AUBURN — Poland/Leavitt/Oak Hill/Gray-New Gloucester goalie Vincent Lupardo was in the zone Wednesday in the Kings’ 2-1 victory over Edward Little at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

The sophomore goalie made 43 saves. Meanwhile, the Kings (2-1) only mustered 14 shots on goal.

“We weren’t getting a lot of shots and they were getting a lot of shots on us,” Lupardo said. “But we still did a good job clearing the puck when we needed to. That goal, (Edward Little forward Jack Keefe) pulled it out of the pile and ripped it (past me).”

Keefe’s goal tied the game at 1-1 only 31 seconds into the third period. Lupardo made the first two saves in the sequence before Keefe found the net.

The goal came after a strong second period for the Red Eddies in which they outshot the Kings 14-2.

“I was really pleased with the second period because I thought we got into a rhythm, we played really well and we played unselfishly,” EL coach Norm Gagne said. “We moved the puck really well, and I told the kids, ‘I know you didn’t score, but hang with it.’ Then we came out in the third and scored right off. I told them, ‘Keep knocking on the door, you’ll put another one in.’

“We had plenty of opportunities, everybody knows it, everybody saw what we did. Unfortunately, it wasn’t good enough tonight. Their goalie, you have to tip your hat to the kid, but tonight the better team didn’t win.”

Four-and-half minutes after Keefe’s goal, the Kings went on a five-minute major power play after EL’s Colin Merritt mas called for a leg trip. Then Logan Alexander was called for a two-minute minor for roughing. The Kings scored their second power play goal during the 5-on-3, as Blake Springer found the back of the net for a 2-1 lead with a little more than five minutes left in the game.

“They moved the puck pretty good. I wanted to them to go to the umbrella (formation), but they didn’t really do that to well,” Kings coach Joe Hutchinson said. “They moved the puck around well, we got some good looks and a scramble in front, we outnumbered them and got the rebound, which is what we want anyways.”

The five-minute major power play was the Kings’ second of the game. The Red Eddies dominated on the penalty kill on the first one, in the second period, outshooting the Kings 3-1.

Edward Little (1-1) had one more power play opportunity with 80 seconds remaining, but Lupardo stopped the Red Eddies’ final surge.

“I just (wanted) to see the pucks and try to stop them to the best of my ability, and the boys did a good job of getting (the puck) out,” Lupardo said.

The Kings had three power play chances in the first period, and they capitalized on the the third one just past the 11-minute mark. Reese Collins fired the initial shot and Spencer Berube scored on the loose rebound for the goal.

The Kings were 2-for-6 on the power play, while EL was 0-for-3.

Red Eddies goalie Gavin Toussaint made 12 saves in the loss.


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