The first week of the boys hockey playoffs left fans, players and coaches breathless.

And there’s still a couple of rounds to go.

While Falmouth and the Cheverus/Yarmouth co-op team have been eliminated, Greely and the South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete co-op squad were still alive at press time.

History makers?

Two years ago, South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete reached the state semifinal for the first time, then lost to eventual champion Lewiston. This season, the squad earned the No. 3 seed in Class A and had no trouble with No. 14 St. Dom’s in the state preliminary round last Wednesday, prevailing, 5-1, as Dylan Hannan scored two goals and Cullen Adams, Ian Wright and Brady Frank added one apiece.

In Friday’s state quarterfinal round, versus No. 6 Lake Region/Fryeburg/Oxford Hills, Joey Soucy and Adams had early goals and after Lake Region rallied to tie it, Richie Gilboy scored on the power play 50 seconds into the third period and that was enough to produce a 3-2 victory.

South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete (13-6-1) battles No. 7 Scarborough (11-8-1) in the state semifinals Tuesday at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland with a trip to the state finals at stake. The Red Storm won the first regular season meeting, 2-1, Jan. 20 in Portland. The teams then tied, 1-1, Feb. 19 in Gorham.


If South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete reaches the Class A state game for the first time, it would meet either No. 1 Edward Little (17-2) or No. 5 Thornton Academy (14-5) at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Cross Insurance Arena. South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete beat Edward Little, 6-1, Feb. 12 and lost, 6-0, to the visiting Golden Trojans five days later.


Greely, meanwhile, is the two-time reigning Class B state champion and has won three consecutive regional titles. The Rangers entered play this week on the brink of more hardware.

In last week’s Class B South quarterfinals, top-ranked Greely blanked No. 8 Kennebunk, 7-0, as Gage Cooney scored twice and Sean Allen, Patrick Johnson, Charlie Moore, Ryan Moore and Landon Werner each added one goal.

In Saturday’s semifinals versus No. 5 Cape Elizabeth, a familiar playoff foe, the Rangers advanced by virtue of a 3-1 victory, as Ryan Moore scored twice and Evan Dutil added an empty netter to clinch it.

Greely (16-4) faces No. 2 Brunswick (15-4) in the Class B South Final Tuesday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Arena. In the teams’ lone meeting, Jan. 5, the Rangers beat the host Dragons, 3-2. Brunswick and Greely had never before met in the playoffs.

If the Rangers advance to their fourth straight Class B state final, they will meet either Hampden Academy (15-3) or Camden Hills (12-4) at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Cross Insurance Arena. Greely didn’t play either potential state game foe during the regular season. The Rangers are 2-0 all-time versus the Windjammers in the playoffs, winning 7-1 in the 2013 Western B Final and 3-2 in the 2014 Western B semifinal round. Greely has no postseason history with the Broncos.


Friday night blues

Cheverus/Yamouth’s Truman Peters chases down a loose puck during last week’s Class B South quarterfinal round win over York.  Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

Staying in Class B South, the Cheverus/Yarmouth co-op team, ranked third, had no trouble with No. 6 York in last Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

With the game a mere 14 seconds old, senior Kevin Connolly scored on a rebound and Cheverus/Yarmouth was on its way.

“It was really important to come out fast and we jumped on them on the first shift,” Connolly said. “I shot the puck and saw it hit the defenseman and go in. That set the tone for the rest of the game.”

Before the first period was over, sophomore Andrew Cheever and senior Matt Robichaud added goals for a 3-0 advantage. Cheverus/Yarmouth didn’t let the Wildcats back in the game in the second period and essentially put it away when senior Oliver Prinn and junior Ryan Franceschi found the net. While York got a goal early in the third period, it couldn’t score again, and Cheverus/Yarmouth went on to a 5-1 victory.

“It was a good team effort from start to finish,” Prinn said. “Everyone came to play tonight.”

“I thought we kept the momentum up in the first period and didn’t hit the pause button,” said Cheverus/Yarmouth coach Dave St. Pierre. “I thought in the beginning of the second period, we did pause a little bit and had to re-establish ourselves. We had a great week of practice. The boys really focused on moving the puck into dangerous places and it paid off.”


Friday’s semifinal round at No. 2 Brunswick proved to be a game for the ages, one which went on and on and on into the night.

Brian Connolly put Cheverus/Yarmouth ahead, but the Dragons tied it up. After falling behind, 2-1, Cheverus/Yarmouth drew even on a goal from Ben Moll, then just 27 seconds into the third period, Andrew Cheever scored for a 3-2 lead, but again, Brunswick answered and the game would go to overtime.

Then, a second OT.

And a third.

And a fourth.

And finally a fifth, before Brunswick’s Zach Stern-Hayes scored to finally end it and give the Dragons a 4-3 victory, ending Cheverus/Yarmouth’s season at 13-6.


“It was insane, but it was a lot of fun,” St. Pierre said. “Unfortunately, we just came out on the wrong end. It was a battle of two evenly matched teams. We went toe-to-toe and both teams left it all on the ice. We each hit the post, we had breakaway opportunities, a lot of shots. I thought in the first overtime, they carried play, then it was even after that.

“After the game, I just talked about how proud I was of the boys. They gave me everything they had. I’m really proud of the senior class for leading us all year and bringing two schools together to form a new program. They set the foundation for future success.

“It will be very tough to replace our six seniors, but I’m hopeful and encouraged that we’ll do a good job reloading. Depth-wise, we look good. Our big junior class will be motivated. Our sophomores got some good varsity exposure this year. We have (goalie) Neal (McQuarrie) back, too, which will help us.”

Yarmouth senior Matt Robichaud was named the February Class B South Forward of the Month after scoring six goals and adding seven assists in seven games.

Falmouth, meanwhile, was the No. 4 seed in Class A and had no trouble with No. 13 Biddeford/Old Orchard Beach/Massabesic in the state preliminary round, 7-1.

Friday, the Navigators welcomed No. 5 Thornton Academy for the quarterfinals and had a different result. Caden Barnard put Falmouth ahead with a power play goal in the second period, but the Golden Trojans drew even, then scored again with 3:05 left and went on to a 2-1 victory, ending the Navigators’ season at 10-8-1.

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

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