BRUNSWICK — Like trying to break through ice, the Leavitt/Edward Little/Poland girls’ hockey team kept chipping away at getting onto the scoreboard. It took 16 shots to get there, but the Red Hornets finally broke through against Mt. Ararat/Morse with a goal that proved to be just the beginning in a 3-0 victory at Bowdoin College’s Sidney J. Watson Arena on Friday night.

The Red Hornets (2-0-1) kept chipping away with shots, but the first 15 were all turned away or stopped by Eagles goalie Sydney Mcluer, including nine in the first five minutes of the contest.

“I think in our last game, against Falmouth (a 3-3 tie), I’d be surprised if we had 10 shots total the whole game,” Red Hornets coach Shon Collins said. “We certainly did stress the fact that you’ve got to shoot to score. I think the girls took that to heart and started putting more pucks on net.”

The shooting started quickly, with the Eagles placing two on Red Hornets netminder Sarah Hammond during a quality scoring chance in the opening seconds. After that, however, it was all Red Hornets on the attack.

The Red Hornets got a man-advantage midway through the opening period to try and break onto the scoresheet, but two shots weren’t able to find their way past Mcluer. It was nearly five minutes later that Saige Arseneault’s shot from the right circle finally felled the previously impenetrable Mcluer, with Abby Roy and Taylor Callier assisting on the ice-breaking goal.

“It was a sense of relief that it was possible, that we could score on her,” Roy said of the first goal. “She was tough.”

Advertisement

That was the lone tally for the Red Hornets in the first, despite a 16-3 shots advantage. That disparity only grew as the second period got underway, but the score still stood the same through the first several minutes — a period of time that included another Red Hornets power play.

Roy, a senior, took it upon herself to beat Mcluer for the game’s second goal, skating counterclockwise around the back of the goal before slipping a shot by the goalie at the left post 8:34 into the middle period. Kaylee Younk and Arseneault tallied helpers on the goal.

“You have to take the sneaky shots,” said Roy, who admitted she didn’t think her wraparound attempt was going to work initially.

Two minutes — and two shots — later, Arseneault found the back of the net once again, slinking through the defense for a power play goal with just over four minutes to play in the second. The Red Hornets were awarded the man-advantage after Mcluer was called for a delay of game penalty when she stopped the puck well outside her crease to prevent a breakaway attempt.

“Her motor, she’s one of those kids that just … constant movement, all over the ice. She’s just tenacious,” Collins said of Arseneault. “When she gets the puck on her stick she’s trying to drive and make things happen. She’s been our biggest point-getter to this point in the season as a result of that.”

The Red Hornets sent nine more shots Mcluer’s way in the third period, with the junior goalie turning them all away. The shot disparity reached 36-6 in the Red Hornets’ favor by the end of the game.

Advertisement

“The three goals, even though I would love to have scored more on 36 shots, it was the little things that I saw around it,” Collins said. “Some real nice passing. Quality chances. Girls moving their feet a lot more in the offensive zone.

“Obviously we’d like to have a better shooting percentage. But I saw a lot of good things tonight.”

The Red Hornets face a difficult five-game stretch coming up, starting with a home game against Yarmouth/Freeport/Gray-New Gloucester next Wednesday. That is followed by games against Greely (twice), Scarborough/Sacopee Valley and Lewiston/Monmouth/Oak Hill. Collins said Friday night’s effort put his team “more on track” to where it needs to be to successfully compete with the upcoming opposition.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. 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.