Gorham senior Jared Wood chopped his second goal of the night past Greely netminder Kyle Kramlich late in the third on Wednesday, regaining the lead for the Rams. It was the last lead they would need. They added an empty-netter with just 19.6 seconds to play to claim the B West title and a berth against Messalonskee in the state final.

“The guys brought energy tonight,” Gorham head coach Jon Portwine said.

The first unfolded scorelessly, both teams generating numerous beautiful looks, but both goaltenders – Kramlich and Gorham’s Justin Broy – stood impervious. In the second, the Rangers scored first, when Reid Howland and Miles Shields assisted Tommy Thompson in stuffing the puck past Broy. Five minutes later, however, Wood tied things up. 1-1.

Carl Bear pushed the Rams past Greely 2-1 early in the third, but almost immediately took a penalty, giving the Rangers an opportunity to fight back. Howland, assisted by Thompson and Joe Saffian, capitalized. 2-2. Eight minutes later, Wood snatched the puck from some chaos out front and beat Kramlich again for the advantage. From there, they needed only hold on.

“[The puck] went over to Andrew [Schmidt],” said Wood, describing the melee he scored out of. “He took a shot, it bounced off Kyle. It landed at Tucker [Buteau]’s feet, I was able to see it, just backhanded it. [Kramlich] wasn’t able to get to it.”

The Rams, one-seed in the West, go to 17-3 on the year; they meet Messalonskee, No. 1 in the East at 20-0, on Saturday, March 8, at 1 p.m. at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

Look for a more in-depth writeup of this game, with additional media, alongside the writeup of the Rams’ battle with Messalonskee online and in print early next week.

Senior Ram Tucker Buteau (13) leaps into his linemates – including William Baxter (26) and Shawn Sullivan (37) – as Gorham celebrates Jared Wood’s (buried in the pile) game-tying goal in the late second period.The Rams hoist their B West Championship plaque.

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