PORTLAND—The new year has been very kind to the Cheverus/Yarmouth boys’ hockey team.

Which so far is perfect in 2023.

Thursday afternoon at Troubh Ice Arena, Cheverus/Yarmouth hosted defending Class A state champion Scarborough in a battle of teams going in opposite directions and thanks to a balanced offensive attack and a terrific penalty kill, it came out on top again.

The Red Storm struck just 76 seconds into the game when sophomore Wyatt Grondin, last year’s playoff hero, scored on a rebound.

Cheverus/Yarmouth tied it up midway through the first period when junior Ayden Morton scored his first career goal, then killed off nearly four minutes of a five-minute penalty to end the period.

After finishing off the penalty kill to start the second period, Cheverus/Yarmouth went on the power play itself and took the lead for good, as senior Truman Peters rebounded classmate Ben Moll’s shot into the net.


Midway through the period, Cheverus/Yarmouth extended its lead to two, as Moll stole a pass, raced in and finished for a 3-1 advantage heading to the third period.

There, not surprisingly, Scarborough made things interesting, as senior Griffin Denbow scored a little more than two minutes in, but Cheverus/Yarmouth killed two more penalties and slammed the door on a 3-2 victory.

Cheverus/Yarmouth won its fourth game in a row, improved to 4-2-1 on the season and handed the Red Storm their fourth consecutive loss and dropped them to 5-4 in the process.

“We learned a lot from the first couple games and the team has really come together,” said Cheverus/Yarmouth coach Dave St. Pierre. “They’ve locked in on a couple key principles and it’s paid off. They’re playing really well together.”

Ups and downs

Scarborough began its title defense with narrow wins at Falmouth (5-4), at home over Windham (2-0), at Biddeford (4-3) and at Lewiston (4-2) before downing visiting Bangor (5-2). The Red Storm then lost at Thornton Academy (5-2) and Edward Little (3-1) and fell at home to Falmouth Monday by a 6-3 score.


Cheverus/Yarmouth, meanwhile, started slowly with losses to visiting Kennebunk (3-2) and Cape Elizabeth (6-1) before tying host Brunswick (3-3). The squad then got in the win column, edging visiting Gorham (1-0), before downing visiting Leavitt (4-1) and host St. Dom’s (7-2).

Last year, host Scarborough won the teams’ lone meeting in overtime, 4-3.

Thursday, the Red Storm started fast, but Cheverus/Yarmouth did what it had to do to prevail.

Scarborough senior Daemon Bobbin takes a shot as Cheverus/Yarmouth junior David Swift defends during Thursday’s contest won by Cheverus/Yarmouth, 3-2. Hoffer photos.

With 13:44 to go in the first period, Scarborough junior Will Marcotte got the puck to junior Olin Pedersen, who fired a shot on Cheverus/Yarmouth senior goalie Neal McQuarrie, who made the save, but the rebound sat free and Grondin poked it home for a quick 1-0 advantage.

But Cheverus/Yarmouth quickly responded.

After bids from junior Andrew Cheever and sophomore Quinn McCoy were saved by Red Storm senior goalie Keegan Weed, Cheverus/Yarmouth drew even with 6:41 remaining, as Morton got the puck on the side and snuck a shot through the defense and past Weed to tie the score.


“We never want to go down early, but we believed in each other,” Moll said.

“It was a tough goal to let up, but we had to dig deep and keep fighting and that’s what we do,” Peters said.

Scarborough looked to go back ahead, but McQuarrie saved a shot from Marcotte and a rebound from senior Billy Mahoney, then Grondin shot wide on a rush.

With 3:46 left, Peters was sent off for five minutes for a boarding penalty, giving the Red Storm a golden opportunity to regain the lead, but they couldn’t do so.

In the final minute, McQuarrie saved shots from senior Thomas Hassett and sophomore Cameron Morin and Cheverus/Yarmouth was able to tie up pucks and clear them from the zone regularly to run out the clock and keep the game deadlocked.

Cheverus/Yarmouth then finished off its penalty kill at the start of the second period to gain momentum.


“We’ve had a lot of practice on the PKs and we’ve got it rolling,” Peters said. “Especially on a five-minute penalty, you just have to focus and lock in.”

“I thought our PK was great all night,” said St. Pierre. “It had to be because we had too many penalties which is something we’ve been trying to fix. We’ve worked a lot on our PK in practice.”

Morin was then sent off for a tripping penalty and Cheverus/Yarmouth showed Scarborough how scoring on the power play was done, as with 12 minutes to go, Weed saved a Moll shot, but Peters buried the rebound to put his team on top to stay.

After McQuarrie saved shots from Mahoney and Morin, the Red Storm earned another power play, but McQuarrie saved the best look, a shot from Hassett.

Then, with 7:26 on the clock, Moll intercepted a pass, skated in and fired a shot between Weed’s legs and in for a 3-1 advantage.

“Both my wingers did a great job locking up their wings and they threw (the puck) up the middle,” Moll said. “I just happened to pick it off and put it in the net. I wasn’t trying to go five-hole, but it worked out.”


“We work a lot on our neutral zone forecheck,” St. Pierre said. “We forced a turnover there and (Ben) was in the right place at the right time and to his credit, he buried it. He’s a goal-scorer.”

Scarborough had its chances to answer as first junior Ian O’Connor, then Cheever were sent to the penalty box, giving it 80 seconds of 5-on-3 power play, but again, Cheverus/Yarmouth stood tall, as McQuarrie saved shots from junior Tyler Kenney and freshman Jack Bathe while Grondin missed wide and the lead remained 3-1 heading to the third period.

There, the Red Storm got right back in the game.

Just nine seconds in, McQuarrie saved a shot from Kenney, but with 12:35 left, Denbow finished a pass from Mahoney (with freshman Daniel Polisner also getting an assist) and suddenly, it was a one-goal game.

From there, Cheverus/Yarmouth managed to hold on for dear life.

With 9:59 remaining, Scarborough went on the power play, but mustered only good bid, a shot from Grondin which went wide.


With 6:14 to go, McQuarrie saved a shot from Morin.

Four seconds later, the Red Storm went on the power play for the final time, but it didn’t help, as Bathe missed just wide with a lot of net to shoot at.

Down the stretch, McQuarrie saved shots from Marcotte and Hassett and after a Scarborough timeout, he twice more denied Marcotte.

As time wound down, the Red Storm hoped to pull Weed for an extra attacker, but Cheverus/Yarmouth never allowed it to happen and it ran out the clock and was able to celebrate its 3-2 victory.

Cheverus/Yarmouth celebrates at the final horn.

“Scarborough’s a Class A team, the defending state champion and they’ve got speed, so holding them off at the end was tough, but luckily we stayed strong,” Peters said.

“We had a tough start to the season, not the start we wanted, but we started to buy into our systems and believe in each other and play for each other and I think it’s showing on the ice,” said Moll.


“We knew they’d come out hard,” St. Pierre added. “They’d lost their last three and were hungry for a ‘W.’ We had to survive the first couple minutes and unfortunately we didn’t, but to our credit, we were able to bear down and doubled down on our defensive tactics and it paid off.”

Cheverus/Yarmouth got 26 saves from McQuarrie, scored a power play goal and stopped every Scarborough power play opportunity.

“One of the keys to the game was winning the special teams battle,” St. Pierre said. “We scored a power play goal and we shut down their talented power play. Credit to our penalty killers. They committed to winning battles and getting the pucks out when they had to. It comes down to heart. That was huge.”

The Red Storm had a 28-12 shots advantage and got nine saves from Weed, but their inability to take advantage of power play opportunities sealed their doom.

“Usually our power play has been buzzing, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to capitalize on the opportunities we had tonight,” lamented Scarborough coach Eric Wirsing. “Credit to (Cheverus/Yarmouth). They did a nice job isolating us and force us into uncomfortable positions. They did a great clearing the net and making sure their goalie could see the puck. If we scored on one or two of those opportunities, we’re looking at a different game. I thought we came out with a good jump and got right on them. We played very solid in the first period. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to capitalize on that five-minute power play, then they put us on our heels with a couple goals. Third period, we came out hard and pushed the pace and got an opportunity to pull it out.”

Long way to go


Scarborough hopes to rediscover its winning ways when it returns to Troubh Ice Arena next Thursday to face South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete. The Red Storm then host Lewiston Saturday, Jan. 21.

“We just have to get back to work and doing good things,” Wirsing said. “We have a very good hockey team. We’ve got to learn to grow. We’re dealing with adversity and we know how to help the guys work through it and we’ll be better off in the long run. I’d rather have this happen now than at the end of the season. We have a good mindset and a good group of kids who will work hard to get better.”

Cheverus/Yarmouth goes to Kennebunk Monday, seeking to avenge an earlier loss.

“This keeps our momentum going in a positive direction,” said Peters. “We’ll keep working every day.”

“I think we’re heading in the right direction,” St. Pierre said. “We’re not even at the halfway mark. We still have a lot of hockey in front of us and a lot of ways to get better. We’re pointed in the right direction, now it’s taking it one step at a time and getting tighter and tighter with everything. We’ve got the right pieces. If we commit to what we’re supposed to do, then I think we can be competitive with anybody.”

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

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