PORTLAND—Two talented boys’ hockey teams put on a show Thursday afternoon at Troubh Ice Arena and did a little of everything.

Except produce a winner.

The South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete co-op squad and the Cape Elizabeth Capers went back-and-forth for 54 minutes, but ultimately had to settle for a tie.

South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete came out sizzling, but Cape Elizabeth sophomore goalie Charlie Garvin stood tall, making 14 first half saves.

The Capers grabbed the lead at 6:03 of the first half, on a goal from senior Nick Laughlin, but back came South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete at 9:47 of the first half, tying the score, as senior Owen Anderson finally solved Garvin to make it 1-1.

South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete then took a 2-1 lead on a 5-on-3 power play at 18:25, as sophomore Ian Wright scored and that score lasted into the half.

After a spirited chat with coach Jake Rutt, Cape Elizabeth came out with renewed focus for the second half, but was stymied for several minutes by South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete sophomore goalie Jasper Curtis.

Finally, at 12:07 of the second half, sophomore Alex Thayer finished and the Capers drew even, 2-2.

After going on the power play, Cape Elizabeth then took a 3-2 lead at 13:19, as Laughlin scored for the second time.

But South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete would answer, getting a 5-on-3 advantage and after failing to score there, finishing 5-on-4, as junior Cullen Adams scored with exactly 5 minutes to play.

Both goalies stood tall the rest of regulation and it was on to an eight-minute, sudden victory overtime session, where the Capers had a chance to win it on the power play, but they failed to do so and the contest wound up, 3-3.

Cape Elizabeth is now 3-1-2 on the year, while South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete has a record of 2-4-1.

“It was a great battle,” said South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete Coach Joe Robinson. “I think we started off strong, had a little bit of a lapse and fell behind, but we didn’t quit and we battled back. It was a physical game on both sides.”

Back and forth

SP/Freeport/Waynflete opened with a 4-0 victory at Biddeford, then lost at home to Biddeford (1-0) fell at Scarborough (2-1) and was beaten by visiting Portland/Deering (4-2) and visiting Thornton Academy (4-2). Tuesday, the squad finally got back in the win column with a 6-2 victory at Thornton Academy.

Cape Elizabeth opened with a 3-2 overtime win over Scarborough, then beat visiting Thornton Academy, 2-1, and blanked visiting Kennebunk, 4-0, before losing at home to Scarborough (3-2). In the Capers’ last outing, they settled for a 3-3 tie at Biddeford.

Last year, South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete won in overtime, 3-2.

Thursday’s contest would need additional time as well, but this time, there wasn’t resolution.

Less than two minutes into the game, South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete went on the power play, but a shot from Anderson was denied by Garvin.

After Curtis saved bids from Cape Elizabeth sophomore Patrick Lee and Laughlin, the Capers opened the scoring with 16:57 left in the first half (high school hockey has gone to two halves, as opposed to three 15-minute periods this winter), as junior Ben Connolly passed to Laughlin up top, who ripped a shot that Curtis couldn’t stop for a 1-0 lead.

South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete answered right back, as after sophomore Roan Hopkins sent a backhander just wide and Garvin saved a shot through a screen from sophomore Richard Gilboy, Adams got the puck to senior Harry Millspaugh, whose shot was deflected right to Anderson in front, who sent the puck past Garvin and into the net to tie the score with 13:13 remaining in the half.

South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete then pushed to take the lead, but both sophomore Dylan Hannan and senior Nick Weatherbie were denied by Garvin.

South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete then went on the power play as a pair of high stick violations gave it a 5-on-3 advantage and one second before the two-man power play was to come to an end, Millspaugh got the puck to junior Brady Frank, whose shot deflected to Wright, who finished for a 2-1 advantage.

“I think we controlled the neutral zone and got pucks in deep and had some good forecheck,” Adams said. “We tried to exploit their defense.”

Late in the half, Cape Elizabeth tried to answer, but Curtis saved a shot from Lee and halfway through, or so we thought, South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete was on top.

South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete enjoyed a 16-7 advantage in shots on goal in the first half and only 14 saves from Garvin kept the Capers in the game.

Cape Elizabeth was a very different team in the second half, coming out strong, but Curtis flustered Laughlin, freshman Colin Blackburn, Laughlin again, junior Quinn Gordon twice and sophomore Dimitri Coupe on two occasions.

Then, with 10:53 to play in regulation, Lee set up Thayer to Curtis’ right and Thayer somehow threaded the puck between the goalie and the near post to tie it up, 2-2.

“We came out flat again,” said Rutt. “The way we played in the first half was not our team identity that we’ve been building the last couple years. Our leaders responded and our play told the story there.”

With 9:47 left, the Capers went on the power play for the first time and it took all of six seconds for them to score and take the lead, as senior Oskar Frankwicz set up Laughlin for another blast from up top which resulted in a goal and a 3-2 lead (Coupe was also credited with an assist).

South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete nearly tied it up just over a minute later, but senior Anthony Panciocco’s shot hit the post.

Then, a pair of Cape Elizabeth penalties gave South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete a 5-on-3 power play for 30 seconds.

Garvin saved a shot from Hannan, then Hannan and Panciocco each missed wide, but with exactly 5 minutes on the clock, Adams wouldn’t be denied (Gilboy and Hannan got assists) and the game was even again, 3-3.

“We were trying to get a point shot from either me or Dylan and the puck just happened to come to me,” Adams said.

“The power play looked good tonight, even though we still missed some golden opportunities out front,” said Robinson. “That goal was huge. That was a really nice shot by Cullen.”

Late in regulation, Curtis denied senior Jack Pellechia, Laughlin and Blackburn, while Garvin robbed Anderson and Millspaugh, sending the contest to overtime.

In high school hockey, teams play one, eight-minute, sudden-victory overtime session and if no one scores, the game goes in the books as a tie.

That’s how this one would end, but not before the Capers had a great chance to win it.

Early in OT, Curtis denied Gordon.

Then, with 2:37 remaining, Hannan was sent off for tripping, giving Cape Elizabeth a two-minute power play.

Pellechia got a quick shot off, but Curtis made the save.

Then, with 2:17 left, the puck came in front to sophomore Sebastian Moon, who for an instant had an empty net to shoot at, but he lofted his shot high.

“They had a look at an empty net, but we missed two or three open nets, so the (hockey) Gods had our backs on that one,” said Robinson.

Laughlin then had a shot deflected wide and a late rush by Gordon was broken up and the teams settled for the 3-3 tie.

“Some of these games haven’t felt that intense this year, but this was one of the better games intensity-wise,” Adams said. “They wanted it more coming out in the second half, but I think we got control again the last six minutes I’d say. This is a really hardworking team. We really didn’t want to lose. We put it all out there to get the tie.”

Cape Elizabeth finished with a 26-25 edge in shots on goal, got 22 saves from Garvin and went 1-for-2 on the power play.

“We didn’t manage the puck as well as I thought we could have,” Rutt said. “Charlie made some great saves and good for him to feel that out. Defensively, we played well, but we had to play a lot of defense. We had some chances in overtime. That was an extension of the second half. Overall. I think it was a good team effort. (South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete) played very well. Joe’s got a deep team over there. Their goalie played well too.”

South Portland/Freeport converted 2-of-5 power play opportunities and got 23 saves from Curtis.

“We got a good game from Jasper,” said Adams.

“Cape’s very good,” Robinson said. “That’s two good games in a row for us. We had a nice win over TA, then played well again tonight. We started the season slow, but we’re coming into our own. We traditionally start slow. We’re playing like we should be playing now.”

Final stretch

The teams play again in the season finale March 13 at Troubh Ice Arena, with Cape Elizabeth as the home team.

SP/Freeport/Waynflete first welcomes Kennebunk Saturday, then closes next week with a home game against Scarborough and the game against Cape Elizabeth.

“Even if there’s no playoffs, it’s nice to be with the guys and get these games in,” said Adams. “We’re really looking forward to next year. We have some sophomores who are going to bloom. I’m excited.”

“I feel terrible for the seniors not having a postseason this year, but for the younger guys, we want to build momentum and see what we have for next year,” Robinson said. “We’ve got all the makings to be really good next year.”

The Capers welcome Cheverus/Yarmouth Saturday, then go to two-time Class B champion Greely next Wednesday for a rematch of last year’s regional final, before closing against SP/Freeport/Waynflete.

“This team’s very dedicated,” Rutt said. “The core group of guys wanted to win a state championship. It’s really unfortunate that there’s no playoffs. I wish we could have made something happen with that because that’s what these kids live for. Our mindset is to win every game that we can. Greely will be like a playoff game. The intensity will be there. That will be fun. With the limited ice time we’ve had, we’re just trying to find our stride.”

Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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