Sunday, March 9, 2014
By Paul Betit email@example.com
There will be no secrets in the boys' hockey state finals Saturday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. Each team in the Class A and B games knows each other extremely well.
Ted Hart of Greely is a tough player to catch, and an even tougher player to stop from scoring. Camden Hills found that out in the Western Class B final when Hart scored three goals. Greely will take on Messalonskee for the state title.
Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer
Androscoggin Bank Colisee, Lewiston
WHO: Greely (16-4) vs. Messalonskee (18-2)
WHEN: 1 p.m. Saturday
MESSALONSKEE´S KEY PLAYERS: Chase Cunningham, jr., RW (34 goals, 40 assists); Jared Cunningham, fr., C (32-35); Josh Towle, jr., LW (17-28); Dominic Dexter, sr., D; Dylan Burton, fr., D; Dan Weiss, jr., G
GREELY’S KEY PLAYERS: Ted Hart, jr., F (34 goals, 17 assists), Reid Howland, so., F (23-17); Mitchel Donovan, so., F (10-26); Kyle Megathlin, sr., D (8-14); Matt Ames, sr., D (6-9); Kyle Kramlich, so., G (14-2-0, 2.11 goals-against average)
KEYS TO THE GAME: These two teams are mirror images. Both squads like to get up and go, so this game should be played at a very fast tempo. Depth could be a factor. Greely rolls three forward lines routinely, and that could be a problem should the Eagles fall behind early and have to use their top two lines more frequently.
Hart has been on a scoring tear for the past two months and is dangerous no matter where he gets the puck on the ice, while the Cunningham brothers have provided the Eagles with a solid one-two offensive punch all season.
WHO: Falmouth (17-3-1) vs. Lewiston (17-3-1)
WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday
FALMOUTH’S KEY PLAYERS: Hugh Grygiel, sr., F (27 goals, 17 assists); Kris Samaras, sr., F (18-16); Alden Weller, jr., D (12-16); Jack Pike, sr., D (4-19); J.P. White, sr., F (7-15); Dane Paul, jr., G (2.84 goals-against average)
LEWISTON’S KEY PLAYERS: Kyle Lemelin, jr., F (18 goals, 21 assists); Pat DeBlois, jr., D (12-18); Matt Poulin, Jr., F (14-11); Evan Gosselin, Jr., F (6-14); Ethan Melvin Jr., D (5-10); Evan Bourassa, sr., G (1.66 goals-against average)
KEYS TO THE GAME: It’s Falmouth’s first time in a state hockey final, but some of its players have won state championships in both soccer and lacrosse, and that experience could be helpful. The Yachtsmen showed a lot of poise and patience in winning their first regional title.
Those qualities could be helpful against a Lewiston squad that outscored its three opponents in the Eastern Maine regional by a 24-2 margin. Bourassa, who stopped 35 shots in a 5-1 victory over Bangor in the East final, may have to come up big again against a Falmouth team just doesn’t quit.
The Class B final is a rematch of a year ago, when Greely skated to a 6-2 victory against Messalonskee.
The Class A game features a perennial contender, Lewiston, against Falmouth. They split their two regular-season games.
On Dec. 16, Lewiston won 4-3 in overtime at the Colisee, and Falmouth skated to a relatively easy 3-1 victory Jan. 3 at home.
The Yachtsmen rallied in the third period to pull out a 4-3 victory against Scarborough in the West final to earn their first trip to the state championship game.
The Blue Devils outscored their three opponents in the Eastern tournament by a 24-2 margin to make their second trip in three seasons.
"We have to have a strong effort," Lewiston Coach Jamie Belleau said. "We want to make them play 200 feet and we're going to have to play smart. We're going to have to minimize our mistakes and maintain our composure, and do the little things right."
Belleau said the Devils need to play better than they did in the regional tournament.
"We're going to have to play our very best game," he said. "Falmouth is a very good team. They're very deep, they've got three strong lines and a strong senior class. We're going to have to bring our A game."
Falmouth Coach Deron Barton intends to follow the same recipe that brought the Yachtsmen success in the regional tournament.
"We need to do the same thing we did against Scarborough," Barton said. "We need to play defensive hockey. We need to tighten our own end and limit their scoring opportunities, and capitalize on the ones that we get."
"Lewiston is a dangerous team. They have a couple of lines of kids who just keep going and going and going. They never quit and you can't let them back (in the game) for a minute."
In Class B, Greely and Messalonskee will play each other for the fourth time in 15 months.
Last season the Rangers skated to their victory over the Eagles in the state final after beating them 8-4 in the regular season.
Last month, Greely skated to an 8-4 victory against Messalonskee at Sukee Arena in Winslow.
"Every time you play against a team, you get to know a little bit more about them," Messalonskee Coach Mike Latendresse said.
"If you turn that around though, they get to know what we do, too"
Each coach appeared to be taking a similar approach.
"We're going to try to focus on the way we play and what we try to do well," Greely Coach Barry Mothes said.
"Our players have done that well through our first two playoff games and we're going to be working to stay with that plan, stay with that kind of playoff intensity and focus."
"We're going to concentrate on what we do, no doubt," Latendresse said.
"Our focus is on our team, and we definitely have to focus on parts of their game that are the best. It's difficult to find a weakness in Greely's game."
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: