Scarborough, Falmouth prepare for showdown
An irresistible force is scheduled to meet an immovable object when the two hottest boys´ teams in Class A hockey meet Saturday night at Family Ice in Falmouth.
Scarborough, the top-ranked team in Western Class A, will carry a 12-game winning streak into the game against Falmouth, which takes an eight-game winning streak into Thursday night´s home game against Bonny Eagle.
"We know we´ve got a formidable opponent coming up on Saturday," Scarborough Coach Norm Gagne said. "It´s going to come down to who is going to play good defense and stay out of the (penalty) box, play your game and run your system."
The Yachtsmen, meanwhile, are trying not to look beyond their game against the Scots.
"We´re taking every game one game at a time, one period at a time," Falmouth Coach Deron Barton said. "Anybody can beat anybody on any given night in this league and this game of high school hockey."
For nearly two months, Scarborough (13-1) and Falmouth (10-2) have been at the top of their games.
"Our players realize in order for us to be successful it starts in the defensive end," Gagne said. "We´ve got plenty of goal scorers; I´m not worried about scoring goals. We´ve got to take care of our end and that´s how we´re going to win."
After a 1-0 loss to St. Dominic in Lewiston on Dec. 12, the Red Storm outscored their next 12 opponents, 76-13.
Falmouth´s offense has been nearly as prolific. Since suffering back-to-back one-goal losses to Scarborough and Lewiston in early December, the Yachtsmen held a 53-13 scoring edge in their next eight games.
Senior defenseman Nick Bagley, junior forward Garrett McDonald, senior forward Jack Rousselle and junior forward Jacob Gross have 12 goals each for Scarborough.
Senior forwards Hugh Grygiel and Kris Samaris have each scored 14 goals for the Yachtsmen.
GIRLS´ HOCKEY playoffs begin 8 p.m. Wednesday with a West quarterfinal between No. 5 seed Cheverus (5-12) and No. 4 Biddeford (10-7-1) at Biddeford Ice Arena.
The teams split two games in the regular season, with Biddeford winning 8-4 on Dec. 12 and Cheverus winning a week later, 6-5 in overtime.
The winner will play top-seeded Scarborough (16-1-1) in the semifinals at 9:10 p.m. Friday at the University of Southern Maine.
In the East, No. 4 Brunswick (7-11) plays No. 5 Winslow (5-10-3) at 7:45 p.m. Thursday at Bowdoin College´s Watson Arena. The teams played twice early in the season, with Winslow winning 4-3 in November and Brunswick winning the Dec. 5 game, 3-2 in overtime. The winner will play top-seeded Greely (15-2-1) in the semifinals at 6:40 p.m. Saturday at Family Ice in Falmouth.
In the other West semifinal, No. 3 Falmouth (11-7) plays No. 2 York (14-3-1) at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Dover (N.H.) Ice Arena.
In the other East semifinal, No. 3 Leavitt/Edward Little (14-4) plays No. 2 Lewiston (14-4) at 8:15 p.m. Saturday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.
The regional finals are scheduled for Feb. 13 at the Portland Ice Arena and the state final is Feb. 16 at the Colisee.
A COUPLE of girls´ teams featured turnaround seasons.
Playoff-bound Biddeford won seven more games than last year´s three-victory season.
Gorham/Bonny Eagle (7-11) didn´t qualify for the playoffs but turned in its best record in the program´s history, following a 2-16 season.
TED HART of Greely continued to stay on his scoring tear last week.
Last Saturday night, Hart -- a junior forward -- scored three third-period goals to cement the reigning Class B state champions´ come-from-behind 8-3 victory against Messalonskee at Sukee Arena in Winslow in a rematch of last season´s state final.
Last Thursday night, he scored three goals and had an assist during an 11-2 win over Leavitt.
Hart, who has 23 goals and 11 assists to lead the Rangers in scoring, has posted hat tricks in four of his last five games.
-- Staff writer Kevin Thomas contributed to this report
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:
BOYS´ PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Josh Bagley, Bonny Eagle junior: Bagley scored three goals and had an assist in a 6-3 win against Westbrook. In 11 games, he has 22 goals and 15 assists to lead the Scots in scoring.
Ben Cherry, Kennebunk senior: Scored 7:26 into overtime to lift the Rams to a 1-0 win against Noble-Wells.
Jack Orne, Camden Hills junior: Scored a power-play goal with 2:44 left as the unbeaten Windjammers pulled out a 2-1 victory against Cape Elizabeth for their 11th win of the year.
Andrew Whipple, South Portland sophomore: Scored three goals as the Riots snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 6-1 win against Windham-Sacopee Valley.
AREA TOP FIVE
4. Thornton Academy
5. Camden Hills
GIRLS´ PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Alyssa Hulst, Scarborough, sophomore: Hulst helped the Red Storm to three wins last week (for a state´s best 16-1-1 record), scoring seven goals and adding four assists.
Madeline Ciraldo, Cape Elizabeth-Waynflete, senior: Ciraldo recorded consecutive hat tricks, including a three-goal effort in a 5-3 victory against Gorham-Bonny Eagle.
Meg Finlay, Greely, senior: Finlay paced the Rangers to three wins and the No. 1 seed in the East, recording five goals and five assists.
Rachel Yorke, York, senior: Yorke was involved in much of the Wildcats´ scoring in two victories, recording two goals and five assists.
AREA TOP FIVE