2016-11-30 / Sports

Icebreaker tournament warms up preseason

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Assistant Sports Editor

BIDDEFORD-- In the Earl Goodwin Icebreaker tournament the games are pre-season and the most experienced team doesn’t keep score. At Biddeford Ice Arena Saturday, Thornton Academy, Noble, Gorham, and the MOB (Massabesic/Old Orchard Beach/Bonny Eagle) varsity hockey teams faced off before a once-a-year Thornton Academy alumni game.

Thornton Academy’s varsity played three scrimmage games Saturday, coming out with a 2-1 win-loss unofficial record from the tournament, although regular season games don’t start for Thornton until Dec. 10. TA won 6-2 against MOB, lost 2-1 vs Noble, and came back to win 5-2 over Gorham.

The aptly named tournament serves as a preseason preview for teams and coaches, helping them to better gauge their level of preparedness for the season.

“It’s early so I got a good look at a lot of guys who played JV last year. We skated a lot of sophomores so they got a lot of opportunity to play at the varsity level. I’m encouraged with the depth we have,” said Gorham coach Jon Portwine.

In the last varsity game of the day, Gorham took an early lead over TA, 2-1 ending the first period, but Gorham lost control in the second period following a defensive breakdown. Each team played three games Saturday in a physically demanding schedule. Thornton’s Nicholas Beaudoin said, “we just tough through it. We were alternating guys that were playing today so it kept us all fresh.”

If this tournament is any indicator, Thornton hockey has a promising season ahead.

“It’s good to see we’ve got new guys coming up that can keep up and are going to be ready to go when the season hits. We’re a step ahead of the game already,” said Beaudoin.

After the varsity teams traipsed out of the locker rooms, their older counterparts, the Thornton hockey alumni, got on the ice to play each other in scrimmages with no timer, no scorekeeping, and interchangeable jerseys. The alumni pay for ice time, but nonetheless drew a sizable crowd for a game purely for fun.

TA alum Alex Fallon said, “it’s a good opportunity to come out and see some of the guys you haven’t seen in a while.”

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