FALMOUTH—On three different occasions Monday afternoon at Family Ice Center, Falmouth’s boys’ hockey team took the lead against visiting Cape Elizabeth.

And each time, the Capers battled back.

And as a result, the squads wound up splitting Heal Points in a midseason interclass battle.

Cape Elizabeth actually scored the game’s first goal, on the power play, courtesy junior Nick Laughlin, just six minutes in, but before the first period was over, the Navigators got a pair of goals from junior Mitchell Ham, sandwiched around another from senior Xavier Grenier, to lead, 3-1.

The Capers answered in the second period, as juniors Alex Thayer and Dimitri Coupe tickled the twine to make it 3-3 heading for the third.

There, Falmouth went back on top on a Grenier goal, but with 9:06 to play, on the power play, Connor Goss redirected a puck into the net to tie the score again.

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The Navigators then appeared to win it with 2:29 on the clock, when Ham completed his trick, but just 57 seconds later, Coupe scored on a rebound to even things up for the fourth time.

Neither team would score the remainder of regulation or in an eight-minute, “sudden victory” overtime session and the contest ended in a 5-5 deadlock.

Cape Elizabeth is now 4-2-1 on the season and Falmouth 3-5-1.

“Cape’s a good, solid team and they’re well-coached,” said Navigators coach Deron Barton. “We had our chances to win it and put it away, but we have a young team and we made mistakes.”

“I’m really proud of the comebacks,” said Capers coach Jake Rutt. “I’m not happy with the tie, but it’s better than a loss.”

Monday matinee

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Cape Elizabeth won its first four outings, 2-0 at York, 4-2 at home over Greely, 7-0 at home over Kennebunk and 8-1 at home over Leavitt, before losing at Scarborough (4-1) and South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete (6-2).

Falmouth, meanwhile, lost its opener, 3-1, at South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete, then downed host Biddeford, 5-2, before falling at home to Bangor, 3-2. After a 2-1 home win over Thornton Academy, the Navigators won at Biddeford (8-3), then fell at Greely (6-3), at Edward Little (3-0) and Saturday at home to reigning Class A champion Lewiston (4-1).

The teams hadn’t met in a countable game since Dec. 30, 2016 (a 3-1 Falmouth victory).

Monday, the Capers hoped to beat the Navigators for the first time since Jan. 31, 2005 (4-3, in overtime), but had to settle for a tie.

Falmouth senior Charlie Adams plays the puck while Cape Elizabeth juniors Alex Thayer, left, and Luke Mello defend. Hoffer photo.

Cape Elizabeth struck first, on the power play, as Laughlin ripped a shot from up top that Falmouth junior goalie Chase Bevan couldn’t stop for a 1-0 advantage just over six minutes in.

The Navigators quickly responded, also on the power play, at 7:16, as Ham scored his first goal, from seniors Sean MacDonald and Charlie Adams.

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Grenier scored the go-ahead goal at 9:17, deflecting sophomore Caden Barnard’s shot past Cape Elizabeth junior goalie Will Depke.

Ham then set up Grenier for a 3-1 lead with 4:12 to go in the first.

Late in the first, Bevan denied Thayer and Falmouth took a seemingly secure two-goal lead to the first intermission.

The Capers then roared back in the second period.

After a shot from MacDonald, which could have pushed the lead to three goals, hit the post for the Navigators, the visitors pulled within 3-2 with 8:13 left, as Thayer scored, from Coupe and junior Philip Coupe.

It took just two minutes for Cape Elizabeth to strike again and tie it up, 3-3, as Laughlin fired a shot which Bevan saved, but the rebound came to Dimitri Coupe, who sent the puck home.

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Late in the period, Grenier missed just wide after a rush for Falmouth, while Dimitri Coupe did the same for the Capers.

Cape Elizabeth had a power play opportunity as time wound down, but couldn’t convert and the contest remained tied heading for the third period.

Where each team scored twice.

The Navigators went on top with 11:42 remaining, as Grenier sent a shot through traffic and past Depke for a 4-3 advantage. Ham got the assist.

“This is the first time I’ve been able to put (Xavier and Mitchell) together and it immediately showed,” said Barton.

The Capers then went on the power play with 10:18 to go and it appeared they would be stymied, as Bevan saved shots from junior Sebastian Moon, Laughlin and Laughlin again.

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But with 9:06 left, Moon sent a shot on goal and Goss was there to redirect it into the net to make it 4-4.

After Depke denied a rush from MacDonald and Goss was robbed by Bevan, Falmouth retook the lead with 2:29 remaining, as senior Charlie Adams set up Ham for his hat trick goal.

Senior Nick Fischetto had a golden opportunity to clinch it for the Navigators 35 seconds later, but Depke made the save and at the other end, with just 1:32 left, after Laughlin hit the post, Dimitri Coupe banged home the rebound to make it 5-5.

Neither team put a shot on goal the rest of regulation and it was on to overtime.

For much of overtime, Falmouth was on the attack in the Capers’ zone and Cape Elizabeth iced the puck a half dozen times, but in the final minutes, both teams had chances to win it.

After a turnover, senior Quinn Gordon skated in for the Capers, but Bevan cut off the angle and made the save.

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At the other end, Depke denied Fischetto.

With 1:39 to play, Goss tried to play the hero, but Bevan stopped his shot.

Moon nearly won it with 32 seconds on the clock, but his high shot clanked off the crossbar.

Eleven seconds later, Laughlin got the puck just inside the blue line and launched a rocket, but Adams gave up his body to block it.

As time wound down, Dimitri Coupe, then Goss tried to end it, but both times, Bevan made the save and the contest ended in a 5-5 draw.

Cape Elizabeth finished with a 38-27 advantage in shots on goal and got 22 saves from Depke.

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“Coming off of two losses where we strayed from our identity, it’s good to get back to the way we play when we’re successful,” Rutt said. “I think there were a couple times in our O zone where we lacked focus and could have pucks on net with a little more purpose, but overall, I’m pleased with the level of compete these guys brought today.”

Falmouth got 33 saves from Bevan, who came up huge in overtime, but Barton lamented a win that got away.

“It’s certainly frustrating,” Barton said. “You drill and you drill and you drill, but faceoffs killed us. You can’t expect to win hockey games if you don’t win faceoffs in your own zone.”

Thursday/Saturday

Falmouth is back in action Thursday at home versus Portland. The Navigators then play at Thornton Academy Saturday.

“As we get through COVID, I think we’ll become more cohesive,” Barton said. “We’ll build on this. I’m not worrying about Heal Points right now and I don’t know if I will. I worry about improving every game and getting healthy. It’s a level playing field. Hopefully, we’ll get through this in a couple weeks and be ready for the playoffs. It’s a tough schedule, but I love it. It’ll be a challenge and we’ll see what we’re made of.”

Cape Elizabeth hosts Lewiston Thursday and welcomes Portland/Deering Saturday.

“We just have to hem down on all facets of the game,” Rutt said. “There aren’t many things right now that I can point at and say I’m happy where it’s at. Our power play is doing a pretty good job and we’re getting an extra goal or two a game, but we have to manage the puck a little better and make the game a little easier on ourselves.”

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

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