GORHAM—Cadence Howard – a freshman, but clearly one to watch – picked up two goals for Gorham/Bonny Eagle/Westbrook/Massabesic vs. visiting Winslow/Gardiner/Cony on Saturday night, Dec. 7. Howard’s first even gave her girls an early, 1-0 upper-hand.

But the Raiders seized the momentum through the mid-game, piling up half a dozen points of their own; ultimately, the evening went the their way 6-3.

“Too many turnovers trying to rush the puck up-ice,” Rams head coach Nat Germond said. “They did a good job picking our pockets, particularly in the second period.”

The Rams played well at the outset. To be sure, Winslow/Gardiner/Cony held the shots-on-goal advantage – they did all game – but Rams goalie Sadie Dyer turned in a series of impressive saves to keep the Raiders off the board. Dyer logged a defiant blocker save roughly five minutes in, then a nimble pad save just seconds later.

“We need to be a little bit stronger in front of our net,” Germond said. “They played a more physical game and kind of dominated the crease area.”

Not long after that, Howard lit the lamp. Howard picked up a Phoebe Richards feed near center ice and broke away from the pack for a one-on-one with Raiders netminder Emma Michaud. Howard deked right-to-left and punched home a beautiful strike: 1-0.

“Everything was going right at the beginning of the game,” Germond said. “We had good energy; we thought it was a game we’d have a good chance at winning, and the girls went out and played like they had a good chance at winning.”

The scoreboard still read 1-0 at the start of the second. That, though, is when Winslow/Gardiner/Cony heated up. Gabby Hebert scored the team’s first – a powerplay goal assisted by Julia Kinkley – just over a minute in. Howard happened to be in the box for the Rams at the time.

Raider Lindsey Bell hashed a hat trick through the remainder of the period: Bell made it 2-1 with 8:23 to go, 3-1 on an assist by Kathryn Bailey roughly four and a half minutes later, and 4-1 with help from Kylie Boardman a couple minutes after that.

“They stepped up their game,” Germond said of the opposition. “It was a big momentum shift: We had a little bit of momentum to start the game; they kind of took that away with some goals. In the second period, they were trying to run away with it a little bit, then I thought the third period was kind of 50/50.”

Winslow/Gardiner/Cony controlled the first half of the third as well, heaping on two more. Boardman scored both, the first on an assist by Hebert.

“I thought we played a good game,” Germond said; “too many penalties, for sure. They have a good team, especially if you give them too many powerplay opportunities. And they’ve got some very good players over there – some good defensemen, good heavy, hard shots.”

Perhaps doomed by now to lose, the Rams nevertheless redoubled their efforts as the final buzzer approached. Gorham/BE/Westbrook/Massabesic grabbed two more in the last five minutes. Faith Dillon scored the first – Dillon really dug for that puck, finally knocking it past Michaud on the second or third rebound of an in-close flurry. Brooke Guimond and Sarah Juskiewicz assisted.

With 4:10 to go, Howard broke into another up-ice dash; she smartly opted for a centering try instead of a sub-optimal shot, but her centering try just missed finding a friendly stick.

Howard found the back of the net again at 3:28. Hanging near the Raiders’ blue line as play unfolded on the far side of the neutral zone, she picked up the puck when Kacie Walton shoveled it her way; she turned, found herself alone with Michaud, and fired top-shelf on the backhand for 6-3.

With 2:29 to remaining, Dyer showed off her skills once again, this time turning in a hungry glove save vs. Kinkley after Kinkley ducked past Richards, defending.

“We have two girls that played hockey prior to high school,” Germond noted, asked about the ebb and flow of the contest. “So we’re usually up against teams that have girls that’ve been playing all the way along, and you’re going to have those peaks and valleys. The girls are sometimes still second-guessing themselves with what we’re trying to do, which is apply a lot of pressure.”

6-3 is how thing would conclude, and the Rams drop to 0-5 on the season so far. The team hosts No. 1 Scarborough (5-0) on Wednesday the 11th.

Lauren Green tussles with a Raider behind the net. Adam Birt / American Journal

Anna Provost competes for the Rams. Adam Birt / American Journal

Bonny Eagle freshman Cadence Howard scored twice for the Rams. Adam Birt / American Journal

Phoebe Richards battles for the Rams. Adam Birt / American Journal

Kacie Walton clashes with the opposition. Adam Birt / American Journal

Carson Battaglia tracks the action. Adam Birt / American Journal

Anna Nault scoots behind the net. Adam Birt / American Journal

Sarah Juskiewicz disentangles herself from a splayed-out Raider. Adam Birt / American Journal

Brooke Guimond battles for control. Adam Birt / American Journal

Faith Dillon dashes up-ice. Adam Birt / American Journal

Rams goalie Sadie Dyer pounces on a puck. Adam Birt / American Journal

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