LEWISTON — The Maine Wild’s first shot on goal Friday night was a shot in the arm for a team that had been outscored 23-2 in four previous meetings this season against the Lewiston/Auburn Fighting Spirit. It was the Fighting Spirit who dealt most of the rest of the shots, however, overcoming an early 1-0 deficit to rout the Wild 6-1 in an NA3EHL game at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Ryder Parkhurst put the Wild (3-17) on the board just 2:41 in, skating up the left side and blasting a shot over the right shoulder of Fighting Spirit (16-1) goalie Zachary Barry.

The Wild, which had been shut out in three of the four matchups this season, sat on that lead for 10 minutes before the Fighting Spirit took over control of the game and quickly turned the tide the other way.

“Sometimes it can go in a negative way, sometimes it can go in a positive way when you get scored on the first shot of the game,” L/A assistant coach (and interim head coach) Cam Robichaud said. “The boys kind of rallied off of that.”

Walker Hamilton tied it for L/A 13 minutes in, as he collected the puck off of a faceoff win by David Fish and rifled a shot from the high slot past Wild goalie Brandon Daigle.

“The first goal was huge,” Robichaud said. “I thought that the first 10 minutes of the game was kind of back-and-forth. I think about the … second half of the first period things started to click.”


Mike Heffernan put the Fighting Spirit up 2-1 two minutes later with a power-play goal assisted by Brett Bittner. Heffernan returned the favor to Bittner for another L/A goal two minutes later, as the Fighting Spirit went into the first intermission up 3-1 and with a 17-4 advantage in shots on goal.

“We knew all we needed was to get one, and then they’d start rolling,” Bittner said. “And that’s pretty much what it was.”

Bittner tallied his second goal two minutes into the second period on a play that was started by Barry. The goalie got a secondary assist after dishing out to Hamilton, who fed Bittner on a breakaway moments after the Fighting Spirit killed off a Wild power play.

“He has great skill and some very good skill, and he’s slippery,” Robichaud said of Bittner. “He does a good job of finishing pucks.”

The Fighting Spirit converted their second power play in as many chances with five minutes left in the second, as Jordan Crowe’s shot from the right point found its way past Daigle, who was pulled after the goal.

The Wild evened up the shot tally in the middle period, delivering seven to L/A’s nine. Maine started the period on the power play and ended it on another, but wasn’t able to beat Barry with the man-advantage.


The Wild carried the power play into the third period, and turned into a 5-on-3 for 61 seconds, but still Maine couldn’t solve Barry and the Fighting Spirit defense. The Wild was 0-for-6 on power plays, including a pair of 5-on-3 situations.

“We talked a lot about the penalty kill tonight, and how we had to be aggressive and have active sticks, and be clogging lanes and blocking shots,” Robichaud said.

Cam DuFault rounded out the scoring for the Fighting Spirit midway through the third period. Bittner nearly finished off a hat trick with 50 seconds left, but couldn’t re-direct an Austin Siering pass into the open net.

“I just missed it,” Bittner said. “I didn’t think (Siering’s pass) was going to go so fast, I guess.”

The Fighting Spirit finished the game with 39-15 advantage in shots. Daigle made 21 saves before being lifted, and Will Dunham added 12 stops for the Wild. Barry made 14 saves for L/A, which hosts the 8-6-1 New England Stars Saturday night.

Fighting Spirit give back

During Saturday’s game against the Stars the Fighting Spirit will present a check for more than $6,000 to the Dempsey Center that the team raised by auctioning off special, game-worn Dempsey Challenge Game jerseys.

“It’s just great and we’re excited,” Robichaud said. “We love to give back.”


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