Unfortunately for the Spirit, they had already dug themselves a three-goal deficit, and it wouldn’t be long before their shortcomings would catch up to them again.

The New England Stars overwhelmed L/A in the first period, withstood the Spirit’s second-period surge and pulled away for a 5-2 win at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Cole Archambeault notched two of three first-period goals to help give New England the commanding lead. Ryan Gauvin chipped in with a goal and an assist as the Stars (10-2-1) put some space between themselves and L/A (9-4-0) in second place of the Coastal Division.

Felix Nyqvist and Kyle Secor scored for L/A.

New England jumped out to a 2-0 lead with 23 seconds separating the first two goals.

Ian Gately got the Stars on the board at 6:45. Archambeault followed that up when he was left all alone in front to tip home a pass from John Krapian (three assists).

“We were skating hard off the hop and buried a couple of chances,” New England coach Darryl Green said. “It was all hard work and sticking to the game plan.”

Archambeault put the Spirit into a deeper hole by taking advantage of a misplay by L/A goalie Zack Barry and potting his second goal with 21.5 seconds remaining in the period.

“Whatever excuse you want to make, the kids made today. The bottom line is, they didn’t show up for the first 20 minutes,” L/A coach Rod Simmons said. “We fought our way back. We showed a little bit of character through adversity.”

Simmons replaced Barry (six saves) in net with Michael Errico and the Fighting Spirit came out with more energy for the second period.

“(Barry) is having some trouble focusing. He’s just fighting everything,” Simmons said. “That third goal, he stopped with a paddle and pushed it to the guys stick instead of covering it.” 

L/A started clawing back when Nyqvist skated in to the left of Stars goalie Sage Broda (25 saves) and punched in a pass from Jonathan Donaghey at 6:20.

Secor pulled the Fighting Spirit within one with his goal at 8:18. Moments later, Errico (18 saves) stopped Brandon Hammner after he skated in alone.

Nyqvist had a good chance for the equalizer when he skated out on a breakaway with L/A shorthanded. Hunter McTeague helped save Broda by taking a slashing penalty as Nyqvist took his shot.

New England took advantage of the subsequent 4-on-4, as Ryan Paul beat Errico from the left circle at 17:56 to make it 4-2.

“We were a little disappointed in how we came out in the second,” Green said. “Getting that fourth goal was very big.”

L/A tired in the third period and managed just five shots on Broda. Gauvin salted it away with a power play goal at 14:42.

“We need to get four guys back, and we just lost two tonight, or one, definitely,” Simmons said. “We’re down to three ‘D.’ And the thing is everybody in the nation is looking for ‘D,’ so it’s not easy to make a trade for them.”

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