FALMOUTH—Longtime Greely boys’ hockey coach Barry Mothes said he’s never seen anything like it.

Cheverus/Yarmouth coach Dave St. Pierre feared it might be coming.

“It” was a storybook comeback by the proud, powerhouse, two-time reigning Class B champion Rangers in a season-opener for the ages Saturday evening at Family Ice Center.

After a scoreless first period, Cheverus/Yarmouth seemingly took control when senior Cam Miller scored an improbable power play goal, then set up junior Truman Peters for a 2-0 lead which carried into the second intermission.

But to no one’s surprise, Greely roared back in the third period.

First, senior Evan Dutil set up classmate Mitchell Parent to give the Rangers life with 13 minutes to go.


The score would remain 2-1 until just 1:55 remained, when another accomplished Greely senior, Gage Cooney, scored on a rebound and the game was deadlocked and would ultimately go to overtime.

There, with just 20 seconds to go in the eight-minute, “sudden victory” session, with a tie seemingly imminent, Dutil stole the puck, somehow managed to keep it despite being pulled to the ice, then he finished to give the Rangers a scintillating 3-2 victory.

Greely began its quest for another championship in style, while Cheverus/Yarmouth proved it can play with anyone.

“It was a great season-opener,” Mothes said. “It’s probably the most dramatic season opener I’ve ever had in my 28 years. It had a real playoff feel. It was just a great high school game. Great to have a big crowd. It’s been a long time since we’ve had an evening like this.”

“I wish we could have fast-forwarded through the third period,” St. Pierre said. “I thought we played a good game. I’m proud of the effort. We battled hard and executed the things we wanted to, but (Greely’s) a good team. They competed just as hard as we did and they weren’t ready to give up.”

A longtime rivalry’s new twist


Greely and Yarmouth have been rivals for decades and met 11 times in the playoffs between 1987 and 2018.

Last winter, the Clippers and Cheverus teamed up as a co-op team and went 5-5 in limited action.

The Rangers, who won Class B titles in both 2019 and 2020, posted a 7-4 mark last season, but due to COVID erasing the postseason, never got to make a run at another title.

The teams met on two occasions last year and Greely won both, 4-1 at home and 7-3 in Portland.

Saturday, Cheverus/Yarmouth hoped to beat the Rangers for the first time, but Greely simply refused to lose and in front of a packed house, rallied for an inspirational, confidence-building victory.

Greely junior Matt Kennedy collects the puck as Cheverus/Yarmouth senior Matt Robichaud gives chase. Hoffer photos.

Neither team scored in the first period, as Cheverus/Yarmouth junior goalie Neil McQuarrie made saves on shots from junior Matt Kennedy, Cooney and sophomore Finn Murphy, while Rangers senior goalie Spencer Osgood denied senior Oliver Prinn and senior Kevin Connolly.


Greely went on the power play with 4:50 to play in the opening stanza and had three great looks to go on top, but McQuarrie robbed Parent, then turned aside rebound bids from senior Brooks Williams and sophomore Charlie Moore to send the contest to the first intermission tied, 0-0.

Cheverus/Yarmouth went on the power play at the start of the second period and would take advantage with a goal coming in the most unorthodox manner imaginable.

After the Rangers cleared the puck from the zone, Osgood skated off toward the bench, as if he was expecting a penalty to be called, but the call was never made and after Greely turned the puck over, Miller, from deep in Cheverus/Yarmouth’s defensive end, fired it on target and while Osgood tried to get back in the play, he didn’t have a chance and he could only watch as the puck found its mark to put the visitors on top, 1-0.

“I don’t know what happened there and thankfully we were heads-up enough to shoot it,” said St. Pierre. “That was a heads-up, intelligent play.”

“That’s another thing I don’t think I’ve seen in my 28 years,” said Mothes. “Spencer thought there was a delayed (penalty) call. That was a heck of an accurate shot from Cam from 150 feet. I feel bad for Spencer. It was a tough play. A little confusion, then he slipped and fell.”

After McQuarrie saved a shot by Greely sophomore Landon Werner, Cheverus/Yarmouth doubled its lead with 12:54 to go in the second, as Miller rushed in and fed Peters for a 2-0 lead.


Osgood didn’t let the goals get him down and he kept the score 2-0 by robbing sophomore Brian Connolly on a rush, then Brian Connolly redirected sophomore Andrew Cheever’s shot on target, but Osgood made that save as well.

Late in the period, Murphy was robbed by a diving McQuarrie, then Williams hit the post and after McQuarrie saved shots from Parent, Kennedy and Werner, he robbed Dutil in front in the final minute and Cheverus/Yarmouth took a 2-0 advantage to the second intermission.

But regardless of the score, the Rangers had turned momentum in their favor.

“We came into the locker room after the second period and we knew we’d been knocking on the door, so we felt like we had momentum,” said Parent. “We were confident and knew we had to keep putting shots on goal.”

“I think to the credit of our team, we had a good six or seven minutes at the end of the second period,” said Mothes. “Their goalie made an incredible save on Finn Murphy on a loose puck, then Brooks hit the post on the power play. We were looking more dangerous in the offensive zone.”

It didn’t take Greely long to get on the board when the third period commenced, as after McQuarrie saved a shot from Williams, the Rangers broke through with 13:02 left in regulation.


The goal was set up by Dutil on a rush, who drew the defense, then passed to Parent, who finished, to cut the deficit in half.

Greely senior Mitchell Parent and his teammates celebrate Parent’s goal, which got the Rangers back in the game.

“I saw Evan carrying the puck down the ice on the rush,” Parent said. “He took it outside, so I went to the front of the net. He looked up and saw me and put the puck right on my stick. I got a backhand on it and it flipped right over the goalie’s pad, over the goal line.”

“We wanted to make sure that (first goal) wasn’t our downfall,” said Dutil. “I feel like we took control toward the end of the second period and then we got one pretty quickly in the third and that made it 2-1 and it was easy to come back from that.”

“We talked about having more space around the net,” Mothes added. “It was awfully crowded in the crease. Fortunately, Mitchell was higher after Evan wrapped the net. We had a little better spacing.”

Peters nearly got the goal back for Cheverus/Yarmouth, but Osgood stood tall.

The Rangers then pushed hard for the equalizer, but it took awhile to arrive.


After McQuarrie denied Dutil, a Parent shot was blocked by Miller.

With 8:39 left, McQuarrie saved a shot from Werner, then Werner sent the rebound wide.

After Osgood kept the deficit at one by denying junior Ryan Franceschi and sophomore Ian O’Connor, McQuarrie saved a shot from senior Cam Malette with 4:59 on the clock.

Three minutes later, Dutil tried to tie it, but after momentarily juggling the puck, McQuarrie secured it.

But off the ensuing faceoff, Greely drew even.

Parent won the faceoff to Williams, who fired a shot which McQuarrie got a piece of, but he couldn’t stop it completely and Cooney got to the rebound and sent it past McQuarrie and into the net to make it a brand new game, 2-2.


“I won the faceoff back to Brooks, Brooks shot it and Gage got the rebound,” Parent said.

“I was ecstatic when Gage scored,” said Dutil. “He was right where he was supposed to be and he tucked it in. That was huge. We had momentum and it kept building.”

“That was a great rebound goal by Gage,” Mothes added.

Each team would have one more look before the end of regulation, but a shot from Cheverus/Yarmouth senior Wyatt Header was saved by Osgood and sophomore Cullen Rafford missed wide for Greely.

The contest would go to overtime where just when it appeared it would end in a tie, the Rangers won it in epic fashion.

Early in OT, Osgood denied senior Matt Robichaud and at the other end, McQuarrie made a save on a shot from Kennedy and junior Teddy Conway sent the rebound wide.


After Osgood turned aside a bid from Miller, Williams and Cooney each tried to win it for Greely, but McQuarrie saved both shots.

Cheverus/Yarmouth had a chance with 50 seconds remaining, but Osgood saved Kevin Connolly’s shot.

“Credit to Spencer to shake off those goals,” Mothes said. “He was really sharp in the third period and in overtime.”

That set the stage for Dutil’s heroics.

After pushing the puck into the offensive zone, the Rangers turned it over, but in the process of trying to transition to offense, Cheverus/Yarmouth gave it away and Dutil swooped in. Dutil raced to the puck, collected it and started in on goal, but he was tripped up in the process.

While a penalty would have been called, it wasn’t necessary, as Dutil somehow was able to keep his balance and more importantly, keep the puck.


“My weightlifting paid off there,” Dutil said.

Dutil then skated in on McQuarrie, who tried to cut off the angle, but Dutil got the puck around him, then buried it with the backhand and at 10:02 p.m., with just 20 seconds remaining in OT, Dutil’s heroics gave Greely the 3-2 victory.

“I saw the puck jump out toward the middle and that’s what I like,” said Dutil. “I like when the puck bounces past defensemen. I like jumping on those quickly. I pushed the puck ahead, (the defenseman) pushed me over and I was able to corral the puck while down on the ground, got up and I like pulling it to my backhand and (the goalie) slid across.”

“I was just coming on the ice and I saw Evan coming down with the puck,” Parent said. “I saw him get tripped up and I saw the ref put his arm up, so I knew there was a penalty coming, but Evan made a nice move, then I saw the puck go across the goal line. That was unreal.”

“What an incredible bit of athleticism by Evan,” Mothes added. “The kid hauled him done, then he somehow got back on his feet with about five feet left. It was just tremendous.”

Then, the celebration began.


“I was mostly excited the game was over because I was tired,” Dutil said. “It was a crazy reaction at the end. I expected a big crowd tonight, but it’s the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen at FIC.”

“This means everything to our team,” Parent said. “The building was packed. It’s so great to have fans back in the rink. It was just a great atmosphere overall. It was a great team effort. We knew we had to have something left in the tank and we did and we left it all out there.”

“This means a lot,” Mothes added. “It’s early, but it felt like a huge game. I thought our defense played a tremendous game. We were in the right place on so many pucks, interrupting plays. It was really rewarding to see that. We have a lot of new people, but we have our core guys who were part of championship seasons and this is the last run for these guys. I thought our seniors from Spencer in the net and Brooks on D and Mitchell and Evan and Gage, those guys were just huge for us.”

Cheverus/Yarmouth could only lament the win that got away.

“We talked about making safe plays with the puck and making sure we had our assignment on the defensive side, but unfortunately, we made some mental mistakes,” St. Pierre said. “(Dutil’s) a good player who’s had some big goals in his career. We defended him well most of the night, but good players get loose at the right time.”

See you again


The rivals meet again Jan. 17 in Yarmouth, but both squads have a lot of work to do first.

Cheverus/Yarmouth hopes to get in the win column when it travels to Scarborough Wednesday. The squad plays its first six games on the road.

“It’s December 11th and the season isn’t won or lost on this date,” St. Pierre said. “We’ve got some things to learn from. We’ll dust ourselves off and get ready for Scarborough Wednesday. The chemistry on this team is really strong. There’s good, supportive energy in the locker room. We’ll need that tonight. I think that chemistry will carry us a long way.”

Greely, which hopes to get senior captain Ryan Moore back from injury soon, faces another stern test against a top foe when it visits Cape Elizabeth Thursday.

“This is a great way to propel us going forward,” Parent said. “We know we have the skill and depth to make another run.”

“This is a step in the right direction,” Dutil said. “Cape’s definitely a big test on the road. They beat us last year and they’ll have that in the back of their minds. I absolutely want to win another (championship). We got robbed by COVID last year and I think we would have won it. I’ve got a lot of faith in this team. We’ve lost a lot of skill over the years, but we still have a strong core of veterans who have been through two state championship runs and we know how to get back there.”

“We’re hoping to get Ryan Moore back,” Mothes added. “He has a chronic injury and he has to be careful. He’s a captain and he’s a great leader. We need him.

“This is one in the books. We’ll take it a game at a time. This helps us believe more in ourselves, but we have a long way to go.”

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

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