PORTLAND—Cheverus/Yarmouth’s boys’ hockey team was able to continue its winning ways Thursday afternoon at Troubh Ice Arena, but not before learning that you can never overlook the Greely Rangers.

Especially when everyone is counting the proud Rangers out.

Cheverus/Yarmouth, which last lost eight days before Christmas, took a quick 2-0 lead on goals from juniors David Swift and Ian O’Connor.

When Cheverus/Yarmouth got second period goals from junior Brian Connolly and senior Ben Moll, it was poised to roll to an easy win, but Greely roared back.

Junior Charlie Moore scored to get the Rangers on the board and after junior Evan Hankins answered for Cheverus/Yarmouth, junior Finn Murphy and Moore found the net to pull Greely within 5-3 heading for the third period.

There, Moore capped his hat trick by scoring on a rebound with 10:43 left and the deficit was just one, but the Rangers couldn’t pull even and with 2:54 to play, Swift set up sophomore Quinn McCoy for a goal to clinch it and Cheverus/Yarmouth went on to a 6-4 victory.


Six different players scored goals as Cheverus/Yarmouth won its sixth consecutive game, extended its unbeaten streak to seven, improved to 6-2-1 and in the process, dropped Greely to 2-8.

“First of all, Greely’s a well-coached team,” said Cheverus/Yarmouth coach Dave St. Pierre. “They have championship DNA and know how to work hard. To their credit, they didn’t quit and earned the right to get back in game. With that said, I’m disappointed we didn’t play to our potential in the second period, but we did what we had to do to get the win.”

Holding on

Greely, which won the Class B state title in 2019 and 2020 before losing in the regional final last winter to Brunswick, has struggled much of this winter. The Rangers, who have been without injured senior goalie Keji Wiessner throughout, opened with losses at Gorham (7-2), Edward Little (4-1), Kennebunk (4-1) and Falmouth (10-1) before beating host York (3-0). After falling at home to Camden Hills (11-0) and Gorham (5-3) and at Cape Elizabeth (9-2), Greely downed visiting Kennebunk Saturday, 2-1.

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), host St. Dom’s (7-2), visiting Scarborough (3-2) and host Gorham (4-2).

Last winter, Greely beat Cheverus/Yarmouth twice, 3-2 in overtime at home and 4-3 in Portland.


Thursday, the Rangers looked to stay perfect against the Cheverus/Yarmouth co-op, but instead, couldn’t quite pull off the upset.

Greely junior Tyler Haight sends the puck away from Cheverus/Yarmouth junior Andrew Cheever during Cheverus/Yarmouth’s 6-4 victory Thursday. Hoffer photos.

Cheverus/Yarmouth controlled the play in the first period, enjoying an 11-3 advantage in shots on goal, and went ahead to stay at 4:34, as Swift won the puck, made a nice move around a defender, then fired a shot between the legs of Greely junior goalie Will Klein for a 1-0 lead.

After Cheverus/Yarmouth senior goalie Neal McQuarrie denied senior Matt Kennedy, Connolly won a faceoff to O’Connor, who fired the puck into the net to make it 2-0, an advantage that held into the second period.

A second period that proved to be wild.

The Rangers came out strong, but McQuarrie turned aside shots from sophomores Alex Wharton and Rylan Haight and after Greely went on the power play, McQuarrie robbed junior Sean Allen in front.

After McQuarrie saved shots from Kennedy and Moore, the Rangers went on the power play, but at 6:55 of the second period, Connolly scored short-handed to make it 3-0.


“Connolly came to play and carried his line,” said St. Pierre.

Cheverus/Yarmouth then scored on the power play at 11:05, as Swift set up Moll and it appeared the rout was on.

Guess again.

At 12:12, Moore, while falling, managed to shoot the puck past McQuarrie to get Greely on the board, but a mere 15 seconds later, Hankins scored unassisted to make it 5-1.

But the Rangers closed the period with a flourish, as Allen set up Murphy for a goal with 1:20 remaining, then 41 seconds later, on a rush, Moore scored (from junior Cullen Rafford) to make the score 5-3 heading to the third period.

Cheverus/Yarmouth junior Brian Connolly and Greely junior Charlie Moore fight for possession on a faceoff.

Greely then made things very interesting with 10:43 to play, as after McQuarrie saved a shot from Kennedy, then denied a rebound from senior Teddy Conway, Moore banged home a loose puck to complete his hat trick and make it 5-4.


But the Rangers weren’t able to complete their comeback.

Greely had one shot get through, off the stick of sophomore Alex Wharton, but McQuarrie made the stop.

Then, with 2:54 to play, after the Rangers had a shot blocked, Cheverus/Yarmouth raced into the offensive zone and Swift got the puck to McCoy, who fired it past Klein for some insurance.

“Quinn McCoy I thought played a fantastic game,” St. Pierre said. “He’s a young player who has come into own this year.”

Cheverus/Yarmouth was able to run out the clock from there and celebrate its 6-4 victory.

“We kind of got flat in the second period and let them come back,” said Connolly. “If we can eliminate that, we’ll be fine. We have to play a full 45 minutes. We have a good team this year. We pride ourselves in practice on sharing the puck. We’re playing as a team and it’s working for us.”


“I don’t know that much complacency set in,” said St. Pierre. “Greely just came at us hard. We didn’t execute the way we needed to and that’s something we need to learn from. We buckled down defensively after the second period. We took care of pucks and put them in safe places. We held them at bay and gave ourselves a chance to win. Neal did a great job keeping us in the game.”

Cheverus/Yarmouth finished with a 21-16 shots advantage and got a dozen saves from McQuarrie.

Greely got 15 saves from Klein and even though it fell short, produced an encouraging effort to build on.

“I’m really proud of the resiliency and character of the guys,” said longtime Rangers coach Barry Mothes. “We’ve had some challenges this year and it tests you and it’s tough, but everybody rallied. It was our best rally of the season. Will hung in there in net. I think it was an even hockey game. The last two periods were 4-4. That’s the most goals we’ve scored in a regular season game this year. We did a lot of things pretty well. We’ve worked on a lot of things and it’s good to see that come to fruition. Considering the opponent, this was our grittiest, best, hard-working effort to crawl back.”

See you a week from Saturday

The teams meet again Saturday, Feb. 4 in Falmouth.


In the meantime, the Rangers, who still hope to get Wiessner back at some point (he’s been practicing with the team but hasn’t been fully cleared) host Leavitt Saturday and welcome York Tuesday of next week. Greely is currently eighth in the Class B South Heal Points standings, where just six teams qualify for the playoffs.

“We’ve got eight tough games left and hopefully we can build on this,” Mothes said. “It’s a good group of guys who are working hard. We’ve had challenges and adversity, but we’re enjoying the process and we’re definitely getting better. We can be dangerous, but we have to get in (the playoffs) first and we need some things to go our way to get some more wins.”

Cheverus/Yarmouth (third behind Brunswick and Cape Elizabeth in Class B South) goes to York Saturday, then has a home showdown versus Brunswick Wednesday of next week before meeting Greely again.

“We have the heart of our season coming up and we just have to play our game,” Connolly said. “There are a lot of good teams, but if we play our game, we should be fine.”

“We’re at the halfway mark and we have a lot of tough games coming up,” St. Pierre said. “Any league opponent will be tough for us. We look forward to the second half and we’ll keep building.”

Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net.

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