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Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 3:10 pm
LEWISTON — The Noble/Wells Knights gave reigning Class A state champion Falmouth all it could handle Saturday, but Andre Clement's goal with 1:23 remaining sprang the Yachtsmen into the Western Class A hockey title game with a 5-4 semifinal victory.
“That's what they have done the last three games against Tier I teams. They proved they belong on the same ice as them,” Noble/Wells coach Keith St. Cyr said of his team. Falmouth will play Scarborough on Tuesday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee 8 p.m.
Noble/Wells played primarily a Tier II schedule this year. This was the first time it faced Falmouth all season.
Entering the third period, Falmouth had a 4-3 lead, but Connor Pease scored his second of the contest nearly eight minutes into the period to tie the contest up on the man advantage. Ryan Marsh earned his third assist of the day on the goal.
“Enjoy it to the very end, I don't care how tired you get, you have to put that out of your mind,” St. Cyr said he told his team in the second period.
It took half of the first period for the Yachtsmen to get their legs under them.
On their first power play, Jake Grade blasted a shot past Wyatt Ricker at the 7:27 mark of the first period on the power play. Assists went to Andre Clement and Brandon Peters.
Grade struck with 3:11 left to play in the first stanza, set up by Christopher Camelio.
Falmouth went into the first intermission with a 3-0 lead. Peters notched the goal with a minute left to play in the period. Isac Nordstrom and Tyler Jordan picked up the assists on the man advantage.
Falmouth was 2 of 2 on the power play while Noble/Wells was 2 of 4 with the man advantage.
“We have been here before. We had three overtime games this year and we won them all,” Falmouth coach Deron Barton said. “We had some tight games down the home stretch and I have to give credit to my guys too, hanging in there and finding a way to getting it done.”
Noble/Wells regrouped for the second period, and Ryan Marsh's shot 1:36 into the period put them on the board. Dean Pratt notched the lone assist.
The Knights pulled within one when Noah Pease's slid the puck inot the net on the backhand 7:12 into the period. Marsh and Pratt set up the goal.
“They earned a spot here, no question about it,” Barton said. “Maybe they weren't as talented as we were, but they wanted it as much or more (than) we did, and it showed.”
Falmouth restored some order when Hunter Low was left alone by the left circle. His slap shot found the back of the net 11:08 into the period.
Connor Pease's slap shot trickled through the pads of Falmouth goalkeeper Dane Pauls with 35 seconds left in the period.
Pauls made 19 saves. Ricker stopped 33 shots.
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