January 17

Greely defeats Gorham in boys’ hockey

The Rangers hope to rise in the Heal points with the victory.

By Paul Betit
Special to the Press Herald

FALMOUTH — Reid Howland put in a rebound 7:15 into the third period to lift Greely to a 2-1 win over Gorham in a Western Class A schoolboy hockey game Thursday night at the Family Ice Center.

click image to enlarge

Christian Kroot of Greely makes a save Thursday night as Jared Wood of Gorham looks on during the second period of Greely’s 2-1 victory. Kroot finished with 25 saves.

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Howland finished off a rush by flicking the puck inside the right post after goalie Justin Broy stopped his first shot to lift the defending Class B state champions into only their second win of the season.

“Tonight is obviously going to help with the Heal points,” Greely Coach Barry Mothes said. “We’ve been kind of barely treading water in seventh or eighth place. We needed a push, and these guys were 6-1 coming in so this will help, but we’ve got to keep winning games and learning how to keep winning games.”

The Rangers (2-5-2) got past the Rams (6-2) by playing a solid three periods.

Greely didn’t commit a penalty and kept Gorham’s forwards from getting to the few rebounds allowed by goaltender Christian Kroot.

“It was really a tight playoff type of game, and we’ve been in a lot of those games,” Mothes said. “Haven’t had a lot of breaks in some of them and we made a lot of mistakes. Tonight I think we reduced those mistakes by a significant amount and I think it enabled us to play a much better game.”

Kroot, making his fourth consecutive start following an injury to Kyle Kramlich, had 25 saves.

“I kept telling our guys to get the puck on net, and I hoped and thought it would bounce our way, but it didn’t happen tonight,” Gorham Coach Jon Portwine said. “They were just collapsing on the net. It was hard for us to make an across-ice pass. It seemed like they were in the right place when the rebounds came out, and we weren’t.”

The score was 1-1 at the end of the first period.

The Rams took the lead less than three minutes into the game when Shawn Sullivan poked the puck past Kroot to finish off a three-on-two rush.

With less than seven minutes left in the period, Tommy Thompson forged a tie by rifling in a shot from the right circle after receiving Joe Saffian’s pass across the slot while the Rangers skated with a two-man advantage.

Gorham held an 11-5 edge in shots on goal during the scoreless second period, but neither team was able to sustain pressure for long.

With less than three minutes left, the Rangers went on their third power play of the game, but the Rams didn’t allow them to take a shot on goal.

“I thought the guys had the right focus and attitude from the get-go, and we put together a three good solid periods, and we didn’t get down,” Mothes said. “The guys played hard but clean, and it made a huge difference tonight.”

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