BIDDEFORD – Biddeford High is 4-1 in the early stages of this boys’ hockey season. If you give the Tigers a chance to catch their breath, they’ll tell you why.

“We capitalize on our chances,” forward Nick McSorley said. “It gets tiring but we stick with it.”

Biddeford is an undermanned team with an abundance of talent. The Tigers put that on display Monday with a 5-4 win over Thornton Academy at the Biddeford Ice Arena.

Biddeford took a 4-0 first-period lead and held on. The Trojans scored twice in the last 4½ minutes of the game.

“They got tired and we were able to come back at them,” Thornton Coach Michael Roux said, “but we had to match their intensity in the first period.”

The Tigers use only two lines, led by a talented top trio that scored all five goals, including a hat trick by McSorley. He assisted on two other goals. Trevor Ouellette and Nick Reissfelder both added a goal and an assist. Forward-turned-defenseman Colin Petit added two assists.

Colin Petit, left, and Seth Perry of Biddeford attempt to stop a charge by Luke Chessie of Thornton Academy toward the net.

Sawyer Wirsing scored twice for Thornton. Luke Chessie added a goal and three assists.

Biddeford, the defending Class A South champion, has a four-game winning streak after a season-opening 4-3 loss to Edward Little. Thornton, one of the favorites in the South, dropped to 1-4.

All the Trojans’ losses have been by one goal. Two weeks ago in Lewiston, they also trailed 4-0 in the first period before losing, 4-3.

“We haven’t played 45 minutes yet,” Roux said. “We can’t go 30 minutes like we did in Lewiston, and like we did today.”

Thornton outshot the Tigers 31-25, but Biddeford pounced early.

Two minutes into the game, Petit stole a pass inside the Thornton zone and skated in. He shot and Ouellette scored on the rebound.

Petit was moved from his forward spot to solidify the defense.

“It’s a lot different back there,” Petit said. “But Coach wanted me to play there so what am I going to do, tell him no?

“Besides, I like it. And playing (defense) saves your legs. A lot of us are playing a lot (of minutes).”

Petit assisted on the next goal, sending a puck in off Reissfelder with McSorley burying it at 5:11.

Later, Reissfelder trailed a breakaway and ended up with the score for a 3-0 lead at 12:52. Then defenseman Trent Ouellette made a perfect breakout pass to McSorley, who scored at 13:47.

Thornton began the second period with two quick goals (Gavin Tanis and Justin Logan).

Biddeford responded with two-on-one rush. McSorley skated the puck up with Trevor Ouellette to his left. McSorley sniped it in for a 5-2 lead at 3:57.

Biddeford held on, helped by Justin Larnerd’s 27 saves.

Wirsing tipped in a goal at 10:38 of the third period. Thornton got a power play, pulled its goalie and Wirsing scored again, at 13:56.

Biddeford pressured and the Trojans couldn’t pull their goalie again until 10 seconds remained.

“We were absolutely tired,” Biddeford Coach Jason Tremblay said. “We had an overtime game (3-2 win over Cape Elizabeth) on Saturday … We just clamped down at the end.”

Both teams will play against Thursday, Biddeford at Greely and Thornton at home against Cheverus.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH

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