AUBURN — Eight minutes of overtime hockey can be more draining than a period-and-a half of regulation.
Just ask the Leavitt/Edward Little girls, who dominated much of the scheduled distance Wednesday night at Ingersoll Arena.
Only to run out of gas with 37.1 seconds left in the extra session, that is, when Scarborough’s Rachael Wallace took advantage of a turnover in the Red Hornets’ defensive zone and hoisted the Red Storm to a 2-1 victory.
“Both teams looked pretty tired,” Leavitt/Edward Little coach Shon Collins said. “I know our girls, all that extra effort put out in those eight minutes takes it out of you. Both teams toward the end didn’t have that burst.”
Alyssa Hulst, who scored the regulation goal for Scarborough (9-1-1), intercepted the puck near the Leavitt/EL blue line and slipped it to Sarah Martens.
Martens quickly located a lonely Wallace, who found space between Red Hornets goalie Tori Sanford’s stick and the near post.
“One little breakdown and that was the difference,” Collins said. “The penalties were a little unbalanced, but other than that, five-on-five I thought we really carried the play for most of the game.”
Taylor Landry marched Hulst’s goal in the opening period for the Red Hornets (9-3).
Sanford made 13 saves. Her Scarborough counterpart, Devan Kane, denied 18 shots.
“I think it was a little bit of luck, honestly,” Scarborough coach Caitlin Cashman said. “Devan played well, and some of our girls like Alyssa Hulst and Sarah Martens really stepped it up, but you can’t wait until the third period and overtime.”
Sanford made seven big stops in the third period and overtime to turn away the rallying Red Storm. Landry was responsible for several other Leavitt/EL scoring bids that narrowly missed the mark.
“I think they were just hungrier. Our girls were waiting back on their heels to see what Leavitt was doing, and hockey’s not a sport where you can sit back,” Cashman said. “You have to attack and go for it and be hungry. Other teams want it just as bad as you do.”
Each team scored in the final two minutes of the opening period.
Hulst took advantage of the continuing action after a power play to put Scarborough on the board at 13:13.
Martens took the initial shot through a screen from the left point. Sanford made the stop, but Hulst collected the rebound, alertly faked left and then curled the puck inside the right post.
Leavitt/Edward Little answered on a splendid, end-to-end effort by Taylor Landry. The junior won the puck near her own blue line, skated along the far boards and found the five-hole with 37.5 seconds remaining.
“Their goalie I think has only given up five goals in 10 games,” Collins said. “For us to have gotten one (was big), and we had a lot of really good chances on her that we couldn’t seem to get a stick on them.”
“She’s a good little hockey player,” Cashman said of Landry, “so again, I think a little bit of luck worked on our side today.”
Shelbea Russell and Sydney Nadeau were rock-solid defensively, helping Sanford stifle three Scarborough power plays through the first two periods.
Amanda Grenier and Landry had the best chances for the Red Hornets in overtime, each coming less than a minute before Wallace’s game-winner.
“I think we’re right up there with all the top teams and that we’re one of them,” Collins said. “All the games are going to be like that: One-goal games, back-and-forth.”