LEWISTON — Tommy Thompson gave Greely an early lead and goalie Kyle Kramlich made sure it stood up as the two-time defending state champions earned a 3-2 win over Camden Hills in a Western Class B boys’ hockey semifinal Friday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
Greely (10-7-3), the No. 3 seed, will play top-seeded Gorham for the regional title at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Colisee.
It was Greely’s second win of the season over the second-seeded Windjammers (14-5-1). On Feb. 2, the Rangers skated to a 7-2 win at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport.
This game was much closer.
“The difference in tonight’s game is it was all or nothing,” said Thompson, who scored two goals. “We wanted to work as hard as we can, and they wanted to work as hard as they can.”
The Windjammers were forced to play catch-up almost from the outset, as Greely jumped out to a 2-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
Thompson opened the scoring with a power-play goal exactly one minute into the game. A little more than a minute later, Aidan Black jammed the puck into the right side of the goal on the Greely’s next shot.
Jack Orne made it 2-1 when he stuck the puck into the left side of the net 55 seconds into the second period.
Less than two minutes later, Thompson restored the Rangers’ two-goal lead when he finished off a rush with an assist from Reid Howland.
With just over a minute left in the second period, Parker Lawson made it 3-2 when he scored a power-play goal after Miles Shield was called for slashing while trying to stop breakaway attempt by Simon Lydon.
The Rangers did a good job of slowing down Camden Hills during a scoreless third period.
“I felt it was there a couple of times, (but) their goalie is very solid and I felt like they played team defense,” Camden Hills Coach Karl Enroth said. “They collapse around their goalie, and it’s very tough to get pucks through.”
“As the second period went on, we were just getting a little too greedy on the offensive side of the puck and trying to do a little too much and getting the forwards a little too low in the offensive zone,” Greely Coach Barry Mothes said.
“You don’t want to give (Camden Hills) any open ice, so we tried to make a few little adjustments structurally and positionally heading into the third period, and it helped tighten it up a little bit.”
Kramlich, a junior, made 25 saves in his eighth consecutive playoff win.
“I love the big games,” Kramlich said. “I seem nervous, but inside, deep down, I love them because you’ve got to shine. You’ve got to play well to move on. It’s the type of hockey I love.”