Sunday, March 9, 2014
By Paul Betit email@example.com
Scarborough High's boys' hockey team already has beaten Falmouth twice this season, but the coaches say those games won't mean much when they meet Tuesday night in the Western Class A championship at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.
"When you get to the playoffs, it's a new season," Scarborough Coach Norm Gagne said. "We don't look to the past. We look at what we've got to do (Tuesday)."
All the regional finals, which will be played the next two nights in Lewiston and Orono, feature teams that have already played each other twice this season.
"Basically, it means we know them," Lewiston Coach Jamie Belleau said of his team's Eastern Class A final against Bangor.
The top-seeded Blue Devils swept No. 2 Bangor during the regular season, 5-2 and 2-0, and will have home-ice advantage Tuesday night at the Colisee.
"We know what they bring to the table," Belleau said. "Those games were close, and we know we're going to have to play our best game in order to win."
Scarborough, the No. 1 seed in the West, and No. 2 Falmouth also know each other well.
The Red Storm, making their first appearance in a Western Class A final, pulled out a 4-3 win over the Yachtsmen at MHG Arena in Saco on Dec. 17 and eked out a 2-1 win in Falmouth on Feb. 19.
Falmouth mistakes were major factors in both games.
"The first game we had two power-play goals, a short-handed goal and a five-on-five goal," Gagne said. "In the last game, we both had five-on-five goals, and we capitalized on a power play."
Falmouth Coach Deron Barton said his team has learned from its mistakes.
"We've made adjustments to our systems, which we've already been able to use in our games," he said. "We have to execute our systems well and stay out of the penalty box."
"We're two even teams, and it comes down to making the least mistakes," Gagne said. "Whoever makes the least mistakes and capitalizes on the other team's mistakes is going to win the game."
The Yachtsmen have never won a hockey championship despite being a perennial contender. They're making their second consecutive appearance in the regional final.
"Anytime you can have a couple classes (of players) play in a championship game, it's an advantage," Barton said. "We have good leadership on this team, and they will make that experience count."
The Eastern Class B finalists -- top-seeded Messalonskee and second-seeded John Bapst -- split two games during the regular season.
Messalonskee, the defending regional champion, skated to a 1-0 victory in the season opener on Dec. 8. John Bapst won 5-4 in overtime on Jan. 12.
No. 1 Greely will play secondseeded Camden Hills for the Western Class B title at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Colisee.
Greely beat the Windjammers twice during a five-day span late in the regular season. The reigning state champions posted a 9-1 win at Family Ice Center in Falmouth, then pulled out a 4-3 overtime win at the Mid-Coast Recreation Center in Rockport.
Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: