BIDDEFORD — There aren’t many boys’ hockey rivalries in Maine fiercer than the one between Biddeford and Thornton Academy, which have combined for five Class A state championships in the last 10 years.

For eight sophomores and six freshmen playing their inaugural varsity season for Thornton Academy, there was a rude welcome to the rivalry Saturday, as Biddeford earned a 3-0 win at Biddeford Ice Arena.

The 14 underclassmen learned that taking advantage of opportunities is paramount. And keeping your head on swivel is important, too, as two Trojans ended up in the hospital after thunderous hits.

“This is nothing new. Emotions run high (in a Biddeford-Thornton Academy) game,” said Thornton Coach Jamie Gagnon. “We have a young team that was just introduced to the rivalry.

“Our main concern is for the two guys at the hospital, and we are hoping for the best for both of them.”

Chandler Bilodeau was knocked out of the game on a hit near center ice. The contact resulted in a 5-minute major and game misconduct with 2:43 left in the second period.

Biddeford’s Brady Crepeau had scored only 30 seconds earlier, assisted by Logan Magnant and Ricky Ruck, to increase the lead to 2-0, so the power play was a chance for the Trojans (2-3) to cut into their deficit.

But Biddeford goalie Owen Sullivan (16 saves) made three saves while his team was short-handed, including a tough one on Nick Beaudoin from in close.

“It (didn’t) help that one of the cornerstones of our power play is taken out on that play,” Tremblay said of the injury to Bilodeau. “We had to shift some things around, and that makes it a little tough to get a unit together that has had a chance to work together.”

A little more than three minutes later, Sullivan stretched out with his stick along the goal line to thwart Chase Wescott’s shot to the far corner on a give-and-go with Luke Chessie, preserving the shutout for Biddeford (3-1).

“(Owen) works so hard and it is great to see him have a huge game like that,” said Biddeford defenseman Joey Curit.

“(Killing the major penalty) was absolutely huge. It’s a huge difference between 2-0 and 2-1, so we knew we had to keep on battling, and if we … weathered the storm we’d be fine.”

In addition to Bilodeau’s unspecified injury, the Trojans lost another forward, Josh Lessard, who was injured late in the first period.

Colin Lavigne put Biddeford on the board with 2:11 remaining in the first period when he buried a shot from in close after Magnant’s pass from behind the net.

Ruck, who was flying around the ice all afternoon, iced the victory with an empty-net tally with three seconds remaining. Max Mourmouras collected an assist.

“This is a big win for us,” said Biddeford Coach Jason Tremblay. “We’ve beaten Scarborough, Cheverus and now Thornton Academy. And we were right there with Falmouth, so we feel we are starting to pick it up and (we’re) improving every day.

“It’s early in the season, so it is about getting better. And I thought we did that today.”

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