LEWISTON – Cape Elizabeth kept trying to break away, but Brunswick High stayed with the Capers on the ice and the scoreboard.

It took a power play and a sizzling wrister by Gavin Simopolous to put Cape ahead for good. The Capers added an empty-netter to beat the Dragons 6-4 in the Class B South semifinals Friday night at the Colisee.

The second-seeded Capers (15-5) will play for the regional title at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Colisee against No. 5 Gorham or top-seeded Greely, who play Saturday.

On the winning power play, Phillip Tarling found Simopolous open in the left circle. The Capers’ leading scorer wasted no time firing the winner over the goalie’s left shoulder at 13:12.

“We’ve worked on that play a lot,” said Simopolous, who also had two assists. “I was lucky enough to get open and Phil found me.”

Tarling scored the empty-netter at 14:35 for his second goal. Brady Eavenson, Jonas Moon and Andrew Carroll also scored for Cape. Matthew Laughlin recorded three assists.

Jacob Doring tallied twice for sixth-seeded Brunswick (10-10). Jack St. Pierre and Isaac Burtis also scored.

In their only regular-season meeting two weeks ago, Cape broke a 2-2 tie in the third period with two goals for a 4-2 win. So the Capers knew Brunswick was a dangerous sixth seed.

“They’re a hard-nosed team,” Simopolous said. “We knew they were going to come out and grind.”

The Dragons also have speed but needed to contain the Capers. Defensemen Henry Burnham, Scout Masse and Liam Hemberger keyed a defense that reduced the shots on goal and cleared pucks for counters.

“We played how Brunswick wanted us to play,” Capers Coach Jake Rutt said. “They kind of slowed down the game. They were very physical. We tried to match their style, where our style is much faster, a little more puck movement … we never got into a flow.”

Disrupting the flow was “what we were trying to do,” Brunswick Coach Mike Misner said.

“We know they have fast skaters. We felt if we could pressure those guys and take away their passing lanes, we’re going to slow them to the tempo we can play. (But the) first period didn’t quite work so well.”

The Capers jumped out to a 3-1 first-period lead. Tarling scored off a faceoff at 1:47.

St. Pierre stole the puck in front of the Capers’ crease and scored at 6:15. But Cape rushed right back, with Eavenson making it 2-1 at 6:49. Moon buried a pass from John Pellechia at 13:12.

Special teams cost the Capers in the second period. An interference call was compounded by a bench minor for excessive arguing. With the five-on-three, Doring one-timed a pass from Michael Eno, closing to 3-2 at 2:40.

Cape went on a power play two minutes later, but Burtis stole the puck and raced into the Capers’ zone, scoring inside the far post to make it 3-3 at 5:12.

Early in the third period, the Capers got bodies in front of the net and Carroll stuffed in a pass from Simopolous at 2:56.

Brunswick made it 4-4 at 10:01. Hemberger hit the post and Doring was there for the backhanded rebound.

But Cape then finished it off.

“We didn’t play our best, but this is a gritty bunch and we got the W,” Rutt said.

CLASS A NORTH

ST. DOMINIC 3, BANGOR 0: Will Fletcher scored twice and the Saints (14-4-1) beat the Rams (14-5) in Lewiston to reach the regional final.

St. Dominic advances to play the winner of Saturday’s game between Edward Little and Lewiston in the regional final Tuesday.


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