PORTLAND—Last Saturday, Falmouth’s boys’ hockey team let a late lead slip away and the Navigators lost at home, in overtime.

Thursday, Falmouth returned to action at Troubh Ice Arena against the newly-formed Beacons, a co-op team featuring players from Portland, Deering and South Portland, which upset the Navigators in last year’s playoffs.

So it was clear Falmouth had a lot to play for and it took a little over five minutes for junior Isaac Laliberte to put the Navigators ahead to stay.

Promising freshman Anthony Graceffa added a goal later in the first period for a 2-0 advantage.

The Beacons drew within a goal early in the second period, when Toby Lappin scored on the power play, but in the biggest moment of the game, junior Henry Whiting found the net with just 11.2 seconds left to make it 3-1 Falmouth heading for the third period.

There, with 12:16 left, a goal from sophomore Jacoby Porter essentially ended it and while the Beacons got a goal back from Jack McArthur, it was too little, too late, and the Navigators went on and closed out a 4-2 victory.


Falmouth evened its record at 1-1 and in the process, dropped the Beacons to 1-2 on the young season.

“This time of year, I’m just looking for little improvements every night,” said longtime Navigators coach Deron Barton. “We played very similar to the way we played the other night, but the difference was we didn’t let them back in the game and we put the puck away when we needed to.”

Baby steps

Falmouth suffered a tough overtime loss to Marshwood in its opener, 3-2.

The Beacons, meanwhile, started with a 4-2 loss to St. Dom’s, then defeated Scarborough, 6-3.

Thursday, the Navigators started fast and didn’t look back.


Falmouth junior Thomas Healey carries the puck into the offensive end early in Thursday’s 4-2 win at Portland/South Portland. Hoffer photos.

Porter tried to put the Navigators on top in the game’s second minute, but his long shot was saved by Beacons goalie Michael Zaccaria.

Michael McMains then attempted to put the home team on top, only to be denied by Falmouth junior goalie Brandon White.

Then, after Zaccaria robbed Graceffa on the doorstep, the Navigators went ahead to stay at 5:30 when Laliberte took a pass from senior Andrew Belliveau and from the blue line, fired the puck into the goal.

“That goal was great,” said Laliberte. “If we bury the first one, we get going. I just got the puck on my stick. I was looking for a quick shot and I just got lucky.”

After White preserved the lead with saves on Hunter Temple, Lappin and Hewitt Sykes, Falmouth made it 2-0 at 13:02, as in transition, junior Thomas Healey got the puck to Graceffa, who found the net.

White made late saves on shots from Ben Palson and Lappin, but just before the end of the period, a high stick penalty on the Navigators allowed the Beacons to start the second period on the power play.


And they took advantage.

White kept the Beacons off the board initially by robbing Palson, but at 1:16, Palson got the puck to Lappin, who ripped it into the net to cut the deficit to 2-1.

The Beacons hoped to score again and pull even, but White saved shots from Palson and Henry Cossaboom.

At the other end, Falmouth was stymied, as senior Theo Kowalzsky, Graceffa, Belliveau and Healey were all denied, and Porter hit the post.

But with time winding down, the Navigators turned momentum in their favor once and for all, as Whiting got the puck from Porter and scored, with Belliveau also getting an assist, turning a one-goal game into a 3-1 lead with just 15 minutes to go.

Falmouth had a 20-5 shots advantage in the period and was rewarded on its 20th.


“Getting pucks deep was the big thing tonight,” said Laliberte. “We just wanted to get behind their D and work it inside. That goal was huge.”

“That shows the heart we have this year,” Barton said. “We might not have the raw talent and goal-scoring we had last year, but the guys work hard and get the dirty goals like that.”

“That was on me, it was a line change,” lamented Jeff Beaney, who co-coaches the Beacons along with Joe Robinson.

Falmouth celebrates a goal during Thursday’s victory.

Falmouth ended any lingering doubt 2:44 into the third period, as on the power play, Porter found the net (from Belliveau).

With 3:12 remaining, McArthur scored for the Beacons, from Temple, but the Navigators were able to slam the door from there and prevail, 4-2.

“We wanted to forget about our loss and we were definitely thinking about (last year),” Laliberte said. “We wanted this game.”


“(The Beacons are) gritty, they’re well-coached and you can’t count them out,” Barton said. “That’s how it will be this year with the top five, six teams every night. It’s going to be a dogfight.”

Falmouth finished with a 40-24 advantage in shots on goal and got 22 saves from White.

Zaccaria made 36 saves for the Beacons.

“It’s the time of year, especially as a new team, where you’re trying to figure out roles and we’re learning lessons along the way,” Beaney said. “What people forget is we have three players who played varsity hockey last year. Everybody is trying to step up and fill roles. We don’t have experience in certain situations, but we’ll get there. I thought Falmouth had a pretty good game plan and put us under pressure.”

Gaining experience

The Beacons are back in action Saturday at home versus Fryeburg/Lake Region/Oxford Hills.


“We have potential,” said Beaney. “We’ll be alright. We hope to get back on track. We have to put good days together. This is the kind of game where you can learn an awful lot.”

Falmouth travels to Edward Little Saturday, then goes to Windham/Westbrook/Bonny Eagle Tuesday of next week.

“We have young guys, but I think we’ll be good,” said Laliberte. “I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. We just have to come to practice and work hard.”

“I’m happy so far where we are,” Barton said. “We’re young and we’re getting the young guys ready for the last third of the season. We have as good a shot as anybody. It’s going to be an interesting season.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. For game updates and links to game stories, follow him on Threads: @foresports2023

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