BIDDEFORD — Sometimes the difference between winning and losing a hockey game is how the special teams battle plays out. That sentiment held true on Tuesday in a Western Maine girls hockey game between Biddeford and Yarmouth/Freeport/Gray-New Gloucester, though neither team won or lost. But a Biddeford team that has struggled as of late won that battle, and the Tigers skated to a 1-1 draw with the Clippers at Biddeford Ice Arena.

The Tigers (4-6-1) got off to a good start against the Clippers (5-5-1) as they controlled the puck for the first few minutes. But the Clippers sustained an attack for more than five minutes where Biddeford head coach Ashley Potvin said “we let Yarmouth take it to us a little bit.”

The Clippers had a prime chance to cash in that momentum midway through the second as Biddeford was called for a pair of tripping penalties during the same sequence. But the Tigers held the Clippers scoreless throughout the two minute, two-man advantage, which Potvin said gave her team a major boost.

“I think it was a huge moment in the game for us,” said Potvin. “It really could have gone one way or the other.”

“It’s definitely scary being on a 5-on-3. You have to have your head on a swivel, but it definitely gets you in the zone,” said senior defenseman Mallory Mourmouras. “It makes you realize how important it is to work as a team and communicate.”

Biddeford couldn’t convert their strong defensive effort into offense, however, as the Tigers struggled to get hard shots at the net.

The Clippers didn’t have trouble with getting shots at the net, but getting them past Tigers sophomore goalie Bekah Guay was a different story. The first-year netminder did yeoman’s work in goal for the Tigers, prompting Mourmouras to call her “amazing,” while Potvin lauded her for “a phenomenal job.”

But the Clippers were able to figure Guay out one time late in the second period, as Katie Clemmer deflected one up and over the goalie just before it got to the crease, giving the Clippers a 1-0 lead.

Special teams came up big for Biddeford once again early in the third period as the Tigers went on the power play for the first time 28 seconds into the frame. They took advantage of the man-up situation with 12 seconds left in the 5-on-4 as Mourmouras took a shot from the right point that was redirected in by senior captain Brea Rivard in front of the net.

“It was awesome. We consistently talk to the defensemen about keeping the puck low on the ice and about having a forward in front,” said Potvin. “It was the right time; it was early on in the third to give us a little bit of a boost.”

That score stood for the remainder of regulation, although the Tigers were dealt one last bit of adversity when Abbie Paquette was called for hooking with 52 seconds left to play. Biddeford killed off the penalty long enough to send the game to overtime, then finished off the final 1:08 of the kill to start the extra period.

“Our penalty kill unit is always strong,” said Potvin. “Today, they were especially strong when we needed them to be. They really got the job done.”

The Tigers got their own power play midway through overtime, but despite a couple close calls weren’t able to put in the game-winner.

“As much as it kind of feels weird to say, I really feel like it was a very team-oriented tie; we were using each other, looking for one another a lot in the game, and I think maybe another minute or so in the overtime we might have put one in,” said Potvin.

— Sports Staff Writer Wil Kramlich can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 323 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @WilTalkSports.

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