MT. ARARAT FORWARD Kayla Pinkham, left, top photo, skates past Portland/Deering’s Katie Rutherford during a girls high school hockey contest at Sidney J. Watson Arena on Tuesday. In the bottom photo, Mt. Ararat’s Hannah Zimmerman (25) skates up the ice while being defended by Portland/Deering’s Gabi Carbona. The host Eagles fell 8-5 in their first home game since becoming a varsity team this season.

MT. ARARAT FORWARD Kayla Pinkham, left, top photo, skates past Portland/Deering’s Katie Rutherford during a girls high school hockey contest at Sidney J. Watson Arena on Tuesday. In the bottom photo, Mt. Ararat’s Hannah Zimmerman (25) skates up the ice while being defended by Portland/Deering’s Gabi Carbona. The host Eagles fell 8-5 in their first home game since becoming a varsity team this season.

There were plenty of cheers, hugs and celebration on Tuesday at Sidney J. Watson Arena as the Mt. Ararat High School girls hockey team played its first home varsity contest ever.

BOB CONN / THE TIMES RECORD

BOB CONN / THE TIMES RECORD

Playing without captain Taylor Pare (injured knee) and goaltender Dana Maloney (sickness), the Eagles faced an uphill battle against the co/op team of Portland/Deering, eventually falling 8-5 to drop to 0-2 on the season.

But there was nary a sad face among the Eagles on this night.

“It was a great experience, something we all waited a long time for, with a lot of hard work,” said senior captain Anne McIntire, whose squad visits defending state champion Greely tonight at 8 p.m. “We battled throughout the whole game, and we didn’t give up, no matter what the score was. No one’s heads were hanging low.”

“It was definitely an adrenaline rush tonight, and we had butterflies knowing we were representing the school, and scoring a goal for Mt. Ararat High School was pretty cool,” said forward Devon Hutchins, who tallied a pair of goals, including the first home score in Eagles’ history. “I was so nervous and shaking, thinking ‘is this really happening?’ It was great to have this opportunity.”

For coach Ron Hutchins, who coached the Eagles through three years of club hockey (26- 20-3 record), the experience was well worth the wait.

“I can’t express how much fun this has been,” said the coach. “These girls are hard-working. I am extremely proud of these girls. They work hard and have a lot of enthusiasm.”

Tough start

Behind the play of Drew Barry, Portland/Deering (1-2-1) didn’t pull any punches after the pregame ceremony, jumping out to a 1-0 lead just 14 seconds into the game. Barry beat Mt. Ararat goaltender Alison Nolan, who had one hour of goaltending experience coming into Tuesday’s contest, but forced into action due to the absence of Maloney.

The visitors were whistled for a pair of penalties, and Mt. Ararat took advantage. Devon Hutchins tipped a shot from McIntire past Portland/Deering netminder Leanne Reichert at 4:22 of the period to tie the game.

“I was able to throw some shots on net, just like we practice,” said Devon Hutchins, who was robbed on several occasions by Reichert, who had 18 saves. “It’s hard to beat a tough goalie, and she played well.”

Gabi Carbona didn’t waste much time giving the visitors the lead for good, scoring shorthanded 11 seconds after the Eagles had tied the game for a 2- 1 lead after a period.

Barry’s second and third goals gave Portland/Deering a 4-1 lead, but the Eagles were far from done. Hutchins scored her second goal off an assist from Caroline Daniel, and just 2:09 later, Hannah Zimmerman made it a one-goal game when her wrister found its way through a pile in front of Reichert and past the screened netminder.

However, Barry scored on the power play on an assist from Carbona, and Ella Coose (shorthanded) and Georgia Drew (power play) made it a 7-3 lead after 30 minutes. Portland/ Deering was 3-for-6 on the power play.

Barry’s fifth goal at 5:29 of the third period gave Portland/ Deering an 8-3 lead.

Mt. Ararat refused to go away. McIntire skated through the defense and fired a shot into the top corner of the cage midway through the frame, and Nellie Hetherington stole a Portland/Deering clearing attempt, skated past a defender a wristed a hard shot through Reichert’s 5-hole to make for an 8-5 contest with 3:27 remaining.

The Eagles continued to scrap, with Reichert robbing Kayla Pinkham and Caroline Daniel from point-blank range to keep her team up by three goals as the seconds ticked away.

“At the end of the day, they fought hard. We were in it all the way. I always tell the girls you never know where the next goal is coming from. You just never know,” said Ron Hutchins.

Mt. Ararat was 1-for-3 with the man advantage and held a 23-17 shots advantage. Nolan, who normally plays forward, had nine saves, while Eagle defenders McIntire, Hetherington and Clare Briggs played well.

Portland/Deering 8, Mt. Ararat 5

At Sidney J. Watson Arena
P/D— 251—8
Mt.Ararat—122—5
First period — 1. (P/D) Drew Barry, :14;
2. (MA) Devon Hutchins (Anne McIntire),
pp, 4:22; 3. (P/D) Gabi Carbona, sh, 4:33.
Penalties — (P/D) Mia Thurston (tripping), 2:30; (P/D) Drew Barry (hooking),
3:05; (MA) Caroline Daniel (tripping),
9:32; (P/D) Georgie Elwell (interference),
10:25; (MA) Renee Rossignol (hooking),
10:54; (MA) Nellie Hetherington (body
checking), 12:02.
Second period — 4. (P/D) Drew Barry
(Georgia Drew), :42; 5. (P/D) Drew Barry,
pp, 4:35; 6. (MA) Devon Hutchins (Caroline Daniel), 6:13; 7. (MA) Hannah Zimmerman, 8:22; 8. (P/D) Drew Barry (Gabi
Carbona), pp, 9:47; 9. (P/D) Ella Coose
(Mia Thurston), sh, 11:36; 10. (P/D) Georgia Drew (Drew Barry), pp, 14:22. Penalties — (MA) Clare Briggs (body checking), 4:09; (MA) Nellie Hetherington (body
checking), 9:41; (P/D) Gabi Carbona
(body checking), 10:41; (P/D) Katie
Rutherford (roughing), 10:59; (MA) Kayla
Pinkham (roughing), 10:59; (MA) Clare
Briggs (cross checking), 13:51.
Third period — 11. (P/D) Drew Barry,
5:29; 12. (MA) Anne McIntire, 6:56; 13.
(MA) Nellie Hetherington, 11:33. Penalties — None.
Shots on goal — (P/D) 3-9-5 — 17; (MA)
7-11-5 — 23.
Saves — (P/D) Leanne Reichert 18; (MA)
Alison Nolan 9.
Power play — P/D 3-for-6; MA 1-for-3.
Records — Portland/Deering 1-2-1; Mt.
Ararat 0-2.
Next for the Eagles — Tonight at Falmouth Family Ice Center against Greely, 8
p.m.


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