LEWISTON – The L/A Fighting Spirit took its frustration out Sunday afternoon against the in-state rival Maine Wild.

A day after a 3-1 loss to the New England Stars, which saw the teams combine for 161 penalty minutes, the Fighting Spirit answered back in a positive way, defeating the Wild 6-2 at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“Another key component is the game being officiated today, we could get a flow to the game, so the kids could skate and play,” Fighting Spirit coach Rod Simmons said. “Last night, we couldn’t get a flow to the game, it was a god-awful travesty … I think the difference between last night and tonight is we could get a flow into the game. (Referee Nicholas) Gordon did a good job with the (orange) bands, the linesmen did a good job, they were on point, which is (they) allowed us to skate.”

Clifford Ogle had two goals to led the way and Dylan Vrees had a goal and two assists for the Fighting Spirit. Matt Siegel had a pair of assists.

The Wild were coming off a a tough night themselves on Saturday, despite defeating the East Coast Minutemen 4-2.

“We ran out of gas and I thought we we were flat,” Maine coach Jack Lowry said. “We really had a tough game last night, we had two players that got hurt. When you have a small roster, every body counts when Dylan Demers went down. I loved their effort the whole game, we hung in there.”


Demers went into the boards hard Sunday, but was able to skate back to the bench.

The Fighting Spirit had momentum early in the first period when they went on a 5-on-3 man advantage 2:13 into the game. Kyle Sikora went off for cross-checking 62 seconds into the game, while Demers took a boarding penalty with 24 seconds remaining in the Sikora penalty.

L/A couldn’t make the opportunity count.

Maine had two power-play opportunity in the period. Dan Espe went off for tripping at the 10:15 mark, while Olge went off for slashing at the 13:49 mark.

The Fighting Spirit made the Wild pay during Olge’s penalty, as Siegel created a turnover down the left side boards in L/A’s offensive zone and a streaking Vrees went to the crease to tap home a Siegel pass at the 15:36 mark.

It was Vrees’ fifth goal of the season and Siegel’s seventh assist of the year.


“If he didn’t open his legs, I would have had to put a shot on net,” Siegel said of the Wild player defending him. “The pass probably would have hit him if he didn’t open them up.”

After the Wild dominated the first four minutes of the second frame, Espe stretched the lead to 2-0 as his shot from the right circle slipped through the pads of Alex Fortuna at the 4:26 mark. Assists went to Clayton Thomas and Andrew McCormick.

L/A goalie Michael Errico came up big in goal, as he made several big saves, including 13 in all in the second period. The Fighting Spirit only had five shots in the frame.

Just 25 seconds into the third period, the Fighting Spirit put home its third goal of the game when Siegel found Ogle. Ogle scored again to make it 4-0 only 2:17 later on the power play, with Walker Hamilton and Vrees notching the assists.

It was Ogle’s second and third goals of the season.

The Wild broke Errico’s shutout bid 6:48 into the third period, when Lema Muradov found the back of the net on the man-advantage.


“He just started playing for us last week,” Lowry said. “He got let go by the Austin (Bruins) of the (North American Hockey League) and I think he’s really pressing. That’s what I was talking to him, you got to relax. In practice, he hits those corners like it’s nobody’s business. I think he wants to get back up there. He will be a very good player for us.”

The NAHL is one tier above the NA3HL in USA Hockey’s junior hockey structure, as it’s a Tier II league, while the NA3HL is a Tier III league. The native of Yaroslavl, Russia was an eighth-round pick by the Wild in the NA3HL draft this summer.

L/A put the game out of the reach when Hamilton and Thomas Kuntz both found the back of the net to make it 6-1. Vrees assisted on Hamilton’s goal at the 12:12 mark while Patrick Romano and Patrick Halpin assisted on Kuntz’s goal at the 12:55 mark.

“It was our best period all weekend,” Simmons said. “We said in between the second and the third periods is we need this period to be the best period we played all weekend. The guys rose to the occasion and it was (our best period).

Muradov notched his second power-play goal with 4:30 remaining. Daniel Avdioukin and Zach Gagne had the assists. It was Avdioukin’s second assist of the evening. Sikora had an assist on Muradov’s first goal.

The Wild finished the evening 2 for 7 on the power play while the Fighting Spirit were 2 for 4.

Errico made 24 saves in the victory, while Fortuna made 11 saves before getting pulled after the fourth goal he let in. The Wild’s backup, Brayden McGary, made eight saves on ten chances.

The Spirit return to the ice next Sunday for another 2 p.m. matinee at the Colisee against the Minutemen, then travel down to Biddeford next Monday for a noon puck drop.

[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.