HALLOWELL — The Gardiner hockey team has come a long way since opening the season with a pair of shutout losses.

Tuesday night at the Camden National Bank Ice Vault the Tigers avenged one of those losses with a 4-0 win over Gorham in the opening round of the Class B South playoffs.

The playoff victory was the first for second-seeded Gardiner (14-4-1) in seven years and put it into the semifinals Friday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston against Cape Elizabeth (8-9-2). No. 7 Gorham finishes 7-12-0.

The Tigers turned this one around with three quick goals in the second period, coming from their second line of Jake Folsom, Tristan Hebert and Reid Cotnoir. Folsom had two goals and an assist while Hebert tallied a goal and an assist. Freshman Tanner Hebert scored Gardiner’s first goal with 17 seconds left in the opening period.

“We were moving the puck pretty good tonight,” Tristan Hebert said. “Everything was just working really well for us. We’ve been practicing hard all week so it’s nice to see it pay off in a game.”

The Tigers, who lost 3-0 to the Rams early in the season, out-shot Gorham 30-15 and dominated time in the offensive zone.

“They’re hungry,” Gardiner coach Sam Moore said. “They haven’t been to the playoffs.”

Rams goalie Noah Bird kept his team in the game in the first period, which looked as if it would end in a scoreless tie. But Gardiner defenseman Sloan Berthiaume found Tanner Hebert with a nice pass from the left point toward the far right corner and Hebert one-timed a tough-angled shot into the goal.

The second period belonged to the Tigers. Bird made excellent back-to-back saves off Cotnoir and Folsom but Tristan Hebert was there for the rebound of Folsom’s shot to make it 2-0.

“We knew Gorham was going to come out hard because we had that one goal lead and we really wanted to keep the pressure up,” Hebert said.

Two minutes later, Folsom made it 3-0 when Tanner Hebert fed him a perfect pass in front of Bird.

“I don’t really consider it a second line,” Moore said. “I think I’ve got two first lines.”

Folsom got his second goal of the night later in the period after Tristan Hebert passed the puck from the right side to the left post.

“It was very impressive the way they played,” Gorham coach John Portwine said. “The way they played their systems and how disciplined they were I’m not sure we had a chance at all. They did everything the way you’re supposed to do it, textbook.”

The Rams played with a greater sense of urgency in the third period and took the play to the Tigers for a few stretches. Gardiner goalie Michael Poirier was up to the challenge and made several of his best saves of the game.

Michael’s been there for us all year long,” Moore said. “I think he’s the best goalie in the league. He always comes through.”

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