Sunday, December 8, 2013
By Paul Betit email@example.com
LEWISTON — Thornton Academy earned the right to defend its Class A state championship by rolling to an 8-4 victory against Falmouth in the Western Class A final Tuesday night at the Colisee.
Brandon Veilleux of Thornton Academy kisses the championship plaque Tuesday night after the Trojans beat Falmouth 8-4 to capture the Western Class A hockey title.
Photos by Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer
Alexander Fallon of Thornton Academy controls the puck while looking for a way around Brandon Tuttle of Falmouth.
Robert Downing, C.J. Maksut, Andrew Carignan and Bryan Dallaire scored two goals each as the top-seeded Trojans overcame an extremely fast start by the second-ranked Yachtsmen to advance to the state final Saturday night against St. Dominic at the Colisee.
The turning point came early, probably in the first minute when the teams scored three goals on the first three shots of the game.
The Yachtsmen held a 2-1 lead after 39 seconds but the early adversity seemed to galvanize the Trojans.
"I don't think you ever draw it up that way, that's for sure," Thornton Coach Jamie Gagnon said. "Both teams did a great job. They came out too strong. I think it was good for us to have that adversity early. It showed us it was going to be a dogfight."
Cam Bell started Falmouth off by putting in a shot from the high slot 10 seconds into the game. Following the faceoff, Maksut stuck a shot into the left side to tie it with the game 21 seconds old. Falmouth regained the lead when Brandon Tuttle jammed the puck in 18 seconds after the faceoff.
"It was a little scary in the beginning but we stayed positive, stayed strong and we battled adversity," Thornton forward Nicholas Chen said.
The Trojans took the lead when Dallaire scored on a power-play shot from the left point with more than eight minutes left in the period. Carignan made it 4-2 when he beat goalie Dane Pauls with a great one-on-one move after picking up a loose puck in the left side of the Falmouth zone.
"One of the things I was preaching was not to get caught up in the emotions of the game, and it's kind of hard not to, scoring 10 seconds into the game," Falmouth Coach Deron Barton said.
"It was an interesting first period. I think we had some momentum that we gave right back, and I think that was the game."
Thornton Academy (19-1-1) scored twice in each of the final two periods.
"Eventually, we were able to execute," Gagnon said. "It was playing good defense. It was keeping shots to the perimeter. It was getting out in transition, and it was taking advantage of opportunities."
Five minutes into the second period, Dallaire turned another turnover into a breakaway goal for a 5-2 lead over the Yachtsmen (15-5-1).
With less than five minutes left in the period, Bell scored his second goal of the game by sticking a wrap-around shot into the left side to make it 5-3, but Downing scored his second goal less than a minute later to put the Trojans back on top by three goals.
"When you're down by three (goals), and you're running out of time, you do have to take some chances and we did," Barton said. "The kids did what I wanted them to do and we got burned a couple of times."
Carignan and Maksut sandwiched their second goals for Thornton around a goal by Bell to wrap it up in the third period.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Alden Weller of Falmouth, left, attempts to knock the puck from Bryan Dallaire of Thornton Academy during the Western Class A final at Lewiston.
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The Thornton Academy players celebrate with goalie Joseph Ferrante after earning a berth in the Class A state championship game against St. Dominic with an 8-4 victory against Falmouth in the Western final.