Biddeford freshman Ricky Ruck nabbed two goals in nine ticks of the clock Saturday afternoon, obliterating a 20-minute stalemate with Scarborough and handing his team the game’s momentum on a hard, black, rubber platter. The Red Storm eventually got on the board, but the Tigers ultimately pulled away for the win, 4-1.

Ruck seemed to know exactly where to put himself, but he viewed his contributions more humbly. “I was just in the right place at the right time,” he said.

The road win, played at MHG Ice Arena in Saco, bumps Biddeford to 8-6-2 on the season; they rank third in A West, just behind Scarborough and Falmouth. Scarborough falls to 11-4-1, but retain their No. 1 ranking.

The Tigers met the Red Storm earlier this year – and weathered them. They did not come out on top, though, instead settling for a tie. In the intervening six weeks, then, Biddeford has clearly developed

“They generated plenty of offense,” Biddeford head coach Rich Reissfelder said of Scarborough. “Even with the puck not bouncing their way, they had plenty of opportunities. Brandon Daigle, our goalie, was phenomenal.”

Scarborough looked slightly off their (normally, quite intimidating) game all afternoon, missing too many passes and getting beat unusually often on defense. Biddeford, on the other hand, appeared laser-sighted and determined. Nevertheless, neither team managed to tally a point in the first, and the game slid into the second still up for grabs.

“It seemed like [Scarborough was] trying a lot of longer passes,” Reissfelder said, “and sometimes that’s more difficult to be accurate with. We were shorter, crisper – easier to put it where the guy needs it.”

Just over four minutes in, Ruck snuck behind the Red Storm defense while a shot barreled in on netminder Alex Cherry from some other angle; Ruck picked up the puck when it squirted loose near the top of the left faceoff spot, dueled with Cherry for a split second, and won. 1-0.

“I just got off the bench from a change,” Ruck said. “There was some pressure and I just happened to be right there.”

Mere moments after the ensuing faceoff, fellow Tiger Brady Crepeau collected the biscuit, attacked a nearly identical route into Scarborough territory and rang a shot off Cherry’s post. Ruck, parallel with Crepeau but on Cherry’s opposite and extremely unguarded side, caught the rebound and slammed it home. 2-0.

“We came right back, right off the faceoff,” Ruck said. “[Crepeau] got a shot, hit off the crossbar, and I was right there for the backdoor goal.”

Corey Brown gave the Tigers a little insurance six minutes later, following that same productive path up left before cutting in and successfully pulling the trigger. 3-0.

That insurance would prove useful when Scarborough junior Matt Henderson lifted the puck out of a scramble and over the sprawled Biddeford goalkeeper, Brandon Daigle, for 3-1.

But whatever thunder the Red Storm stole just then proved insufficient in the long run. The Tigers added one more in the third, when Ruck shoveled the puck over to Nik Lemieux in front of the Scarborough net and Lemieux ping-ponged it back for Brady Creapeu to redirect in.

4-1 at the final buzzer.

The win is particularly substantial for Biddeford, as it caps a stretch of growth that has seen them overcome teams late in the season which beat them in the early going. They fell to Lewiston, a top contender in A East, back in early December, and then to neighbors and constant rivals Thornton Academy a couple weeks later.

Then, midway through the season, the Tigers managed that tie with Scarborough; since then, they’ve face all three opponents again – and each time emerged triumphant. They’re gaining confidence and velocity just as playoffs approach.

“Great progress,” Reissfelder said of his squad. “We beat Lewiston in Lewiston, we beat Scarborough here…It tells us we can play with anybody. We’re finally getting to a point where we can beat those good teams. Last couple years we were able to hang in with them, hang in with them, but not quite get there.”

“To be able to beat each one of them is a huge bump to confidence, and just helps them buy into what they’re doing as a team.”

“We’ve been playing really well,” Ruck said. “It’s great to be one of the top teams. We want to be up there in the top two, so we really wanted this game.”

Biddeford closes out their regular season when they travel to Portland/Deering on Wednesday the 19th for a 4 p.m. icetime. Scarborough finishes up at Falmouth on Thursday the 20th. That puck drops at 7:10 p.m.

Red Storm junior Matt Henderson charges forward against Biddeford Saturday afternoon; Henderson notched Scarborough’s lone goal in their loss to the Tigers.Scarborough’s Erik Grantz slices between two Biddeford defenders to generate an opportunity on Tigers goalie Brandon Daigle; Daigle met the challenge, and a number of others like it, in his team’s 4-1 upset of the No. 1 Red Storm.Tiger Ricky Ruck, just a freshman, scored two goals – all the offense his team would need – in just 9 seconds Saturday afternoon, propelling his team past top seed Scarborough.Scarborough’s Cam Loiselle rushes in on the Tigers’ Corey Brown.Red Storm Jake Gross stretches to skirt Tiger Cody Sevigny.


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