Rangers edge Falmouth in overtime
By Keith B. Wehmeyer
FALMOUTH — The Greely boys’ hockey team accomplished a lot this year.
They won the season series with rival Cape Elizabeth. They strung together 15-straight league wins. And, as a Class B school, they’d beaten almost every top team in Western Maine Class A.
However, until Monday night, they hadn’t beaten their big brother, their neighbor, their biggest rival – Falmouth.
That changed in both team’s regular-season finale, when the Rangers defeated the Yachtsmen, 2-1, in overtime at Family Ice Center, finishing their epic regular season in style.
Senior Kyle Selig scored off the backhand 2 minutes and 2 seconds into overtime, sending a rebound that had been put on goal by senior Peter Hoffman. Hoffman was credited with an assist on the game winner.
“(The rebound) came up pretty far in the slot and I just happened to be coming into the zone in the second wave of people.” Selig said. “It bounced right to me. I wasn’t really aiming it… but I just hoped for the best and threw it at the net.”
Hoping for the best turned out just fine for the Rangers, who engaged in a frenzied celebration at center ice to celebrate their biggest victory of the regular season. The win avenged two loses still fresh in their memory.
On New Year’s Day, the Yachtsmen crushed the Rangers, 6-1, in the annual Dudley Cup. A year ago, in the regular season finale, Greely tied Falmouth with a minute to play, only to lose in overtime.
“We hardly ever get to beat Falmouth and to beat Falmouth now is surreal,” said Selig. “It means a lot. It definitely cements what we have done (this season) and moving forward (into the playoffs) we now know what we can do. It’s a great way to end the regular season, but we have to look forward now.”
Greely almost didn’t get to overtime.
Falmouth went up, 1-0, 3:52 into the second period on a goal by junior Dan Hanley, who knocked in a rebound from senior Mike Chase that hovered in the crease.
Although the Rangers out-shot Falmouth, 24-13, in the second and third periods, they couldn’t crack Falmouth sophomore goalie Jay Hurdmann until only 3:11 remained in the final period. That’s when senior Kevin Hart got an open look just inside the blue line and fired a high wrist shot through traffic. The shot glanced of Hurdmann’s glove and into the goal, tying the score at one apiece.
“I honestly didn’t even look,” said Hart. “I just threw it at the net. There were a lot of bodies in front of the net and I don’t think the goalie ever saw it.”
Until that point, Hurdmann had done all he could do to preserve Falmouth’s one-goal lead. With just over six minutes remaining, Hart snapped a backhand shot from the doorstep that Hurdmann snatched from the air.
The sophomore goalie had done more of the same in the second period when Falmouth was out-shot, 16-6, despite scoring its only goal of the game.
“There was a stretch in the second period after we scored, we had momentum but took a very bad penalty, just a foolish dumb penalty, and (Greely) seized momentum there,” said Falmouth coach Scott Rousseau. “Jay was spectacular in that stretch. He was phenomenal. I thought despite the outcome he was probably the best player on the ice. You kind of had the feeling he was going to steal the show tonight. The only two goals they got by him were two shots he never saw. Credit Greely for continuing to fight, but if he saw it, he saved it.”
Greely will be the No. 1 seed heading into the Western Class B playoffs, but must wait almost two weeks until its first game (Feb. 28).
“It is going to be pleasure to come to the rink for this week and just enjoy the little time off and the time away from school,” said Greely coach Barry Mothes “Like a lot of other teams and schools in the state there has been a lot of sickness going through the team.”
Falmouth must wait for the final Heal Point standings to know its fate, but Rousseau expects to be the No. 3 seed heading into the Western Maine Class A playoffs. If so, the Yachtsmen would host a quarterfinal round game Monday or Tuesday.
Yarmouth finished 4-12-2 this year and won’t qualify for the postseason.