LEWISTON — The Falmouth-Scarborough boys’ hockey trilogy concludes Tuesday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, just like last year.
The Western Class A championship is on the line again.
And if you’re looking for two players who carry their teams’ fortunes, focus on the Yachtsmen’s Andre Clement and the Red Storm’s Cam Loiselle.
Both are stars.
Both are role players.
It’s a unique combination.
“You’ve got to really watch it and understand the game to pick up the little things that he does,” Scarborough Coach Norm Gagne said.
He was speaking about Loiselle, but could have been referring to Clement as well.
“He knows how to get out of a tight situation and get the puck out. He knows when to ice the puck. He knows when we need a whistle, and he’ll get it,” Gagne said. “He’s so valuable to this team.”
Falmouth Coach Deron Barton simply calls Clement his most important player. He proved as much Saturday when he scored the winning goal with 1:23 left in a 5-4 semifinal victory over Noble/Wells.
“He just said, ‘OK, enough’s enough.’ And that’s not the first time he’s done that. He put the team on his shoulders last year in the state championship game against Lewiston,” Barton said. “He scored two goals, the same type of goals, just hard work, take it to the net and bury it.”
Clement and Loiselle are both semifinalists for the Travis Roy Award, which is given to the top senior in Class A.
Both have played forward and defense at various times, depending on the needs of their team.
Both control the offensive flow for their team.
“I play pretty much the full ice. I like to work hard, be the spark plug for the team,” Clement said.
“It’s an honor (to be called the most important player on his team), but at this point I’m just trying to focus on defending the state championship. Whether I have a ‘C’ on my shirt or not, I’m going to work as hard as I can to get the guys going.”
Clement played a handful of games on defense last year, and began this season on the blue line again after the Yachtsmen lost four defensemen to graduation.
When that position was shored up, he returned to center the team’s top line.
At 5-foot-8, his primary asset is his speed and ability to see plays developing.
“In the big games that matter, he’s in the score book,” Barton said. “He’s a go-to guy when you need him, not just scoring goals, but making defensive plays.”
Falmouth (15-5) split two games with Scarborough, losing 2-0 in December and winning 4-3 in the regular-season finale. The Yachtsmen are the top seed.
Scarborough (14-5-1) was in that position last year, but lost to Falmouth in the Western final. Loiselle said that loss has been burning at his team.
“It definitely comes up a lot, especially with this matchup coming up. You’ve got to put that behind you and make current history,” Loiselle said. “Use that as fuel and get the guys going.”
Loiselle was a forward last year, but he too shifted to defense this year to fill a need. He’s stuck with it, willingly sacrificing offense to help the Red Storm come up with performances like Saturday’s 7-1 romp past Thornton Academy in the semifinals. Scarborough surrendered just three shots on goal in the first two periods of that game, which all agreed was its best performance this season.
“A lot of guys learned that we’re a deadly team when we can put three full periods together,” Loiselle said.
Loiselle had three assists in that game. It typified the contributions he’s made to the Red Storm all season.
“We really needed his skill level back there, to be the rock,” Gagne said.
“He has the stamina to give us the minutes that we need from him. I’ve let him decide when he’s going to come off the ice.
“I really trust him.”
Mark Emmert can be contacted at 791-6424 or [email protected]