Thornton Academy’s Luke Chessie seeks the puck in the first period. ALEX SPONSELLER/ Journal Tribune

Thornton Academy’s Luke Chessie seeks the puck in the first period. ALEX SPONSELLER/ Journal Tribune

BIDDEFORD — On a New Year’s Eve clash the Biddeford High School boys ice hockey team downed Thornton Academy by a score of 3-0 in York County’s most heralded rivalry.

Forwards Brady Crepeau, Colin Lavigne and Ricky Ruck scored for the Tigers (3-1-0) and junior Logan Magnant added assists on each goal in the victory. For Biddeford it was their third consecutive victory, and first game where the final margin was greater than a single goal.

Biddeford head coach Jason Tremblay said, “it’s a big win for us, we are improving every day and that’s what we are looking for. It’s not about wins and losses right now it’s early in the season, it’s about getting better and improving and I thought we did that today.” 

Thornton Academy (2-3-0) had it’s two-game winning streak in which they had outscored opponents 11-0 snapped in the physical match.

Golden Trojan head coach Jamie Gagnon said, “I thought we did a lot of things we wanted to do. Got some clear shots, some open nets that we missed, a couple that hit post, a couple that just scrambled wide.” 

The Trojans had the game’s first two prime scoring opportunities as team leading scorers junior Chandler Bilodeau and sophomore Luke Chessie found the blockers of Biddeford goalie Owen Sullivan.

“This league is about taking advantage of your opportunities when you get them. If you don’t capitalize it very quickly turns the other way. They’re going to capitalize on theirs, so, we definitely had a chance to get a lead or extend the lead but we couldn’t put anything on the board,” Gagnon said.

At the four-minute mark of the first period, the Tigers had their first true scoring opportunity as senior forward Brady Crepeau sliced between two defenders, with just Thornton Academy sophomore goalie Seth Dube to beat. Crepeau mishandled the puck resulting in no shot being taken and a missed opportunity.

The Tigers struck first as junior forward Colin Lavigne netted a goal off of his own rebound at 13:49 of the first period. Fellow junior Logan Magnant assisted on Lavigne’s third goal of the campaign, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

Physical play continued into the second period as both sides killed off parts of three penalties in. Biddeford killed 6:23 of penalty in the period, as junior defenseman/forward Chase Locke received a five-minute major for roughing and was ejected from the contest at 2:43 of the second period.

 “We worked on some special teams yesterday and last week too. One of the things was defending and our power play, I thought we executed it perfectly,” Tremblay said.

After a missed one-timer chance by Lavigne, Crepeau was able to slip the puck past Dube at 3:13 of the period to extend the Biddeford lead to 2-0, with assists from Magnant and senior Ricky Ruck. Crepeau was sure to capitalize after the mishap earlier in the contest.

The goalies dueled in the third period as Sullivan made a phenomenal stick save early in the frame, sliding to his right while reaching out with the stick in his left hand to deny a Thornton Academy goal. Sullivan (2-1-0), a junior for the Tigers saved all 12 Trojan shots he faced, including eight in the first period.

Sullivan said, “I thought we played well as a team. We had good D, blocked a lot of shots and it was nice to get a few key saves and that first shutout under my belt.” 

Of the stick save, Sullivan said, “that was just desperation. It was a nice play [Thornton] so I just dove across and made the good save on it.”

“He’s done a great job all year so far. He’s played well … That stick save was excellent, it kept us at two to nothing and pretty much solidified it at that point,” Tremblay said.

Dube saved all 11 of the third period shots he faced, and 23 of 25 overall.

After Thornton Academy pulled Dube, Biddeford’s Ricky Ruck netted an empty net goal with 3.1 seconds remaining in the contest to finalize the 3-0 victory.

“I thought we did a pretty good job overall, now it’s just no rest for the weary,” Gagnon said.

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