jake Gross and Eric Grantz to reduce the deficit to 4-2 in the third period.
Red Storm Coach Norm Gagne felt his players were pressing at the outset, overcome by nerves and failing to make routine plays.
“It hurts,” he said. “It’s not something we expected because we thought we’d give them a better battle than we did. And getting down early, it really takes the energy out of you. With each minute and each missed opportunity, the frustration builds up.”
Jordan ended any comeback thoughts when he bolted down the right boards, eluded one defender while cutting to the middle, then sprawled face-first onto the ice while shoveling a backhanded shot into the net for a 5-2 lead at 10:56.
“I was getting hooked and I just took the shot and I didn’t even see it go in,” Jordan said. “I just turned around and I could hear everyone screaming, and when I heard that, I assumed it went in.”
Barton said Jordan has proven to be a big-game player, much like Clement. The Yachtsmen’s roster seems to be stacked with them.
“If we didn’t get them back on their heels, they’re a dangerous team,” Jordan said.
“We were worried about the first goal, the first faceoff, the first everything. Because everyone’s shaky in the playoffs, especially with all these fans. You don’t know what’s going to happen. The puck can bounce so weird.”
Of course, as Jordan quickly demonstrated, not everyone is shaky come playoff time.
ST. DOM’S 3, BANGOR 1: Austin Roy gathered a loose puck at center ice, deked a defender and let it fly.
The sophomore’s eighth goal of the season was the biggest, giving St. Dom’s the lead for good with 1:50 remaining in the Eastern Class A final.
“I just did the quickest move possible, tried to be agile and I guess it just came off my stick and ended up in the back of the net,” Roy said of his shot that clanged off the crossbar and down into the goal.
“I was skeptical of it, but then I heard the crowd. He (Bangor goaltender Richard Powell) was kind of off his angle and I just took advantage of it. Just doing it for my team. Just one of those things you just dream of, I guess.”
Caleb Dostie made 25 saves for the third-seeded Saints (13-7-1), including some big ones late while the Rams had a six-on-four advantage. Chase Hainey sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 5.5 seconds left.
St. Dom’s is seeking its 25th state title.
Bangor (16-4), the top seed, couldn’t win its first Eastern Maine championship despite a 26-13 edge in shots on goal.
Mark Emmert can be contacted at 791-6424 or: