AUBURN — The Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland girls hockey team scored three goals in the second period then held off Biddeford/Kennebunk/Thornton Academy/Wells in the third to grab a 4-3 season-opening victory at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

Starting 1-0 is significant for the Red Hornets after the won only two games in 2022-23.

“It means a lot to us since last year kind of was not a great year,” senior Kylee Spugnardi said. “To start off and getting a win, it means a lot to us.”

Spugnardi scored two of the Red Hornets’ three goals in the middle frame.

Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland coach Dana Berube said Saturday’s game shows the Red Hornets will be looking to battle for the entire season. It also shows that Izzy Jalbert, one of the squad’s two goalies, is making a swift adjustment to the ice.

“We know who we are,” Berube said. “We aren’t going to be a top team in the league, but we are going to be a competitive team. The girls have been working hard and a goalie who has never played hockey in her life — how competitive she’s been in practice since Day 1, it’s pretty exciting.


“You can tell the team is close because they were all pushing each other.”

Jalbert, a senior, made 21 saves in her on-ice debut.

After a few early butterflies, Jalbert said she settled in quickly.

Ella Labelle, right, of Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland reacts after Red Hornets goalkeeper Izzy Jalbert made a save during Saturday’s game against Biddeford/Kennebunk/Thornton Academy/Wells at Norway Savings Bank Arena. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

“The first five minutes of the first period, I got some jitters out,” Jalbert said. “After that, I made a couple of saves, and I got comfortable with myself — it was all good.”

Jalbert said being a soccer goalie and a catcher in softball help her have the reflexes needed to play goalie in hockey.

Both teams’ offenses found success at the end of the first period.


Cordelia Kane scored for the Tigers off a rebound with 1:48 remaining, then Gabryella Phelan added a goal a minute later to give the Biddeford co-op a 2-0 lead.

“We had a couple of goals from new players on the team,” Tigers coach Josh Williams said. “They are freshmen, and they are going to really contribute this year. They all played their hearts out.”

Berube said Jalbert was frustrated after giving up the two goals in the opening 15 minutes.

“She was upset with herself, and that was her first period of hockey,” Berube said. “It was nice to have a strong second, and we held on in the third. It was great to have an opening matchup that was competitive.”

The Red Hornets got on the board in the final 10 seconds of the first when Helena Moon found the back of the net.

Berube said Moon’s goal boosted the team’s confidence.


“You always like to see your team get a goal with eight or nine seconds left in a period,” Berube said. “Those are big, and we seem to feed off that momentum and do well.”

Spugnardi evened the game early in the second when she took the puck in the neutral zone and ripped a shot past Tigers goalie Mariah Villandry (15 saves).

Spugnardi scored her second of the game with under five minutes remaining in the middle frame when she skated from neutral zone and beat the defenders then roofed the puck into the goal for a 3-2 Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland lead.

“When I skate down the ice, I watch them move their stick and I go around them,” Spugnardi said. “I pick my spot and I shoot.”

Avery Colonga put the Red Hornets up 4-2 when she took control of the puck in the offensive zone and skated towards the goal and fired it top shelf with 40 seconds remaining in the second period.

“That was a pretty finish,” Berube said. “Quite honestly, I thought we got away with one earlier in the shift. Izzy made a huge save right before that — got her left pad out on an opportunity they had. Avery took the ice that was in front of her.”


Lilly LeSieur got the Tigers within a goal early in the third period when she got the puck beside the goal and lifted it past Jalbert.

“We played really good, we had a lot of shots on net and we had a lot of opportunities,” Williams said.

Jalbert said she didn’t mind the pressure of trying to prevent the Tigers from scoring the tying goal.

“I handle pressure pretty well,” Jalbert said. “I try to keep myself calm, stick to the basics, get the puck away or get it in my glove because my glove hand is stronger.”

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