Few surprises are in store for the teams playing in today’s Western Class A and B boys’ hockey semifinals.

All the participants have played against each other this season. In some cases, teams will be playing each other for the third time.

Every coach seems to have a handle on what his team needs to do in order to move on to a regional championship game.

For the second consecutive year, fifth-seeded Marshwood/Traip Academy plays top-seeded Thornton Academy, the defending state champion, in a Western Class A semifinal. The Trojans skated to an 8-1 win over the Hawks on Feb. 8. Thornton won by that same score in last year’s playoffs.

“I think we gave up four or five power-play goals,” said Coach Eric Royal. “We can’t take penalties. They’re too good to give them the odd-man advantage.”

The other Western Class A semifinal matches two teams who split their two regular-season games.

On Jan. 9, Garrett MacDonald scored three goals to lead No. 3 Scarborough to a 5-2 win against No. 2 Falmouth. Then, in the last game of the regular season for both teams, the Yachtsmen sailed to a 6-0 win.

“We took away time and space,” Falmouth Coach Deron Barton said. “We didn’t give them a chance to get started.

“I think the key to success in the playoffs is to not give (the other team) the opportunity to feel good about themselves.”

Scarborough Coach Norm Gagne, in his fourth season with the Red Storm and in his 38th as a head coach, said his young squad needs to remain disciplined against the Yachtsmen.

“They’ve got some good forwards, they’re quick, and you have to contain them,” he said. “We have to play our hockey game, be patient and not get caught up in the emotion of the game.”

In a Western Class B semifinal at Portland Ice Arena, No. 3 Cape Elizabeth will meet No. 2 York for the third time. The Capers are 0-1-1 against the Wildcats.

“The first time we played them, we tied them 1-1, and we had everyone on board,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Bill LeBlond said. ” I know they were missing (defenseman) Conor O’Brien for that game. We were missing three players a couple weeks ago when they beat us 4-0. We’re going to have everybody on board for this game.”

In the other semifinal, top-seeded Greely is up against No. 5 Yarmouth, the only Class B team to beat the Rangers during the regular season.

Greely Coach Barry Mothes doesn’t intend to have his team do anything special against the Clippers.

“We obviously respect them as an opponent,” he said. “They’ve had a real good season and we realize that, but in the past few weeks in practice we’ve focused on what we’re doing and the way we’re playing. We’ve been working on some things that we needed to tighten up and be better at.” 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

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Twitter: PaulBetitPPH