Sunday, March 9, 2014
By Greg Reid
Special to the Press Herald
FALMOUTH — The Yachtsmen knew they had to make the most of their opportunities, because they would need to earn every last one. Did they.
St. Dominic’s Bryan Bonenfant, left, and Falmouth’s Brandon Peters have been told to keep their sticks on the ice, but that’s not where the puck is during Thursday night’s game at Family Ice Center.
Photos by John Ewing/Staff Photographer
Defenseman Jake Grade, who collected two crucial assists during Falmouth’s hard-earned victory over St. Dominic, brings the puck into the Saints’ zone despite some tenacious backchecking.
Junior forward Brandon Peters scored on the power play in the opening seconds of the third period Thursday to lead Falmouth to a hard-fought 3-1 victory over St. Dominic Academy in a Class A boys’ hockey game at Family Ice Center.
Peters assisted on Falmouth’s opening goal, and junior defenseman Jake Grade had two assists as the defending Class A champion Yachtsmen (2-1) held off the Saints (1-1) during a five-on-three power play that lasted 1:02 of the final 3:13 of the game. The Yachtsmen then enjoyed a two-man advantage over the final two minutes to bounce back from a 2-0 loss at Scarborough on Monday.
“We got the shot from the point and we crashed the net for the rebound,” Peters said. “I was there to bang it home. The credit goes to the other guys on the line for setting the play up and Jake for taking the shot.”
St. Dom’s scored first, when the energetic Brad Berube slipped the puck past Falmouth goalie Dane Pauls (20 saves) at 7:00 of the second period. The goal was set up by Cam Stewart’s blast from the high slot caroming off the end boards to the waiting Berube, who collected the puck to Pauls’ right and snapped it in for a 1-0 lead. Caleb Labrie also assisted.
Falmouth tied it at 14:12 when Matt Edmonds tipped in the rebound of Grade’s shot from the right point.
A Saints forward drew an elbowing penalty with 2.6 seconds left in the second period, paving the way for Peters’ winner just 52 seconds into the third. Falmouth finished 1-for-5 on the power play; St. Dom’s went 0-for-5.
Isac Nordstrom scored Falmouth’s final goal, taking a pass from freshman Robby Armitage and snapping a shot off the post to beat Saints goalie Caleb Dostie (33 saves), who was spectacular.
After facing just one shot in the scoreless first period, Paul saw more action as the game went on, especially with Berube cycling through and the rangy Labrie outwrestling the Yachtsmen’s defenders for shots on net. On the late five-on-three penalty kill, Paul was at his finest, turning aside four rapid shots from just beyond his crease.
Games with few shots early on “are the toughest ones to play, because you’ve got to stay focused,” Paul said. “The team does a really nice job of letting me see all the shots, and they make my job easier when I do get the shots.”
“Win, lose or draw, playing those guys is a ton of fun,” Falmouth Coach Deron Barton said. “We had to play our brand of hockey, smart intelligent hockey. But we also had to throw in some grit. If you’re not gritty against St. Dom’s, Lewiston or Scarborough, you’re not going to win. Talent only goes so far against those teams.”