YARMOUTH — A little bit of angst and apprehension are normal when you’re returning to the rink after your first loss in two months.

Prior to Thursday evening’s get-it-out-of-the-system game at Travis Roy Arena, the Leavitt/Edward Little girls’ hockey coaching staff reminded the Red Hornets what followed their previous loss to Scarborough: Twelve consecutive wins. If this defeat inspires a similar rebound, the prize could be much greater.

“I think there’s five more games (including Thursday) until the state championship, so we want to keep that winning going,” junior defensive anchor Danica Nadeau said. “We have York on Saturday, and we want to win that so we can start the playoffs with a winning streak.”

First up was Yarmouth/Freeport, and Leavitt Little prevailed in the clash of cooperative programs in typical tidy fashion, 2-0.

Taylor Landry scored both goals for the Red Hornets — one 33 seconds into the game, the other on the power play in the second period. Nadeau notched an assist on both.

Savannah Shaw made 18 saves to secure the 11th shutout of the season for Leavitt Little (14-3), which has sewn up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Maine playoffs.

Thursday’s result likely secures a semifinal rematch with Yarmouth/Freeport (12-4-1), if the Clippers can take care of Mt. Ararat in the lone quarterfinal contest.

“That was a good one to get back on the winning side against a young, fast, hungry team that came out with a lot of intensity,” Leavitt Little coach Shon Collins said.

Yarmouth/Freeport might have been a little bit too geared up out of the gate, leaving Landry in place for a textbook breakaway.

Kaylee Younk secured the puck in the Red Hornets’ defensive zone before Nadeau spotted Landry at the red line. There, Landry eluded Meredith McLoon with a poke check and skated in alone on goalie Hannah Williams for the quick strike.

“Dani gave me such a nice pass,” Landry said. “I just saw the lane and said ‘I’ve got to get open for this.'”

Nadeau’s defensive attention to detail set up the second goal, as well.

She won possession in a collision at center ice with Yarmouth’s Katherine Clemmer. Landry’s ensuing wrist shot from beyond the left circle grazed the crossbar on its way past Williams. Haley Frohlich also picked up an assist.

Multi-goal games are the norm for Landry, who was held scoreless in Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to the Red Storm.

“Taylor, she was strong tonight,” Collins said. “That first one was big, obviously, because you get that team that is hungry and when you get that one early you put them back on their heels just a little bit.”

Shaw made a big stop to deny Clemmer with just over a minute to play in the second period.

In the third, the freshman glazed the doughnut with two minutes remaining with a glove denial of Breanna Morrill.

“It means that we stopped basically everything that came toward us,” Nadeau said of the shutout, “but also Savannah did a really good job with the shots and she saved us.”

Even though zeroes on the scoreboard have become commonplace, the Red Hornets are slightly superstitious about it.

“Shutouts are always good,” Landry said. “It’s our little ritual we don’t say ‘shutout’ before a game. It’s even kind of hard saying it after.”

Undone by penalties and two subsequent power-play goals allowed against Scarborough, Leavitt Little committed only one infraction this time, and it was a good one.

Nadeau alertly hooked Clemmer to stop a potential two-on-one midway through the third period. The penalty-killing unit of Landry, Younk, Amanda Grenier, Ally MacKenzie and Kylie Bureau didn’t allow a shot against Shaw in the ensuing two minutes.

Williams made 14 saves for the Clippers, whose lone losses are to Leavitt-Little (twice), Lewiston and defending state champion Greely.

“It’s really big, because the way we lost to Scarborough, that kind of got us down a little bit,” Nadeau said. “This game was a big confidence booster.”


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