Tuesday, March 11, 2014
GORHAM — The seniors are doing the pushing and prodding, but they know they can’t go it alone.
So it was gratifying Wednesday night for the Gorham boys’ hockey team to see the second and third lines come through with five goals in a 13-2 victory over Bonny Eagle at the Southern Maine Ice Arena.
Until then the Rams had gotten all of their points from their top line, which consists entirely of seniors.
“You have to have three solid lines to be able to compete,” Gorham Coach Jon Portwine said.
“The second line, I’d just put together. It was the first time they skated together so I’m looking to get a little chemistry with them. They looked good.”
The Rams ran their record to 5-1, but it’s a far cry from where they want to be. For the team’s six seniors, nothing less than a Class B state championship appearance will suffice.
It’s one of the reasons forward Shawn Sullivan came back after spending his junior season playing junior hockey. He had a hat trick Wednesday, showing great flair while teaming with Tucker Buteau and Jared Wood.
He said he’s sensed the difference in his team after a year away.
“This team is a lot more serious than we were before. We’ve really been working in practice,” Sullivan said. “I can tell that we’re going to try to get to our goal. Nothing’s going to stop us.”
That was certainly apparent Wednesday, although the Rams got off to a sluggish start, leading 3-2 after one period despite allowing only five shots on goal. They were sloppy at times, lackadaisical at others.
Wood, who transferred from South Portland two years ago, was among the seniors who calmed things down. The Rams started checking harder in the second period and eventually blew the game open. Wood had a goal and four assists while displaying an uncanny knack for always knowing where Sullivan was going to be.
“It’s just knowing their tendencies, where they’re going to move to when you have the puck, them knowing where you’re going to be when they have the puck,” Wood said of his linemates. “There’s a bit of urgency for us seniors to get to the state championship. It’s going to be a challenge.”
Gorham rested Justin Broy, one of the premiere goaltenders in Maine, for the first time this season. Backup Griffin Germond was up to the task. But the Rams have three games next week, including a trip to two-time defending state champion Greely. Broy will be back.
Having Broy is comforting for the Rams. They know one or two goals may often be enough. It’s just that those goals sometimes need to come from somewhere other than the top line.
“It really helps us calm down on the ice,” Sullivan said of Broy’s impact on the team. “We like to get more than one or two goals, obviously, but we feel safe with any lead.”
Mark Emmert can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: