Tuesday, March 11, 2014
By Mark Emmert email@example.com
YARMOUTH — Bruises don’t hurt as much when you win.
That’s as good a mantra as any for the Falmouth boys’ hockey team, which is in the midst of a weeklong test of its mettle.
So far, so good.
The Yachtsmen won their third game in four days Saturday, withstanding stubborn Yarmouth 6-2 at Travis Roy Arena.
That came after a victory at St. Dominic on Wednesday and a 3-1 survival of rugged Bangor on Friday. A rematch at Bangor looms Monday, followed by a home game against Biddeford.
All of this activity is coming after Falmouth went 18 days without playing an in-state opponent, mainly because of the weather.
“It’s really important for us to play as a team. We roll three lines and that’s what gets us through games like this,” said Falmouth forward Isac Nordstrom, who scored twice. “It keeps us from getting so tired.”
The Yachtsmen (9-4) are starting to get back into the groove they carried to a Class A championship last year. In addition to revealing a scoring punch from all three lines, Falmouth showed what a difference a terrific goaltender can make.
In the second period, Yarmouth dominated play but couldn’t cut into a 3-0 deficit because Dane Pauls made 15 saves, a handful extremely challenging.
“Pauls is a good goalie,” Yarmouth Coach David St. Pierre said. “Unfortunately we put pucks up in his glove, where he’s really good.”
The Clippers (7-5-1) had reason to be frustrated but kept up an intense offense in the third period, finally scoring twice to pull within 4-2. Falmouth responded with two goals in 1:12.
“We got a couple of big goals when we needed them. We answered back, which is important,” Falmouth Coach Deron Barton said. “That’s kind of the key. We didn’t get frustrated. We didn’t take stupid penalties. We came back out and scored a couple of goals.”
It was the first meeting in seven years for the onetime fierce rivals, and the hard hitting suggested that the old feelings were still there. The teams combined for 10 penalties and a fair share of rugged checks.
There will be no rest for the Yachtsmen. Barton plans a light practice Sunday in preparation for the trip to Bangor.
“It’s more psychological than it is physical, but at this point, five games in seven days, it’s important that we stay tight,” he said.
His players wouldn’t have it any other way. Vanquishing Bangor, perhaps the most physical team in the state, whetted their appetite for another go-around.
“I’m actually really excited to see that,” Falmouth defenseman Andre Clement said. “Monday is going to be a really fun contest. Bangor is a big hitting team. They’ve only lost two games, one to us. They’re going to come for us.”
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