The Cheverus boys’ hockey team made a lot of mistakes in the first period Thursday night against Biddeford.

Three Cheverus penalties resulted in power plays for Biddeford in the opening period, not counting a fourth penalty after the buzzer during a confrontation as the teams made their way to the locker rooms at Troubh Ice Arena.

Fortunately for the Stags (2-1), goalie Jason Halvorsen was virtually perfect during those 15 minutes. Halvorsen turned away 23 shots in the first period to keep the Tigers (2-2) scoreless, and he finished with 29 saves, leading Cheverus to a 4-2 win.

“We didn’t help ourselves in the first period – we took some unnecessary penalties throughout the whole game,” Cheverus Coach Dan Lucas said. “We were lucky to get out of there with a win tonight. Our goalie made the difference.”

Cheverus was outshot 23-9 in the first period but had a 25-8 edge over the final two periods. David Woodford led the Stags’ offense with two goals. Nick McSorley scored twice and Owen Sullivan made 30 saves for Biddeford.

“We took some bad penalties in the first. It’s hard to play a game when you’re down 5-on-3 half the period,” Woodford said.

“We’re really fortunate to have him (Halvorsen) back there bailing us out.”

Cheverus took advantage of a Biddeford penalty to score the game’s first goal midway through the first period, as Luke Church converted Colby Anton’s pass from behind the net.

That 1-0 lead hardly seemed sustainable when penalties for roughing (Riley McCauley) and unsportsmanlike conduct (Colby Anton) resulted in a 5-on-3 advantage for Biddeford. During those two minutes, the Tigers produced nine shots on goal but couldn’t break through.

“We just kind of unloaded on them in the dressing room – you can’t win a hockey game with your mouth,” Lucas said. “Everybody just got the message.”

Halvorsen wasn’t nearly as busy after the first period.

“Take all the penalties out and there were a lot less shots,” Halvorsen said. “I think we got caught up in all the hype, really. After the first intermission, we settled down.”

The Stags cushioned their lead to 3-0 in the second period with goals from Woodford, assisted by Alex Brewer and Ryan Joyce, and Justin Ray, assisted by Jackson Wilson.

Biddeford finally capitalized on a power play late in the period when McSorley got his first goal, assisted by Colin Lavigne.

McSorley made it 3-2 less at 4:30 of the third period when he put away a Curtis Petit rebound. But Woodford answered almost immediately, converting the rebound of a Brewer shot 24 seconds later.

Penalties hindered Biddeford’s chances of a comeback in the final eight minutes. Then the Stags reverted to their first-period problems, first picking up a double minor, then a 5-minute major on McSorley for high-sticking. By the end of the game, the teams were playing 3-on-3.

Biddeford finished 1 for 8 on the power play, while Cheverus was 1 for 6.

“It was a frustrating game,” Lucas said. “They got caught up a little bit in it, too. We’re just fortunate we had a goalie that really showed up today.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

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