AUBURN — The kids continue to cash in for Edward Little High School.

Freshman Drew Lupardo scored two goals Saturday night and juniors Dylan Nadeau and Cody Russell each added another to push the Red Eddies past Gray-New Gloucester/Poland, 4-1, in Eastern Class A boys’ hockey at Ingersoll Arena.

Edward Little (11-3) has won eight straight games, allowing a total of eight goals in that stretch.

“We’ve been playing pretty good hockey and beating the teams we need to beat,” said Lupardo, who scored his 11th and 12th goals of the season. “Everyone on our team has contributed in every game we’ve played so far.”

The Eddies exploded after a scoreless first period, taking advantage of rebounds and deflections to chalk up a 3-1 lead in the middle stanza.

Mat Gordon broke free along the far boards in the closing seconds of an EL power play and walked in alone on G-NG/Poland goaltender Matt Ouellette.

Ouellette made the initial stop, but Lupardo alertly redirected the leftovers at 4:42.

EL needed only 81 seconds to double its lead in similar fashion. Russell dished the puck to the goalmouth, where Ouellette got a stick on it but Nadeau cleaned up for his 16th goal and fourth in the last two games.

“They came out in the second period with a little more desire and a little more fire,” said EL coach Craig Latuscha. “They kind of looked past this team a little bit with their record, and they’re not bad. They play hard, they’re disciplined, and they made it a really good hockey game.”

Kolby Arnold gave the Patriotic Knights (5-8-1) a boost with his goal courtesy of junior classmate Zac Knapp at 9:36.

But the Eddies restored the two-goal advantage with 2:49 remaining in the period. Jared Pelletier stole the puck near center ice and uncorked a shot that ricocheted off Ouellette’s pads.

Again, Lupardo was there for the redirect.

Penalties were a mild impediment to the Eddies for the second straight game. With Gordon directing the traffic in front of goalie Rich Belanger, however, EL denied all seven G-NG/Poland power plays.

“Our coaches do a good job in practice of putting together our defense,” Lupardo said. 

Russell added an insurance goal at 2:20 of the third. Austin Polisky’s pass from the back boards put Russell in position for a scorching blast from the slot.

The Patriotic Knights went out of their way to form a congratulatory huddle around Ouellette after every period, and rightfully so. The junior backstop made 34 saves, several of them spectacular and many in bang-bang succession.

“We put a couple in to sort of break it up, and they continued to fight back and play hard the whole game,” Latuscha said. “Their goaltender played big. Our goalie played big.”

Belanger made 20 stops and improved his record to 7-1 for the Eddies, who will step up to the top tier for a road game Tuesday against reigning Class A champion Waterville.

“It’s going to be hard,” said Lupardo, “but if we play like we have been playing, I think we can do it.”

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