LEWISTON — Time couldn’t expire fast enough for the Greely boys’ hockey team, with a 2-1 lead over Yarmouth and five minutes remaining in a Class A South semifinal Friday night.

Despite outshooting the fourth-seeded Clippers 50-20, the top-ranked Rangers struggled to get anything past Yarmouth goalie Dan Latham, who finished with 46 saves.

“It was tough. Dan is a great goalie,” Greely forward Jake MacDonald said.

“We knew if we kept putting shots on goal that some would go in.”

With 3:44 left, MacDonald padded the Rangers’ lead with a power-play goal. Matt Kramlich scored into an open net a couple minutes later to secure a 4-1 victory at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Greely (16-2-1) will play No. 2 Cape Elizabeth on Wednesday in the regional final.

Yarmouth finished its season 11-7-1.

“That was probably the most important goal of the season in terms of opening up the gap a little bit because, obviously, it was a tight game,” Greely Coach Barry Mothes said of MacDonald’s power-play goal. “Those five guys on the ice who had already logged a lot of minutes showed a lot of good composure and really grabbed that opportunity.”

Karsten Bourgoine had 19 saves for Greely.

The Rangers got on the board 7:13 into the first period when MacDonald collected a loose puck and buried a shot into the top right corner while one-on-one with Latham.

Greely controlled the first period, outshooting the Clippers 16-2. But Yarmouth almost matched the Rangers’ 13 shots on goal in the second period with 10, and following a Greely goal that made it 2-0, they answered with one of their own.

Jackson Williams put Greely up 2-0 at 3:22 of the second when he converted a Caleb Duff cross-ice pass into a goal, slipping the puck to the right of Latham.

Michael Guertler cut into the Rangers’ lead less than three minutes later with a power-play goal that came during a scramble in front of the net.

Yarmouth threatened to tie the score in the third, but Bourgoine made eight saves before MacDonald’s second goal, assisted by Andrew Moore and Matt Dubbert.

“Just keep it simple, get it deep and don’t do anything stupid with the puck,” MacDonald said of his team’s strategy late in the game. “We just decided to pass the puck around – we had all the time we needed and a shot opened up, and I took it.”

Kramlich added an empty-net goal with 1:16 left to secure the victory – Greely’s third over Yarmouth this season after having swept the Clippers by scores of 5-1 and 4-1 during the regular season.

Cape Elizabeth edged Greely 5-4 in overtime on Dec. 16.

“We’ve been sort of hoping to face them again somehow, some way, and I guess we knew the only way was going to be the playoffs,” Mothes said. “I think it will be a great matchup between the (No. 1) and (2) seeds.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

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