GORHAM — So, maybe Gorham High School was not playing its best hockey this month. But now that the Rams are in the playoffs, they may have found a spark.

Gorham scored two second-period goals to beat Brunswick 2-1 Wednesday night in a Class B South quarterfinal at the University of Southern Maine rink.

“We’re definitely playing better now,” senior defenseman Camden Sawyer said. “We had a tough stretch, but this was the one that mattered.”

Fourth-seeded Gorham (10-7-2) advanced to the semifinals against top-seeded and defending state champion Greely (14-3-1) at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Colisee in Lewiston. Gorham and Greely met twice this season with the Rangers winning both earlier this month, 4-1 and 2-0.

No. 5 Brunswick is done at 10-8-1.

Jonah Bird and Nolan Gava scored in the second period for Gorham. Brunswick’s Nick Marro scored early in the third period.


Lately, Gorham has been a middling team, hoping to turn it around for the playoffs. The Rams began the season 5-1-1, but finished it 4-6-1.

“We started off really good. Things have been difficult lately,” said Gorham coach Jon Portwine. “We’ve had some challenging games, challenging opponents.”

Brunswick, conversely, has improved throughout the year. The Dragons started 3-5, including a 6-2 loss to Gorham. They went 7-2-1 in their final 10 games, with a 2-2 tie at Gorham last week.

“We were steadily getting better,” said Brunswick Coach Michael Misner. “We have five freshmen who have seen a lot of ice time and, as the season as wore on, we saw some growth out of those guys.”

Gorham has their own freshman who has played plenty – goalie Jasper Crane. The Rams began preseason practice with three goalies, but one moved away and another had health problems. The job went to Crane.

“Nothing seems to rattle him,” Portwine said. “He just goes about his business.”


Crane made a very business-like 19 saves Wednesday, including eight clutch stops in the final period.

“Jasper has filled the role unbelievably,” Sawyer said. “He’s made some incredible saves and kept us in games. He won us this one.”

Brunswick junior goalie Spencer Marquis (16 saves) played well, too. The Rams could not break through until 2:07 into the second period. Bird took the puck end-to-end, firing a wrister over Marquis’ blocker for a 1-0 lead.

“We weren’t getting in deep, so I just decided to take it all the way,” Bird said. “I got tripped up, recollected it and that was just a lucky shot. I closed my eyes and put it in.”

The second Gorham goal was huge. Andrew Gaudreau got the pass to a wide-open Gava, who scored at 12:30.

“We got caught in a change,” Misner said. “We had a couple of tired guys out there and they couldn’t get back quick enough.”

When Brunswick tied Gorham last week, the Dragon trailed 2-0 after two periods. They started thinking of another comeback after Marro’s rebound at 3:15 (Joe Marro assist). Brunswick kept firing, but Crane was there.

“He made some timely saves,” Misner said.

In the closing minute, Marquis could not skate off right away because of the Rams’ pressure. He finally left with 32 seconds left, but Gorham did not allow a shot.

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