AUBURN — After giving up the opening goal in each of the first two games of the regular season, Edward Little boys hockey coach Norm Gagne wanted to see the Red Eddies have a better start Saturday night.

Edward Little indeed scored the first goal and never looked back in a 4-1 win over Greely at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

“I told the players I wanted to win the first five minutes of the game,” Gagne said. “We had a great practice on Thursday and I made some adjustments in the defensive zone and in the breakout. I also got to play a lot of kids, so it was a great night.”

The breakout change was bringing the center into the defensive zone instead of having the center in the neutral zone.

The Rangers (0-2) took positives from the game for being a young team.

“This was a really important game for this team,” Greely coach Barry Mothes said. “We talked about before the game just how important of trying to commit ourselves to the effort and what it takes to battle. … I am really proud of the team. I felt like our guys dug down hard and I thought we were in the game through three periods.”


The Red Eddies (2-1) won the first five minutes thanks in part to Drew Smith being strong on his stick, as he made a power move toward the left circle and his shot beat Greely goalie Will Klein 4:12 into the first period.

Greely had back-to-back power plays at the end of the first period, and the Rangers started to put pucks on Edward Little goalie Gage Ducharme but couldn’t get anything past him.

Early in the second period, the Red Eddies appeared to score when Peyton Dyer fed Caleb Albert with a cross-ice pass and Albert put it in the net. However, the whistle blew for a minor penalty to Campbell Cassidy, negating the goal.

Gagne liked the thought process of Dyer on the disallowed goal.

“I thought that was a great play — that’s what we are looking for in our players,” Gagne said. “Peyton looked up; he was going to shoot, he saw Caleb and he threw the puck to him for the goal, even though it was called back.”

Cassidy had to tell Albert the bad news that he didn’t score his first goal of the regular season.


“I told my buddy it was not a goal and he said, ‘What?'” Cassidy said. “I said, ‘Yeah, I got called for a penalty.'”

Cassidy made up for it later in the period as he tucked the puck into the goal on a wrap-around attempt in the middle of the frame. Andrew Clements recorded an assist.

On Edward Little’s second power play of the game in the second period, Cassidy fired a shot from the high slot into the net, beating Klein (17 saves) cleanly.

Smith played a role in the goal by providing a screen.

“We had a guy 6-foot-3, 210 (pounds) out front,” Cassidy said. “So I just threw it out front and the goalie never saw it.”

In the third period, Edward Little defenseman Brody Keefe had an offensive zone faceoff won back to him. The puck was rolling and he settled it down and teed up a slapshot past Klein nearly three minutes into the stanza. Joey Samson tallied the assist.

Greely got on the board late in the third period as the Red Eddies struggled to get the puck out of their zone. Rangers defenseman Cullen Rafford’s shot from the blue line struck an Edward Little player’s stick shaft and the puck changed direction on Ducharme (16 saves) as it went in the net.

Sean Allen received the assist.

“We had some good pressure, and it was good the way we were pouncing on loose pucks,” Mothes said. “Our (defensemen) Cullen Rafford and Matt Kennedy did a phenomenal job of just shooting quickly off of moving pucks. They were on net and we got chances.”

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