PORTLAND—The South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete boys’ hockey co-op team believes it can be one of the very best in the state this season and Saturday evening at Troubh Ice Arena, it’s easy to see why.

SP/Freeport/Waynflete hosted traditional power Falmouth and after a scoreless first period, the home team got the jump thanks to a terrific effort from junior Tobey Lappin, who pounced on a loose puck and finished. Later in the period, after a Lappin shot was saved, junior Jake Udomsay scored on the rebound.

But the Navigators answered with 10 seconds to go in the period and gained momentum on a power play goal from senior Charlie Adams to pull within 2-1.

Falmouth had its chances to pull even in the third period, but SP/Freeport/Waynflete junior goalie Jasper Curtis came up big time and again and with 48.9 seconds left, junior Dylan Hannan scored an empty net goal to close out a 3-1 victory.

“We played our hearts out,” Lappin said. “It’s so important to get this win, to build momentum in game one of the season.”

Away we go


After a frustrating, shortened 2020-21 campaign, Falmouth and SP/Freeport/Waynflete enter the new season optimistic.

The Navigators went 7-11-1 two years ago, losing to Bangor in the state preliminary round, then posted a mark of 5-6 in limited action last winter.

SP/Freeport/Waynflete had its best season in 2019-20, going 12-7-1 and getting to the Class A state semifinals before losing to eventual champion Lewiston. Last year, the squad finished with a mark of 3-5-1.

The teams didn’t meet a year ago. In the most recent meeting, Feb. 18, 2020, SP/Freeport/Waynflete eked out a 4-3 victory at Falmouth.

Saturday, Troubh Ice Arena was packed and that was a highlight for both teams after playing in front of no one a year ago.

“It was my first time playing here with fans,” Curtis said. “I’m glad they’re back. They were great tonight.”


“It’s awesome to have fans back,” said SP/Freeport/Waynflete coach Joe Robinson. “Last year was good to just get out and play, but you need this. The kids need the social interaction and the game itself. It’s exciting to have something to play for.”

“Having the fans back in the stands is a huge thing,” said Falmouth coach Deron Barton. “You take it for granted for so many years, but when you miss it, you really feel it and I know the kids really feel it. It was a super-fun environment tonight.”

Neither squad was able to get on the board in the first period.

The hosts nearly got the jump nine seconds in, but junior Richie Gilboy missed wide.

The Navigators had the first shot on goal, from senior Xavier Grenier, but Curtis made the save.

Falmouth junior goalie Chase Bevan then denied shots from sophomore Asher Williamson and Hannan.


With 5:25 left in the first period, SP/Freeport/Waynflete went on the power play, but could barely possess the puck and it nearly resulted in disaster when Navigators junior Mitch Ham stole the puck and skated in on Curtis, but his bid for a short-handed goal rang off the post.

The home team went on the power play again with 1:55 to go, but again, couldn’t generate anything and the contest remained scoreless at the first intermission.

“We came out really slow in the first period and we gave two power plays away,” Robinson lamented. “We didn’t even test their goalie in the first period. We worked hard, but nothing was happening.”

Offense remained in hibernation for much of the second period, as Curtis denied sophomore Andrew Belliveau and Adams and Bevan made saves off shots from Gilboy and Lappin.

Then, with 6:12 to go in the second, SP/Freeport/Waynflete broke through and did so short-handed.

Junior Roan Hopkins sent the puck in, Bevan first went to clear it, then skated back into the crease, but before a defenseman could get to the puck, Lappin snared it and in one motion, swept it into the goal for a 1-0 lead.


“The goalie stopped the puck, the defenseman went the other way, I just pulled it through and hit it off the goalie’s skate and in,” said Lappin. “I knew I had a pretty good opportunity and I took advantage of it and put it in the net. Between periods, Coach gave us a talk, let us know we had to pick it up and we did a good job of that.”

“Tobey was the sparkplug tonight,” Robinson said. “We have this old, gross, ragged sweatshirt we give the player of the game and he got it tonight for being our sparkplug. He’s an aggressive player. He’s got a great attitude and a great work ethic.”

SP/Freeport/Waynflete kept the pressure on and with 1:42 remaining in the second period, Lappin got the puck to Bevan’s left, fired a shot which the goalie saved, but the rebound sat free and Udomsay tucked it home to make it 2-0.

“The puck was sitting there after a shot from the point,” Lappin said. “I hit it right off the goalie’s back and (Jake) put it right in.”

But just when it appeared Falmouth was going to face a two-goal deficit heading into the second intermission, the Navigators finally converted a power play opportunity with 10.4 seconds on the clock, as Grenier got the puck to senior Sean MacDonald and MacDonald passed in front to Adams, who one-timed the puck past Curtis to make it a 2-1 game.

But SP/Freeport/Waynflete wasn’t fazed.


“The second period, we found another gear,” Robinson said. “Even giving up that power play at the end, I wasn’t too worried. We felt good. We had good energy.”

Falmouth carried play much of the third period, but couldn’t produce the equalizer.

First, Curtis robbed senior Rory Skillin-Lanou. Next, he stopped a back-handed shot from senior Nick Fischetto before denying Grenier.

With 5:55 remaining, freshman Thomas Healey missed just wide. Thirty seconds later, MacDonald had a shot saved by Curtis.

Grenier then eluded a defender and skated in one-on-one with Curtis, but missed high and on the rebound, Curtis made the save again.

“I have a great defense in front of me,” said Curtis.


“Jasper’s pretty smooth back there,” Robinson said. “He plays his angles well and controls the puck well too, which his tough for high school goalies. He’s huge for us back there.”

After Curtis made one final save on a shot from Ham, Barton called timeout with 1:24 to play to hopefully diagram a tying goal.

It wasn’t to be, as after Bevan was pulled 20 seconds later, the Navigators turned the puck over, senior Cullen Adams got to it and passed ahead to an open Hannan, who skated in and finished the empty netter to clinch the 3-1 victory.

South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete mobs goalie Jasper Curtis at the final horn. Hoffer photo.

“That was a nice release to get that clinching goal,” Curtis said. “We’re a team that keeps our energy going and that’s exactly what we did. I’m just glad we came out with a win.”

“We put a lot of pressure on and didn’t let off the gas,” Lappin said.

“It’s a good win against a tough team,” Robinson added. “(Falmouth’s) talented, but we found a way to finish. I love this team. We’ve got talent, but we also have a good group of guys. They work hard, they’re fun and have fun with each other. I enjoy being with them.”


The Navigators gave it a great effort, but ultimately couldn’t consistently finish scoring opportunities.

“We’re a young team and we made young team mistakes,” Barton said. “I’m happy with our intensity, focus and execution of our systems. I’m also happy that our momentum increased from period one to period three. This game means more for those reasons than anything else. We gave up goals we won’t give up in the future and we had Grade-A scoring opportunities we won’t miss in the future. Put those together and it’s a great learning experience.”

Game two

Falmouth hopes to get in the win column for the first time when it plays its home opener Tuesday, against Biddeford.

“(Biddeford) always plays us tough,” said Barton. “They’re well-coached. We’re looking forward to more success.”

SP/Freeport/Waynflete looks to make it two in a row when it faces another daunting task Wednesday, a trip to Lewiston.

“I think we just need to keep working hard in practice and I think we can be a very good team,” Lappin said.

“It’s a great start,” Curtis said. “We have a great team. We want to keep it rolling from here. We have to do what we did out there for 45 minutes every single time.”

“Hopefully we’ll be there in the end,” Robinson added. “It’s a long season. It won’t get any easier, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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