AUBURN — It was deja vu for Edward Little High School on Tuesday.
For the second time in four days, the Red Eddies matched up with Western Class A Scarborough, and for the second time in four days, the Red Eddies squandered a one-goal lead.
In the latest installment — a 10:30 a.m. tilt at Norway Savings Bank Arena — Edward Little grabbed a one-goal lead late in the second period only to see Scarborough counter with three in the third in a 3-1 loss to the Red Storm. On Saturday in Scarborough, the Red Eddies fell 2-1 after allowing a goal in each of the last two periods.
“It was a good hockey game,” Edward Little coach Craig Latuscha said. “Unfortunately my team didn’t play for three periods. We played for two periods and the third period we didn’t have our best period and they took advantage of that and they beat us.”
After nearly two periods of scoreless hockey, Edward Little broke the stalemate. Unsuccessful on their first two power plays, Max Giard made good on the Red Eddies’ third man advantage of the game. Less than a minute into a charging penalty assessed to Scarborough’s Kevin Smith, Giard buried a feed in front to give Edward Little a 1-0 lead with 2:42 remaining in the second period. Cade Chapman had the primary assist, finding Giard in front of the net with a pass at the bottom of the right circle.
Penalties got the better of Edward Little (3-4) to start the third period and the Red Storm (4-2) capitalized. Skating 5-on-3 for 1:43 following a high-sticking penalty to Chapman and a cross-checking infraction to Ben Steele, Scarborough coach Norm Gagne called a timeout to set up a play. The result was a power-play goal by Jack Callahan from the high slot, beating Edward Little goaltender Devin Dumont stick side to tie the game.
“I was really proud of the fact that we came out with a lot of energy,” Gagne said. “When they gave us that five-on-three, I always preach to them to take advantage of what your opponent gives you and they gave us a golden opportunity and we were able to take advantage of that.”
The power-play goal swung the momentum and negated the edge the Red Eddies had in the first two periods.
“We started off great,” Latuscha said. “First period was pretty solid. Second period was pretty solid. Unfortunately the third period we got a couple penalties — whether they were penalties or not it doesn’t matter. They scored on a five-on-three, which is expected against a good team. We made a couple mistakes in the defensive zone.”
Callahan put the Red Storm in front on one of the easiest goals he’s scored in his career. With the puck loose in the slot, Dumont came out of his net to try and freeze the puck, but he was unable to secure it and the puck went right on Callahan’s stick. The junior defenseman didn’t miss the open net and gave the Red Storm a 2-1 lead with 7:13 left.
“I was shocked I even had it on my stick,” Callahan said. “It just popped out to me. I don’t really know how it happened. The goalie didn’t get the puck. It was amazing how it just popped out like that.”
Dumont finished with 14 saves.
Scarborough iced the series sweep when Sean McGovern beat Dumont five-hole on a 2-on-1 with 3:28 left. McGovern tapped in a cross-crease pass from Cam Smith on the odd-man rush to complete a three-goal third period.
Between the 10:30 a.m. start and seeing each other for the second time in less than a week, the first period was a bit of a chess match. The teams combined for nine total shots in the opening period, compared to 25 in the first 15 minutes Saturday. Scarborough finished with a 17-15 edge in shots. The Red Storm had a 38-30 advantage in shots in the weekend matchup.
Even with two wins over Edward Little, Gagne had high praise for the Red Eddies.
“They are a good team and I told our team that they are going to be in the top echelon of the East and they’re going to be worth a lot of points,” Gagne said. “You’ve got to win games like that. These are the games we have to win to make sure we get into the playoffs. It was a big win.”