Cape Elizabeth 5

Gorham 4

The Cape Elizabeth hockey team took a 5-2 lead into the third period against Gorham on Saturday only to see that lead nearly disappear before holding on for a 5-4 win. Max Foner led all skaters with two goals for the Capers.

Foner scored the first goal of the game just 1:12 into the first period on a pass from Sether Hanson. The Rams had a chance to get that goal back early when Sam St. Germain was called for a penalty just under a minute later. But the Cape penalty kill was up to the task and the 1-0 lead stuck.

But Gorham did manage to put the puck in the net when David Gushee struck with just under five minutes to play in the period. Shortly after the tying goal, St. Germain was sent back to the box and this time the Rams took advantage. Jeremy Randall fed the puck to Brendan Ryan, who stuffed a backhanded shot into the net for the first Gorham lead of the game.

“We started each period well, but the first period I didn’t think we played well at all,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Jason Tremblay. “We were getting used to things with it being opening night and all.”

With just over a minute left in the first period the Capers tallied a power play goal of their own. With Spencer Violette serving two minutes for hooking, Mike Holden fired a slapper from the blue line that rippled the mesh and tied the game.

The second period belonged to the Capers. They outshot Gorham 16-3 and scored two more goals to make it a 4-2 game. Foner scored his second goal of the game in the second period, while skating toward the Gorham net, Foner made a drop pass. That shot was blocked, but Foner stuffed home the rebound.

Late in the second period the Capers doubled their lead. With another power play chance, Sean Eubanks cashed in for Cape. With a flick of the wrist, he deposited the puck into the net and gave his team a 4-2 lead.

The Capers scored their final goal just over two minutes into the third period when Peter Kelley took a pass from Zack Labbe and flipped it into the net for a commanding 5-2 lead.

Then the Rams responded with their first goal since the first period. Less than a minute after Kelley’s goal, Gushee passed the puck to Kyle Braley from behind the net and Braley flipped it into the net to cut the lead back down to two.

Things settled down and it seemed the game was headed for a 5-3 final score. But a Cape penalty with just over a minute to play changed all that. Already with a man advantage, Gorham coach Eric Wales elected to remove his goalie to get another extra skater. With 55.2 seconds left, the move paid off when Gushee fed the puck to Kevin Boucher for the fourth Gorham goal. But that was all the Rams could muster as they fell 5-4.

“We sat back in the third period,” Tremblay said. “It was back and forth among both teams. But we need to learn to finish stronger than we did. We’re a young team and we’re still learning. We’ll learn from the mistakes we made and we’ll get going.”

The Rams will start the season 0-1 and were scheduled to have another tough test on Thursday against St. Dom’s. The Capers are 1-0 on the young season and with the way the entire team contributed in this game, they could be very strong this year.

“I think we’re a team that’s going to thrive on hard work and effort every night,” Tremblay said. “You never know where the goals will come from. (Saturday) they came from all over. Max Foner played well. He’s a senior and he’s been a second and third liner for a couple of years and (Saturday) he stepped and played the best game he’s played in four years. So it was a good start for us.”

The Capers were scheduled to take on their nemesis Greely on Wednesday.

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