Girls Hockey: Rams surge late, but can't come back against Dragons

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BRUNSWICK—Gorham/Bonny Eagle/Massabesic fell behind the Dragons early in the first period on Thursday evening, Dec. 20, and never recovered. The Rams’ Isis Adams and Anna Rathbun – they’d played ferociously all game – both scored in the waning minutes to finally put their girls on the board, but Brunswick’s lead was just too big: 6-2 the final.

“I think we just came out flat,” Rams head coach Nat Germond said. “And it’s hard to come back against a team – Brunswick had solid goaltending tonight, and they had some good offensive pressure.”

Brunswick generated an early opportunity: Elena Palmer, snowbirding, picked up a loose puck and dashed ahead for a one-on-one at the left side with Rams netminder Izzy Wareham just over a minute into the first. Wareham won that battle – but lost the first of six on the night barely 60 seconds later, when Beth Labbe zoomed up the opposite side for a wrister goal. Shea Sullivan assisted.

Brunswick’s first goal – and their second, for that matter – seemed to come on defensive miscues by the Rams. As it turns out, the team wasn’t playing with its normal defensive complement. Still, that doesn’t seem to have really made the difference in the outing:

“We had a couple freshmen dressed today, playing some defense,” Germond said, asked about his kids’ missteps in their own zone. “You’re always going to have some growing pains there. But on the whole, it wasn’t those girls; it more that we just played flat. We didn’t come in with the right mindset, we weren’t fired up to play. We need to play with a lot of zest, a lot of aggression.”

The Rams did apply solid attacking pressure at times: Despite the lopsided score in the end, the visitors weren’t without chances. Adams fed to Molly Rathbun not long after the Dragons opened the scoring, for exmaple; Rathbun redirected neatly, but saw her shot deflected just wide.

The action ping-ponged up and down the ice for the next 40 minutes or so, but only Brunswick were able to get the puck between the pipes: Emily Factor notched the team’s next point late roughly six minutes into the first; Greta White struck (assisted by Palmer) with 10:08 to play in the second; Labbe earned another around the 5:30 mark; Palmer capitalized (assisted by White and Sullivan) with 9:57 left in the third; Sullivan capped the evening (assisted by Labbe) midway through the closing stretch.

“We went,” Germond said, “between the second and third periods and said, ‘Listen, first two periods in the books; we’re a better team than we’ve showed out there…Let’s go play the way we’re capable of playing.’ Fortunately, we got a couple goals at the end there. I think the kids will get some momentum from that.”

Down 6-0, the Rams needed a miracle if they hoped to come back. They didn’t get one (a miracle, that is) but they did end the night on a high note – a pair of them to be precise: Adams, on a feed from Anna Rathbun, fired off a hard shot from out beyond the top of the Brunswick slot, beating goalie Nadia Leiner for 6-1 with 1:57 to play. Rathbun then curled around leftward from behind Leiner’s cage for a little flick to the far side for 6-2 with 56.7 seconds before the buzzer.

Germond applauded a few of his girls: “Anna Nault and Isis Adams on the back end played really well. Anna Rathbun, she always brings a game. I was very happy with Faith Dillon; she’s really come a long way this year.”

The Rams, now 2-3-1, match up again with the Dragons, now 1-7, in a post-Christmas tournament on Dec. 26. The team travels to Winslow two days later.

“As far as Brunswick’s record being 0-7,” Germond said, “if you look at their schedule, they have a very difficult schedule. They’ve played a lot of the upper echelon teams and played them competitively.

“So we felt like this was going to be a difficult game going in, and it turned out to be a difficult game. I don’t think we played to the level of our ability – not to take anything from them. But we certainly came out flat, the first two periods.”

Adam Birt can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.

Anna Rathbun pushes forward for the Rams.

Ram Molly Rathbun stabs after the puck.

Isis Adams scored one of the Rams’ two goals vs. the Dragons.

Anna Nault played an excellent game, defending for the Rams.

Isis Adams scored the Rams’ first goal on this shot from the top of the Dragons’ slot.

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