For the first time all season, Edward Little’s powerhouse boys hockey team had to battle for 45 minutes Thursday afternoon at Troubh Ice Arena, but the Red Eddies proved they can win a close game when necessary.

Facing an undermanned but determined Cheverus/Yarmouth co-op squad, Edward Little struggled to score until Trey Coulombe found the net in the second period. Peyton Dyer added an insurance goal early in the third and Gage Ducharme made 18 saves to help Edward Little prevail, 2-1, and improve to 7-0.

“We came out of it alive, but we had to grit it out,” said Red Eddies Coach Norm Gagne. “It wasn’t our best effort, but we got the win and that’s what we came here to do.”

Edward Little carried play for much of the first period, but the Cheverus defense and goalie Neal McQuarrie held.

The Red Eddies even had a 5-on-3 power play for 40 seconds, but couldn’t convert, as McQuarrie made a glove save with a flourish off a shot from Campbell Cassidy.

After being in a defensive shell for much of the first period, Cheverus went on the attack to start the second period and had Edward Little on its heels. Ducharme came up big, however, including a terrific one-on-one denial of Matt Robichaud right in front.

With 7:46 left in the second, Edward Little finally struck. Brody Keefe passed the puck ahead to Coulombe, who got some room on the right side, skated in and fired a shot past McQuarrie.

The Red Eddies then got some breathing room three minutes into the third period, thanks to a tenacious individual effort from Andrew Clements, who fought off a check along the boards, kept his balance, then set up Dyer at the far post for a tap-in and a 2-0 lead.

“Andrew did a great job fighting and working and he got the puck to me and I just had to put it in,” said Dyer.

“That was my third line that scored that winning goal,” Gagne added. “I always play three lines and that goal was a credit to them.”

Cheverus (2-3) quickly cut the deficit in half when Truman Peters scored on the rebound of a shot from Brian Connolly with 11:15 left. Ben Moll was also credited with an assist.

The Stags then had a chance to tie it on a power play, but Ducharme twice denied Robichaud.

“I knew the boys could do the job,” said Ducharme. “The defense keeps the shots away and they make it easy on me.”

McQuarrie made 16 saves as Cheverus lost its third one-goal game of the season.

“I thought we played a great game,” said Cheverus Coach Dave St. Pierre. “We went toe-to-toe with them and they’re one of the best teams in the state. I’m proud of the effort.”


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