LEWISTON — As well as Northeast Generals goalie Steven Murphy was playing Saturday, no straight shot the L/A Fighting Spirit could throw at him was going to find its way by.

Ultimately, a spinning slider from the lower left circle was the keeper’s Kryptonite.

Simon-Richard Corriveau wheeled and fired the puck at Murphy after it squirted away from the crease and it snuck through the keeper’s pads with 7:59 to play in the game for the winning goal as the Fighting Spirit earned a 4-1 home-opening win over the Generals at the Colisee.

“I just knew where the net was, and I knew we were shooting high a lot,” Corriveau said. “He had a good, fast glove, so we wanted to test him down low, and it worked.”

“I don’t really even know what happened there,” Murphy said. “I saw the puck come across and I slid over.”

Corriveau’s goal was his second point of the night, and he and linemates Colby Siering and Dylan Vrees were catalysts all night as L/A gave its fan base plenty of reasons to smile in its home debut.

“They create time and space well, and they move off the puck,” Fighting Spirit coach Rod Simmons said. “They know what to do when they don’t have the puck.”

Nick Hudson added another marker with four minutes to play, and Mike Heffernan added the exclamation point with an empty-netter at 18:02. The late flurry capped an up-and-down game for the Fighting Spirit, who played in front of more people Saturday — 1,087 — than most of the players ever had.

“Maybe a bit nervous for that home-opener, and a good crowd out there,” Corriveau said. “I think we got a hold of it in the third period.”

“You try to tell these younger players, you have to play within the glass,” Simmons said. “We had nerves, and we had a lot of parents in town and you had guys who hadn’t seen them in two months, so there was a little bit of that. Once we got the ugliness out of the way, we had some scoring opportunities.”

Most of those either missed the mark, or Murphy swallowed them.

“I’m glad they were going for that glove side,” Murphy said. “That’s my strong side.”

The Fighting Spirit held the upper hand through most of the opening frame. They nearly buried a chance just three minutes into the contest when Ryan MacIntosh collected the puck behind the cage after a scramble to the right of Murphy. He wrapped quickly to the right side of the net and tried to stuff the puck over the line, but Generals defenseman Kevin Perry slid over in time to block the attempt.

L/A fought through a penalty kill in the middle part of the first, and went right back on the offensive. The Spirit broke through on the score sheet at 15:43 of the first. Siering sped up the left side of the slot and pounced on a rebound after a Corriveau shot skipped off Murphy’s pads.

“The game-winner was on the ice, too,” Simmons said. “We kept saying, ‘Look at the size of his pads, let’s put shots there and try to get those rebounds.’”

Corriveau had a good chance early in the second as well, when he broke in on a partial breakaway up the seam. He let a quick wrister fly and Murphy snared the hard, low shot with his glove to keep the Generals within one. Murphy flashed the leather again minutes later on David Fish, crashed a scrum in front to save another, and robbed Cam DuFault at point-blank range on yet another Fighting Spirit opportunity.

“The second period was really good, my defense made it really easy for me to see the puck,” Murphy said.

The Spirit started a parade to the penalty box later in the second, and the Generals made them pay for it on their third chance, getting a goal just three seconds off the faceoff in the L/A zone. John Catania got his stick on a Brendan Collins shot and tipped it past Endre to knot things up at one.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Daily Headlines

  • Sign up and get the top stories to begin the day delivered to your inbox at 6 a.m.