GORHAM—Chris Tucker put the Rams on top early when the Red Storm came to town on Thursday evening, May 17, while teammate Jake Dupuis posted the game’s biggest take, a hat trick and then some. Gorham never looked back once Tucker broke the ice, and Dupuis finished with four total, not to mention an assist. 14-8 the final.

“I felt like we were both in the same spot,” Rams head coach Clayton Jones said, asked about his expectations for the game. Gorham-Scarborough has turned into a rivalry bout in recent seasons, but both programs lost some significant talent to graduation last year and both debuted new head coaches this year. “It’s a big rivalry and both teams want the game. I was expecting a barn-burner. I figured they’d look at their schedule and say the same thing about us: ‘Record’s not good, down year, new coach.’ So I figured they’d come out and really sock it to us.”

Gorham dominated the vast majority of the first half, denying Scarborough a spot on the scoreboard until the break had nearly arrived. Tucker tallied first, followed by Ben Nault and then Connor Dougherty. Colby Gould made it 4-0 on a Dougherty assist with 2:30 to play in the opening quarter, and 4-0 is where things stood at the start of the second.

Early in the second, Tucker scored again, sweeping a feed from Dom Lorello underhand past Storm keeper Ben Hughes. Two and a half minutes after that, Dougherty fed from behind Hughes to Nault at the top of the Scarborough Zone; Nault redirected, firing high and beating Hughes for 6-0.

With 5:41 to go before the break, the Storm snapped the Rams’ attack, and launched into transition; Gorham thwarted them at midfield, though, Tucker coming away with the ball. Tucker quickly shoveled forward to Lorello, who earned himself a successful one-on-one with Hughes. 7-0.

With 4:27 to go, Dupuis spoke up for the first time, racing most of the length of the field and getting around every defender to score unassisted. 49 seconds later, he notched another, this one on a Dougherty assist. 9-0.

“We finally stuck to our gameplan and just played hard,” Jones said, asked what went right for his boys in the first half. “Some of it is just learning how to compete…We’ve been getting better. We’ve been getting better at all facets of the game. It’s just been hard to put them all together at the same time. We got some of that today.”

Jones remarked on Dupuis’s performance. “He’s a real competitor,” he said. “He’s got a lot of skills. We’re in the second half of the season now, so the chips are down on the table and you’ve got to bring what you’ve got, and that’s what he did today.”

Scarborough finally got on the board at 2:07 – Callaghan Berry did the honors – then tallied another at 1:01, thanks to Ethan Kavanagh. But Gorham got the last word of the half: Dupuis picked up his third with just 12.2 seconds left on the clock.

Scarborough actually outpaced their hosts in the latter half, 6-4, but the Rams had simply built themselves too great a lead for the Storm to overcome. 

Gorham hashed the first of the stretch, a Lorello strike on a Sam Burghardt assist. Dupuis made it 12-2 with 7:26 to go in the third, but the Storm – specifically, Kavanagh – answered not long after. Dougherty extended the back-and-forth before Scarborough assembled a mighty run: Justyn Sears, Alden Leadley and Andrew Granzier scored in rapid succession to make it 13-6. 

“I don’t think anybody changed too much,” Jones said, asked about Scarborough’s resurgence in the downhill half. “We just lost some intensity. We’re still learning how to play four quarters in a row.”

The Storm continued their push to start the fourth: Kavanagh completed his hat trick. The Rams, however, then added their last of the day – Lorello’s hat trick. 

Scarborough had run out of time. They would add one more before their death knell sounded, one by Nate Taggart, but one more was all.

“Oh, jeez, a lot of guys,” Jones said, asked who, besides Dupuis, played well. “Holden Edwards and Sam Burghardt played really well on the defensive end; Will Dipietrantonio played well in the midfield – he’s a great groundball guy for us; and offensively, Connor and Dom both played well on attack…Chris Tucker kept moving the ball, and kept in the game and kept some other guys in the game. That’s important for us.”

The victory bumped Gorham to 3-5 on the season; the Rams picked up another W two days later, topping Edward Little 16-4. The team, currently ranked fifth in A South, travels to South Portland (third at 5-3) on Friday the 25th. 

For their part, Scarborough is struggling this season. The Storm have managed just one win so far, 13-5 over Cheverus. But that was their first bout of the spring; since then, they’ve been on a slide. They succumbed, falling 11-6 vs. Yarmouth, on Friday the 18th, but will get another chance to turn their luck around when they visit Kennebunk this coming Wednesday, the 23rd.

Adam Birt can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.

Jake Dupuis added four for Gorham in their victory over Scarborough.

Gorhamite Colby Gould races toward the ball during the Rams’ matchup with Scarborough.

Ben Nault scoots away from a Scarborough opponent while looking for movement options.

Adam McKenney carries upfield for the Rams.

Connor Dougherty works behind the net.

Chris Tucker powers toward the Scarborough net.

Hunter Poitras tracks the action.

Dominic Lorello tallied a hat trick for the Rams in their victory over the Storm.