Cheverus won the City Cup for the fourth consecutive year, beating Portland/Deering 5-2 in a Class A boys’ hockey game at jam-packed Troubh Ice Arena Monday afternoon in Portland.

The annual game between the two crosstown rivals is normally played on New Year’s Day. Because that holiday fell on a Sunday this year, it was played Monday.

“It’s a great time to get kids to come out on a day off and both schools were well-supported,” Cheverus Coach Dan Lucas.

The standing-room-only crowd made for a highly-charged atmosphere.

“This game always has increased intensity no matter how different the teams’ skill levels are,” said Cheverus senior forward Ryan McSorley, who scored two goals and had an assist to earn most valuable player honors.

Cheverus, 5-3 in City Cup games, tapped into that increased intensity level right off when Colby Anton slid a rebound inside the right post 20 seconds into the game after Portland goalie Sam Segal stopped Cam Dube’s shot from point-blank range.

“We always try to come out with intensity and get off to a fast start,” said McSorley, who drew an assist on the play.”

Less than five minutes later, Alex Brewer put in another rebound to make it 2-0.

“We stood around,” Portland/Deering Coach Jeff Beaney said. “We’ve been changing some people around and we were very tentative in our own end early on.”

Midway through the first period, Mason Martell put in a shot from left circle to cut the Stags’ lead, but McSorley scored his first goal less than two minutes later for a 3-1 lead.

The Bulldogs climbed back into the game when Cam King scored a power-play goal 27 seconds into the second period.

In the waning moments of that period, Portland forward Dylan Wike received a 5-minute major penalty for hitting from behind. The Stags took advantage of that penalty when Jesse Pierce’s shot from the left circle went in off the stick of a defender less than two minutes into the third period.

“These games are so emotional,” Beaney said. “We had it leveled off and then we made some decisions and took some penalties, and I think that was the difference in the game.”

McSorley scored his second goal with less than two minutes left.

It was Portland’s first loss of the season after a 3-0 start.

“I certainly didn’t plan to go 20-0 on the year, but you want to keep getting better,” Beaney said “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. Hopefully, a game like this helps. As a program, we haven’t been in many important games, (so) this type of thing will help us in the playoffs.”

Cheverus is 3-3.

Five of the Stags’ first six opponents this season qualified for the playoffs last season, three of them played for regional titles.

“We wanted to be playing against the best teams,” Lucas said.

“I try to play four lines as much as I can. I know a lot of teams don’t do that. We want to get the guys exposed. We have a good skating team. If everybody can contribute, we think it will help us towards the end (of the season).”