Sunday, December 8, 2013
MARK JEANNERET, Special to the Press Herald
LEWISTON — Two years in a row, Greely's quest for the Western Class B boys' hockey championship was derailed by York.
Greely goalie Kyle Kramlich gets swarmed by his teammates as the Rangers celebrate their 5-1 victory over York in the Western Class B boys’ hockey championship game in Lewiston. Greely will play Messalonskee for the state championship on Saturday.
Photos by Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer
Pete Stauber, left, celebrates with his Greely teammates after scoring a third-period goal that gave the Rangers a 4-0 lead.
STATE 'B' HOCKEY FINAL
WHO: Messalonskee (18-3) vs. Greely (14-4-2)
WHEN: 1 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: The Colisee, Lewiston
Wednesday night, the Rangers returned to the summit -- and ended York's season.
Pete Stauber scored once and added an assist to lead Greely to a 5-1 win in the regional final at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
The victory avenged a 6-4 loss to the Wildcats in last year's regional final and sent the Rangers to the state final for the third time in six years. Greely will face Messalonskee at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Colisee.
"(Losing to York last year) was a big blow to our confidence but it turned out that it really helped us this year," said Stauber, who was a member of Greely's state championship team in 2009.
"We were able to come out with a lot of fire today. Everything went well for us today. We had a good, set plan and we executed it well."
The No. 1-seeded Rangers (14-4-2) jumped on second-seeded York (12-6-2) early, as Jordan Tarbox scored just 2:14 into the game. Drew Hackett carried the puck to the York blue line and attracted the attention of the defensemen. As they converged, he dished a pass over to Tarbox, who cruised in alone on the York goal and beat Jared Posternak to the blocker side.
"That first goal was huge to get it right away early," said Tarbox. "I think it gave us a lot of momentum and it just started a good run."
Greely, which beat York in both regular-season meetings, added to its lead in the second period with a pair of power-play goals.
First, Kenny Richards came up with the puck just above the York goal line and sent a sharp-angled shot toward the front. The puck found its way past Posternak to give the Rangers a 2-0 advantage 2:20 into the period.
Five minutes later, a shot from just inside the blue line by Zac Doucette made its way through traffic for a 3-0 lead. The goal came with two seconds remaining on a tripping penalty to York's Zach Franklin.
"It was a satisfying win tonight," said Greely Coach Barry Mothes. "I was really pleased with the way the guys played tonight. We've had a lot of good games with York and we have a lot of respect for that team. We've had a lot of big battles and tonight was another one."
While Greely was building momentum, York was heading in the opposite direction. The defending state champions outshot the Rangers 13-12 in the first period but managed only nine shots -- and few scoring chances -- the rest of the game.
"I don't know what it was," said York Coach Mike Vessey. "I've been watching our team for the past couple of weeks at practice and in the Cape Elizabeth game (in the semifinals), and I was very pleased with what I had seen.
"We went out there tonight and played very tentatively. We weren't attacking the puck and Greely was. They played extremely well."
Stauber and Ted Hart added third-period goals for the Rangers. Jared Clauson spoiled Kyle Kramlich's shutout bid with 4:28 left.
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Mitchel Donovan of Greely tries to put the puck between the skates of York’s Adam Audet and around goalie Jared Posternak. The Rangers beat York for the third time this season, 5-1.
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Greely defenseman Tim Storey pins York’s Shane Hughes against the boards while battling for possession of the puck.