Yarmouth boys’ hockey coach Dan St. Pierre described Chris Romano and Cooper May’s chemistry on their line as “instant.”

That was evident Thursday night in Yarmouth’s 4-3 victory over Portland/Deering at William B. Troubh Ice Arena. Romano had two goals and an assist, and May contributed a goal and an assist.

“We put those two guys together about halfway through last year,” St. Pierre said. “Ever since then it has been building.”

Portland fell to 6-3 despite a 26-18 edge in shots on goal.

“I thought they were a little more competitive in front of the two nets,” Portland Coach Jeff Beaney said. “We kind of lost our focus.”

The game was physical. The Bulldogs had six power-play opportunities while allowing Yarmouth (5-3-1) just one.

“A lot of penalty-kill time but I’m proud of the way the guys reacted to it and kept their head in a difficult situation,” St. Pierre said. “We came out of it, kept our cool, kept focused on what we had to do as a team instead of things we couldn’t control.”

Yarmouth scored first, May converting a Romano assist with 4:38 left in the first period. Romano and May again proved too much for Portland’s defense with 8:51 left in the second, this time Romano scoring from May on a power play.

“He’s a heck of a player,” Romano said. “His puck movement and vision makes it pretty easy to put the puck in the back of the net.”

The Bulldogs answered about four minutes later when Cam King capitalized on a five-on-three power play, assisted by Joe Herboldsheimer.

But Joe Truesdale made it 3-1 with a backhanded goal on an Owen Ramsay assist with 2:52 left in the second period. Romano then scored his second goal – this time unassisted – with 10:59 left in the game.

Dominic Tocci pulled the Bulldogs within 4-3 with two goals less than a minute apart. King assisted on the first with 3:50 left, then Alex McGonagle on the second with 2:27 remaining.

Dan Latham finished with 23 saves for Yarmouth. Sam Segal had 14 for Portland.

“You get off to a good start and all the sudden it gets a little bit harder when you hit that first speed bump,” Beaney said.

But Beaney is optimistic. Last year Portland missed the playoffs with a 5-13 record. This season the Bulldogs trailed only Falmouth in Class A South heading into Thursday’s game. And their success is no fluke. They have been tested by teams such as Scarborough – the state runner-up – a team Portland edged 1-0 on Jan. 12.

Yarmouth, which advanced to last year’s Class B state championship game, got off to a slower start this season. But its three losses have been to powerhouses Waterville, Falmouth and Gardiner

Portland will play next Thursday at Cheverus – a team that beat the Bulldogs 5-2 early this season. Yarmouth will play Saturday at Greely, which St. Pierre described as a “huge rivalry game.”

“I think we’re starting to get there,” St. Pierre said. “The guys are learning the hard way but they’re learning.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or

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