LEWISTON – Top-seeded Greely put its tournament experience to good use Friday night.

The defending state champions played shut-down defense and made the most of their scoring opportunities to roll to a 7-2 win against fifth-seeded Cape Elizabeth in a Western Class B hockey semifinal at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Greely will play second-seeded Camden Hills for the regional title at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Colisee.

“They’ve been here. They’ve done that,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Matt Buotte said. They score goals at key times. They answered right back after we finally scored. What can you say about them? They’re a great hockey team.”

The Rangers, who beat the Capers twice during the regular season, played solid at both ends of the ice.

“We have a pretty big corps of guys in here who have played in a lot of big games, and I think that helped us tonight in terms of understanding what it takes to win these games,” Greely Coach Barry Mothes said. “It is a different level. The intensity is up. Sometimes, goals are hard to come by.”

It was truly a team effort, as 10 players had either a goal or an assist for Greely. Aiden Black, a junior forward, and freshman forward Jared Lavallee each scored two goals.

Greely held a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period.

Less than two minutes into the game, Black intercepted a pass and put in a blistering shot.

With 10 seconds left in the period, sophomore Mitchel Donovan scored his 11th goal of the season during the Rangers’ second power play. Donovan collected Ted Hart’s feed from the other side of the crease put it inside the right post.

The lead grew to 4-1 after two periods.

Cape’s Brandon Negele made it 2-1 when he slid a rebound into the left side for a power-play goal less than five minutes into the period.

The Rangers quickly regained a two-goal edge when Black put in a wide-angled shot from the right side for his 10th goal.

Reid Howland scored his 20th goal of the season on a breakaway late in the period, beating goalie Grant Rusk with a terrific one-on-one move.

The Rangers took a 5-1 lead when Lavallee scored on a breakaway with eight minutes left in the third period.

After Eli Breed scored his sixth goal of the season for the Capers (8-11), Greely defenseman Matt Ames and Lavallee completed the scoring by putting in goals 20 seconds apart.

Buotte said he was glad his team got the chance to play in the regional semifinals.

“My guys left it all out there,” he said. “I’m proud of every guy in our (locker) room. It’s money in the bank as far as I’m concerned to come up here and get this experience.”

Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

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