AUBURN — Things have started to come together for the Edward Little boys hockey team in the past week.

The Red Eddies earned their second straight win Monday by shutting out Portland/Deering 3-0 at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

“We have gotten two shutouts in a row, that’s big for us,” Edward Little coach Norm Gagne said. “We are finally gaining some confidence in what we are doing, confidence in the system and playing together, playing for each other.

“It’s what I’ve been trying to tell them, we need to play for each other and in a physical game like today, we need to keep our composure a little bit better because we don’t want to be giving a team like Portland/Deering an opportunity.”

The Red Eddies have been a different team since a 2-1 loss to Portland/Deering (5-8-0) on Jan. 25. They lost their next game to Lewiston 4-2 last Wednesday, but said Gagne said liked the way Edward Little played. Then, on Saturday, the Eddies defeated Biddeford/Old Orchard Beach/Massabesic 2-0.

Portland/Deering coach Jeff Beaney tipped his cap to Edward Little (3-10-0) which didn’t allow the Bulldogs to get much offense going Monday. The Red Eddies outshot the Bulldogs 31-8, and goalie Gage Ducharme earned the shutout for EL.

“I thought they played with a lot of energy early, and they got the early lead,” Beaney said. “They were kind of able to dictate the pace of the game and the whole thing. It took us a while to get going, but I thought they played real well.”

The Red Eddies struck quickly in the first period and grabbed a 2-0 lead before the five-minute mark.

Marius Morneau chipped the puck up to Campbell Cassidy, who skated along the left-side boards into the offensive zone. He then cut across the ice toward the slot and slid the puck through Bulldogs goalie Ryan Becker’s five-hole.

“That was big for the team, number one, and it’s good for him because he has the skill to do that,” Gagne said. “He’s going to be that player (who) when he gets the puck, he’s dangerous. To see him finally finish like that, it was big for us.”

Jack Keefe stretched the lead to 2-0 with a goal 4:44 into the game. After a scramble in front of Becker’s crease, the puck went out to the top of the slot, and Keefe blasted it into the net.

“There was a lot of cycling in the corners, and we got shots on net and the rebound came out to my stick and I just put it in,” Keefe said.

The score remained 2-0 until late in the second period when Reed Chapman’s shot looked like it was going to be stopped by Becker (28 saves), but he misjudged the puck and it tickled in past the goal line.

The Red Eddies controlled play early in the third, firing seven shots in the first couple of minutes of the period to help prevent the Bulldogs from mounting a comeback.

“We had to come out and try to do something early and didn’t get it done,” Beaney said. “You run out of time. Of course, it’s one of those games where we could have played for 120 minutes and we wouldn’t have gotten enough shots off.”


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