Coach David Petterson had no problem mentally preparing the Bonny Eagle boys hockey team for a playoff game against a team that had outscored the Scots 15-5 during the regular season.

The Western Class A playoff contest in question, against No. 6 Gorham (19-1), was the first in school history. The No. 11 Scots (11-9), coming off the winningest season in school history, were plenty motivated.

Looking at the team’s rosters side-by-side in the game program, though, it was easy for one to see why the rah-rah mentality only got the Scots so far. Bonny Eagle was out-manned by a count of 23-15.

The depth advantage paid off for the Rams, who won 11-2.

“The teams that we’ve gone against that have run two or three lines, we’re going to compete against,” said Petterson. “When we’ve got one like this, just body for body we don’t have the lungs to keep up with it and the legs to keep up with it.”

It didn’t help that the Rams were playing like they had something to prove.

“We had one loss to (Kennebunk), and because of that loss everyone says we’re nothing, we’ve just played bad teams and we’ve got nothing to show,” said Gorham senior captain Mark Schmidt. “It’s tough to hear that from people because we know we’ve got an all-right team and we know we can put something out there.”

The Rams put something out there Saturday night as players from the third-seeded Kennebunk team sat in the stands watching and waiting to see who they’d play in the quarterfinal round Tuesday.

Gorham coach Eric Wales was unable to schedule a scrimmage for the week the Rams had off between games, so, even though they practiced, the intensity level wasn’t where it could’ve been when the puck finally dropped.

But it didn’t take too long for the Gorham offense to find its way.

David Gushee scored the first of four first-period goals 3:45 in when he beat Bonny Eagle goalie Cody Bradway on a breakaway. Five minutes later, Alexander Dahms corralled a Peter Mathieu rebound in front of the crease and poked it by Bradway.

Schmidt made it 3-0 when he skated the puck over the blue line and blasted a slapshot into the upper right corner. Colby Keene got it to 4-0 with another rebound putback at the 12:45 mark.

“In the first minute we were a little bit flat, but at the end of the period we came out strong,” said Dahms, a junior.

The second period was even better.

Junior forward Nate Jewell got the Scots on the board 2:36 in by staying with the puck during a delayed penalty call on a partial breakaway and then forcing it past goalie Brendan Foley. Unfortunately for Bonny Eagle, the Rams responded with a five-spot.

Schmidt set up Dahms twice for goals that made the score 5-1 and then 6-1, before tipping home a Chris Roop slapper that made it 7-1. Just Grandmaison put home a Gushee rebound at 11:43, and Gushee converted another breakaway with 25 seconds to go in the period.

The Gorham offense took advantage of a Bonny Eagle penalty early in the third as Schmidt used a re-direction in front of the net to run the score to 10-1. Zach Litif scored a similar goal on a shot from the point to make it 10-2, before Schmidt completed his hat trick in the game’s final minute.

“I didn’t care about the 11 wins (during the regular season) as much as I cared about getting into the playoffs, just for the experience,” said Petterson, who doesn’t lose one player to graduation. “I wanted to get them past the regular season, and I think that’s important for these guys. I hope they realize the importance of it.”

Wales, meanwhile, was already thinking of Tuesday’s rematch with Kennebunk in the moments following the win.

“In the defensive zone we need to make better decisions. Actually we need to speed up the decisions is what we need to do,” he said. ” We were very sluggish there. We need to speed that up, get the puck out and get into our strengths down in the offensive zone.”

If Gorham gets past Kennebunk, they’ll play a semifinal game Friday at 6:00 p.m. at the Colisee in Lewiston against the winner of the Scarborough/Thornton Academy match-up


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