December 18, 2013

Hockey Notebook: Early challenges are on the way for Thornton Academy

Also, Scarborough scrambles for ice time.

By Mark Emmert memmert@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

His boys’ hockey team got overheated in the opener, blitzed in its next game, then finally righted itself in its third contest. One tie, one loss, one win.

players of the week

GIRLS

Emily Johnson, Yarmouth/Freeport junior: Johnson tallied six points last week, including a goal in the Clippers’ huge 3-2 victory over Greely.

HONORABLE MENTION

Elizabeth Gross, Scarborough freshman: The Red Storm romped through two wins last week with Gross totaling 13 points, including five goals.

Katherine Dumoulin, Biddeford sophomore: Dumoulin scored two goals in a 3-2 win over Gorham-Bonny Eagle, including the winner in overtime.

Gretchen Stevens, Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete senior: Stevens helped the Capers to their first win with two goals and an assist in a 6-5 victory against Falmouth.

AREA TOP FIVE

1. Scarborough 6-0

2. Yarmouth/Freeport 6-0

3. Greely 5-1

4. Biddeford 5-1

5. Gorham/Bonny Eagle 2-3

BOYS

Jake Gross, Scarborough senior: Gross has 11 points, including seven goals, to lead the state early in the season and has been the key cog in a high-scoring Red Storm offense.

HONORABLE MENTION

Justin Broy, Gorham senior: The top-notch goaltender has surrendered just one goal in a 2-0 start to the season.

Austin Davis, Cony-Monmouth Academy senior: Davis has eight goals in three games to lead the state.

Andrew Whipple, South Portland junior: Whipple has assisted on seven of his team’s nine goals.

AREA TOP FIVE

1. Scarborough 3-1

2. Kennebunk 3-0

3. Gorham 2-0

4. Falmouth 2-2

5. Biddeford 2-2

What’s next for Thornton Academy Coach Jamie Gagnon? How about a trip to defending Class A state champion Falmouth on Thursday followed by a meeting with rival Biddeford on Saturday?

“It’s definitely going to be a challenge for us,” Gagnon said.

“We’re starting to find out just how much we’re willing to push ourselves each and every day in practice. Now it’s more about the type of consistent effort. We’re well aware of the type of game we need to play to be successful. We’ve got to play fast; we want to play out in transition.”

The Trojans were slowed after opening the season with that tie against Portland/Deering. In overtime, a fracas broke out, and both teams had players disqualified and suspended for the next two games.

Thornton fell hard to Scarborough 8-4, then put together a strong all-around game to drop Brunswick, 4-1.

“We’ve been dealing with the ramifications from that (suspensions),” Gagnon said. “It’s been a good way to get some of our younger guys going and get used to the speed of the game. At the same time we hope the older players have learned their lesson.”

Biddeford enters the game 2-2 after being shut out Monday by Gorham. Tigers Coach Rich Reissfelder said his early concerns have centered around a young defense. But in the preseason, that group was good enough to shut out Thornton 2-0.

Now the stakes are much higher and the action is certain to be spirited Saturday.

The Trojans have won the past five meetings that counted in the series.

“A lot of these kids grew up playing together so they know each other. You get to high school and you mix in that historic rivalry, and it amps it up,” Reissfelder said. “Before and after the game, they get along great. During the game it gets really intense.

“The last two years have been all Thornton Academy so we’re trying to reverse that.”

 

SCARBOROUGH CERTAINLY looks like a team on a mission to avenge last year’s loss in the Western Class A final, reeling off consecutive victories against Falmouth, Thornton and Lewiston. But it hasn’t been easy for the Red Storm, starting with finding ice to practice on all preseason.

Renovations to the Portland Civic Center and the addition of a junior team at MHG forced Coach Norm Gagne to scramble his plans, resulting in many 5:30 a.m. training sessions.

“That really kicks the crap out of your kids. It really takes a toll, especially on a teenager because teenagers like to sleep in the morning,” Gagne said before the season. “I’ve got to wake them up when they get to practice. They’re not focused, I can tell you that.

“They’re hard-working kids. They’re good kids. You don’t have to worry about them, you just have to push them. Kids have changed over the past 40 years. When I was at Gardiner, I had a lot of farm boys who were tougher than nails. They didn’t care when they got up, they just wanted to be out there. It was hard to get them off the ice.”

 

SCARBOROUGH HOSTS a 2-0 Gorham team Saturday that has already dumped Class A rivals Portland/Deering and Biddeford. The Rams have surrendered just one goal.

Another game to keep an eye on: Kennebunk is off to a 3-0 start that included an eye-opening 5-1 victory over two-time Class B champion Greely. The teams aren’t waiting long for a rematch – it comes Saturday at Greely.

 

ST. DOMINIC dedicated the locker rooms at the new Norway Savings Bank Arena to the memory of longtime coach Bob Boucher on Saturday. Boucher won five state titles in 25 seasons at St. Dom’s, where he also coached soccer, lacrosse and golf. Boucher died in 2007 at 55. Members of his family were present for on-ice ceremonies before a game with Cheverus.

 

IN GIRLS’ hockey, Yarmouth/Freeport (6-0) established itself as a serious contender in the East after a 3-2 win over two-time defending state champion Greely last week. The Clippers are at 2-5 Winslow on Wednesday night, and then has tests after Christmas, with a game at Leavitt/Edward Little, then back-to-back games with unbeaten Lewiston.

Scarborough, as expected, looks like the class of the West, although the Red Storm (6-0) could face a challenge Wednesday night, against 5-1 Biddeford at 8:30 at Saco.

 

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas contributed to this report.

Mark Emmert can be reached at 791-6424 or memmert@pressherald.com.

Twitter: MarkEmmertPPH

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