AUBURN — Like a couple of heavyweight boxers feeling each other out during the first round of a championship fight, two boys’ hockey heavyweights did the same before landing a few blows in the first period of Saturday night’s season opener between St. Dominic Academy and Scarborough.

The last time the two teams squared off, they battled for the Class A state championship, which Scarborough won in double overtime. The rematch also went to Scarborough in a 3-1 victory at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

The teams traded more hits than shots on goal in the opening period. Brendan Donovan broke the ice with a shot from the point 4:30 in for the Saints (0-1). The Red Storm (1-0) put their first shot on goal three minutes later, as Skylar Pettingill’s attempt off a giveaway was deflected high by St. Dom’s goalie Kyle Welsh.

“I told them before the game that (St. Dom’s was) going to want a little revenge,” Scarborough head coach Norm Gagne said. “I said, ‘They’re going to come after you today,’ and that’s just what they did. They came after us hard.”

“They’re asked to finish their checks. It’s part of the hockey game,” St. Dom’s head coach Bob Parker said. “And the referees let them play. I thought it was a very well-refereed game tonight.”

The Saints generally controlled play throughout the first half of the opening period. The turning point to put the momentum in the Red Storm’s favor came when goalie Ross LeBlond made a sprawling save eight minutes in.

Scarborough shifted the tide in its favor, taking three of the next four shots, but the Saints grabbed a hold of momentum with just seconds left in the period.

JD Hodsdon got control of a loose puck in the high slot and spun a shot at LeBlond, who couldn’t corral it. Reese Farrell then fed Cooper Richard for the opening goal past a sprawled-out LeBlond with 6.6 seconds left.

The Red Storm delivered the next big blow, however, as Pettingill stole a clearing attempt by Welsh at the left boards and fired the game-tying shot into an open goal just over two minutes into the second.

“I was really proud of the fact that, after giving up that goal with six seconds left in the period, that we responded well,” Gagne said.

It was all Scarborough for much of the middle period, as the Red Storm out-shot the Saints 9-4 in the stanza. The last of the Scarborough shots went for the go-ahead goal, as Cam Smith carried the puck toward the goal from the right corner and flipped a shot into the top of the net with less than two minutes remaining in the second.

St. Dom’s pushed back in the final minute, sending three shots at LeBlond and drawing a penalty with 2.6 seconds left to start the third period on a power play.

The Saints had some close calls on a trio of third-period power plays, but LeBlond kept his crease clean.

“We worked hard all this week on power play … and we would have liked to see if we can sneak one back in there on the power play, but it just didn’t happen,” Parker said.

“Ross LeBlond, in his first game with us, he did a fantastic job. Made some big, big stops,” said Gagne, who also showered Welsh with some praise.

Welsh kept his team within one goal by making a one-on-one save against Cam Nigro six minutes in. The Saints failed to net the equalizer, however, and Nigro put the game away with an empty-netter with just over a minute to play.

“Just kind of nervous out there,” Parker said of his team. “A lot of nervous young players hitting the ice for the first time on varsity.”

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