HS hockey: Tigers top Panthers for Class A crown

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LEWISTON —The t-shirts were blaze orange with black writing. The cardboard sign, bent in the middle and tattered along the edges, was scrawled in black, orange and white paint, and the chant was three-syllables long.

“Dy-nas-ty.”

It’s hard to argue with Biddeford’s logic.

Paced by a goal each from the brothers Fleurent and another from third-line senior Ethan Pratt, and buoyed by a 31-save shutout by Matt Roy, the Tigers earned their third Class A state title in four seasons Saturday with a 3-0 victory over defending champion Waterville in front of an estimated crowd of 3,000 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

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“They were all over us in the first and second periods,” Roy said. “I’m just happy I was able to keep us in it until we scored those two quick goals.”

“There’s so much emotion,” Biddeford coach Rich Reissfelder said. “The fans were unreal. Three out of four years now for a lot of these guys. If they want to get a new t-shirt now, that’s fine with me.”

Eastern Class A champion Waterville (14-7-1) put up more than its fair share of a fight, too.

“I thought we outplayed them for the better part of two periods, but we just couldn’t capitalize,” Waterville coach Dennis Martin said. “They scored the two quick goals in the second period, and I thought we came out like bandits again in the third period, and they held their ground.”

Roy left several rebounds out in front, and struggled a couple of times with his positioning. But when it mattered, he stopped the puck.

“It’s just nerve wracking,” Roy said. “The seconds feel like minutes and the minutes feel like hours. It’s endless. You want it to end, dump it in their zone and just keep it there.”

“They were there, but they did a good job of clearing the front and we couldn’t get that second shot in there,” Martin said.

On the other end, Ryan Cormier performed admirably, stopping 20 shots — many deflections and from in tight.

Brady Fleurent broke the scoreless tie late in the second period on a rare rebound opportunity in front of Cormier. Derek Reny’s shot hit the Waterville keeper in the pads and sat at the top of the crease. Fleurent swooped in, deked to the right and buried the chance to put the Tigers (19-2-1) on top.

“The two (brothers) together, it’s like they’re on a different plane,” Reissfelder said. “It was funny, because the goal that ended up being the game-winner, Trevor was in the box, and Brady said, ‘fine,’ and he stepped up and scored the goal.”

That goal came on just the Tigers’ 10th shot of the game.

Pratt then added an insurance marker less than a minute later. On his way through the low slot, Reny cleared three Waterville players out of the way and Pratt fired a wrister from the top of the left circle. The puck bounced around at the top of the crease before beating Cormier.

Trevor Fleurent took advantage of a late Waterville penalty, took a feed from his brother, Brady, and weaved into the low slot, where he roofed a backhander to ice the game at 14:08 of the third period.

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