The game was competitive throughout — something neither team had seen much late in their previous games — and even went into overtime to try and settle the score.

The extra session settled nothing, and the unbeaten teams skated to a 2-2 tie at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

“(Our girls) knew coming into this game that it was going to be very different compared to the last few games we’ve played,” Scarborough coach Caitlin D’Amour said. “We made it clear to them last night at practice, ‘If you think you’re going to walk in there and it’s going to be a walk in the park, the first period is not going to be fun for you. It’s going to be rough and embarrassing.'”

While it wasn’t embarrassing, the opening frame was rough on last year’s state runners-up, who had outscored opponents 19-4 during a 3-0 start to the season.

Madi Simard opened the scoring for the host Red Hornets (2-0-1), putting back a rebound from Ally MacKenzie’s initial shot past Red Storm senior goalie McKenzie Cormier 11 minutes into the game.

“That’s been an area of weakness I think for us in the years past. We haven’t been real strong in the dirty areas,” Red Hornets coach Shon Collins said. “And those are, I won’t say easy goals, but they’re goals that are sitting there for the taking.”

The Red Hornets nearly made it 2-0 at the onset of the second period, but Cormier sprawled out to make a leg save on Saige Arseneault’s breakaway 20 seconds in. Cormier had twice stonewalled Arseneault on open attempts in the first period.

“She’s that type of goalie,” D’Amour said. “When she plays really solid, it’s really helpful for the rest of our team to play really solid. She’s definitely the backbone of our team.”

Scarborough showed it, too, can take advantage of rebound opportunities. After Red Hornets freshman goalie Manny Guimond turned away a pair of shots, Taylor Veilleux was able to put the third try past her to tie the game up less than two minutes into the second.

Both teams got their first chances at power plays in the second period, but despite each putting multiple shots on net during the man-advantages the game stayed tied heading into the third period.

The Red Hornets once again went ahead early in the third, and again on a rebound. Brianna Doucette’s shot from the right side was deflected away by Cormier, but Mariah Vaillancourt was to the left of the goal to bury the rebound.

There were tenuous times for the Red Hornets and their lead after that, with the Red Storm going on the power play twice, including just 15 seconds after Vaillancourt’s go-ahead goal. But the hosts stood tall down a man, allowing just once shot on each penalty kill.

“We controlled them very well,” Collins said, “All their shots, as I recall, were really from the outside, the few they got.”

“I’ve always said power plays, sometimes I wish we could just give it back,” D’Amour said. “For years, we become our own worst enemy when we’re up a man.”

The Red Storm didn’t score on the second power play of the period, but their offensive pressure after the completion of the man-advantage led to the tying goal. Lauren Topchik got a rare open look 16 seconds after the Red Hornets penalty was killed off, and the junior went bar-down past Guimond to knot the game up 2-2 with just 1:16 to play.

“They’ve got experience, and they come out and they make you work beginning to end,” Collins said. “And I don’t know that we were fully prepared for that, to match that intensity beginning to end.”

Guimond made one of the best saves of the night to preserve the draw in overtime, denying Lucy Bogdanovich on a mini breakaway midway through the extra session.

“I think she did well,” Collins said. “I think this one was a little more of a wake-up call for her. She had to see a little more quality shots, shots through traffic, things like that.

“I think she proved herself.”

The Red Hornets had a couple shots on goal late, but nothing that was able to break the tie. And Scarborough’s offensive zone faceoff with 4.9 seconds left after an icing produced nothing either.

“I think the message is that we need to understand that we’re not as good as the two 7-0 wins might have felt,” Collins said. “There’s a lot more improvement that we have to do to be ready to compete with the top teams.

“This was a reminder of the level of competition that we’re going to have to face to be a playoff team and be able to go deep in the playoffs.”

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