March 2, 2011

Western Class A hockey: They're off and skating

Thornton Academy has little trouble reaching the Western Class A semis, winning 6-0.

By Kevin Thomas
Staff Writer

BIDDEFORD — Thornton Academy goalie Jay Finch occasionally would skate around the net to settle a loose puck. He sometimes got in position.

click image to enlarge

Jay Finch of Thornton Academy didn’t have the toughest of nights – needing just nine saves to shut out Scarborough. But one of them came off a strong effort by Mark Pearson in the second period. Thornton won 6-0 in the Western Class A quarterfinals for a fourth straight shutout.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Scarborough goalie Doug Pitts blocks the puck with his chest as Jonathan Pate of Thornton Academy unleashes the shot during Thornton’s 6-0 victory at the Biddeford Ice Arena.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Click here for boxscore

But Finch needed to exert little effort Tuesday night as second-seeded Thornton beat seventh-ranked Scarborough 6-0 in a Western Class A quarterfinal at the Biddeford Ice Arena.

The Trojans outshot Scarborough, 41-9.

C.J. Maksut scored two goals. Robert Downing recorded a goal and two assists, and Nicholas Chen added a goal and assist.

Brett Levasseur and Alex Fallon also scored.

And Finch stopped all nine shots he saw. Doug Pitts, made 35 saves for the Red Storm (9-10).

Thornton (14-5) will play in Saturday´s semifinal at Lewiston, against third-seeded Marshwood/Traip Academy.

The Trojans have four straight shutouts, including 5-0 against St. Dominic to end the regular season.

"That´s probably our greatest area of improvement," Thornton Coach Shawn Rousseau said of the defense. "Our last 14 periods have been scoreless. It´s no secret that our defensemen are playing very well and our goalie is playing very well."

Thornton´s three defensive lines starred in this game -- Tyler Danley and Brandon Veilleux, Jonathan Herlihy and Dakota Matthews, and Ryan Locke and Jonathan Dupee.

They formed quite a wall in front of Finch.

"They have speed and they have experience," Scarborough Coach Norm Gagne said.

The Red Storm had the best chance early when Jordan Bathe and Hunter Lynch took off on a short-handed rush. But Finch stood his ground and made the save.

The Trojans then took control, taking a 3-0 first-period lead.

On the same power play, a slap shot bounced off a defenseman´s skate right to Chen. He knocked it right in at 8:16. Andrew Carignan and Tyler Danley assisted.

Maksut buried a perfect pass from Sam Canales at 10:21, and Levasseur scored on Chen´s pass at 12:56.

Thornton got only one goal in the second period (Maksut from Downing), but the Trojans outshot Scarborough 15-0 in the period.

"Scarborough played well. Their forwards were buzzing," Rousseau said.

"Our defensemen were able to outskate them and protect our net nicely."

In the third, Downing scored on a power play from Jon Pate and Locke.

Fallon rebounded his own shot to finish the scoring.

 Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:


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