Normally, senior captain Clare MacDonald plays defense for the Cheverus/Old Orchard Beach/Windham/Kennebunk girls’ ice hockey team. With three players because of COVID-19 protocols for Friday’s game against Scarborough, MacDonald moved up to left wing.

The move suited MacDonald, who broke a scoreless tie early in the third period, helping the Stags take a 2-1 win in a game featuring the top two teams the South division.

“With the other players out, (MacDonald) played forward, and got rewarded for it,” said Stags Coach Scott Rousseau. “Even though we didn’t have our A-game, we were structurally sound. We stayed with it.”

Cheverus, now 9-2-1, sits in first place in the region, just ahead of Scarborough (5-2-1), which played its first game since Dec. 27 due to a break for exams and a COVID-19 shutdown.

“We had three days to kind of get our legs back under us. We did home workouts when we were shut down, so that helped,” Scarborough Coach Taylor Fowler said.

MacDonald scored on a rebound at the 4:44 mark of the third, parking herself perfectly next to the post to the right of Red Storm goalie Arielle Swett to knock home the rebound of Mikayla Talbot’s shot.

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“It was a total team effort, in my opinion. I was just there to finish it,” MacDonald said. “I played wing in my freshman year, so I fill in where I can.”

Talbot pushed the Stags lead to 2-0 a few minutes later at the 7:12 mark with a high wrist shot.

The Stags began to take control of the game in the second period, outshooting the Red Storm 13-6. While Cheverus was unable to convert back-to-back power-play opportunities in the second, it generated scoring chances.

“We got good looks. On the power play, that’s all you can ask for,” Rousseau said. “Some of our forwards were getting shots high into (Swett’s) glove and blocker that she could handle, instead of getting some pucks down low to create some rebounds.”

“We have a solid group of seniors who really help keep us together. That penalty kill, some kids were out there for a while, but they were willing to do it, and they did well,” Fowler said.

The Red Storm pulled Swett (23 saves) for an extra attacker with 1:15 left in the game, and with 17 seconds remaining, Evelyn Boardman fired a high wrist shot from the top of the left circle past Stags goalie Ella Lemieux (17 saves).

Cheverus was whistled for icing as time ran out, but the officials determined one second remained. With the faceoff to the left of Lemieux, Scarborough was unable to get off a shot.


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