AUBURN — Edward Little’s offense broke through with a season-best output Wednesday against Portland/South Portland/Waynflete/Deering in a Class A boys hockey contest.

The Red Eddies defeated the Beacons 5-1 at Norway Savings Bank Arena. Edward Little (3-5) entered the game having scored only eight times in its first seven games of the season.

Edward Little coach Norm Gagne altered the team’s breakout to focus on the puck rather than the player.

“We made some changes. I changed my forecheck and that paid off,” Gagne said. “I changed it for the last game when we won against Falmouth. We doubled up on (the goals) today and we changed our breakout — that was big, too.”

Brooks Hefty scored two goals in the win, which is the Red Eddies’ second in a row. Hefty scored the game-winner in Saturday’s 2-1 overtime victory over Falmouth.

Hefty was a defenseman earlier in the season and is now a forward.


“It has been hard, a lot more skating as a forward,” Hefty said. “That’s a big jump, but putting it in the net feels good.”

The Beacons had a big win on Saturday when they defeated Lewiston 2-1.

“For us, it was a trap game after beating Lewiston,” Beacons’ co-coach Jeff Beaney said. “No matter how many times I told them, ‘EL is a good team and they have good players, you better be ready,’ we didn’t really respond.”

The Red Eddies controlled the puck in the offensive zone for most of the first period of Wednesday’s game, but Beacons goalie Michael Zaccaria (26 saves) kept Edward Little at bay for most of the stanza.

Ben Poulin broke the 0-0 deadlock when he cut off an Avery Tyler shot attempt and roofed the puck past Zaccaria, giving the Red Eddies a 1-0 lead late in the first period.

Cam Roy started the play and got the puck to Tyler.


“Cam Roy played really well,” Gagne said. “His decision making, getting the puck in and taking the puck — he plays with a lot of composure and confidence.”

The Beacons (4-5) picked up the pace in the second period and tied the game when a 2-on-1 became a 2-on-0 after a Red Eddies defender fell at the blue line, and Portland’s Ben Palsen fired a shot past Edward Little goalie Camren Dufour (14 saves) 6:40 into the frame. Hunter Temple assisted on the goal.

“Their goalie played well, but it was the only way we were going to score on them,” Beaney said of the 2-on-0. “I don’t want to take away from them because they played really well.”

The Red Eddies answered a few minutes later when Peyton Dyer made a pass to Brooks Hefty on a 2-on-1, and Hefty’s wrist shot beat Zaccaria.

“It feels good — when you get scored on, a lot of times, you start to feel down on yourself,” Hefty said. “Getting another one to get us that lead back feels good, gets us a cushion and (we can) go out and play freely.”

Beaney said Hefty’s first goal changed the game.


“I thought EL played well and they had a good game plan,” Beaney said. “When it was 2-1, we scored and they got that one back — we made a bad line change in the second period. Too many guys got off when EL had the puck. If we didn’t allow that quick goal, that was the big play of the game.”

Edward Little put the game away with three goals in the third period.

First, Andrew Clements skated on the right wing, cut towards the net at the right circle, and lifted the puck past Zaccaria with a backhander 4:40 into the third.

Later in the period, Dyer slid a pass to Derek Hart, who drove to the net and put the puck in the cage to extend the Red Eddies’ lead to 4-1.

“The 2-on-1 from Peyton to Derek, that was another great play,” Gagne said. “We are starting to play with our heads up, and when you play with your heads up, you see opportunities.”

Hefty finished the scoring with his second goal in the final minute of the game for Edward Little.

“I told the kids, ‘You can beat anyone.’ I said that before,'” Gagne said. “I said, ‘I can do all the X’s and O’s, but you have to execute.’ … They took ownership and identity to be hungry. When we play hungry like we did today, getting in the dirty areas and fight (for the puck).”

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