PORTLAND—Yarmouth/Freeport’s co-op girls’ hockey team is going to be a handful in the playoffs.

The Clippers are talented and are motivated to capture the state title that just eluded them a year ago and Saturday afternoon at Troubh Ice Arena, they closed the regular season on a high note at the Cape Elizabeth/Portland/South Portland/Waynflete Beacons.

Yarmouth/Freeport needed just a little over two minutes to take the lead for good, as senior Ella Zur Muhlen scored.

With Clippers freshman goalie Lexi Wiles holding the Beacons at bay, her teammates gave her a two-goal lead when senior Isabel Peters scored five minutes into the second period.

The Beacons eventually got on the board, courtesy junior standout Marina Bassett, but Yarmouth/Freeport answered on a goal from sophomore Celia Zinman to take a 3-1 advantage to the third period.

There, the Beacons made things interesting, when junior Libby Hooper scored on the power play with 7:28 remaining, but just 34 seconds later, Peters scored her second goal and another tally from senior Avery Buchanan in the waning moments slammed the door on a 5-2 victory.


The Clippers finished the regular season 14-4, will be the top seed in the North Region for the second year in a row and in the process, they ended the Beacons’ regular season at 10-8 and relegated them to the No. 3 seed in the South.

“It’s nice to play (the Beacons) the last game of the season since they were one of the teams to beat us this year,” said Yarmouth/Freeport coach Dave Intraversato. “We knew we had to win to solidify Heal Points and that was on our minds. I think we’re in a good spot right now and we’re playing great.”

What a finale

Yarmouth/Freeport has built on its best-ever season a year ago, one which ended with a trip to the state final and ultimately, a narrow 3-2 loss to Cheverus.

This winter, Yarmouth/Freeport started by beating Lewiston (8-3) and Falmouth (8-1). After a 5-4 loss to Cape/Portland/SP/Waynflete, Yarmouth/Freeport beat Gorham (5-4). After being blanked at Cheverus in a state game rematch, 3-0, Yarmouth/Freeport beat Brunswick (3-2), Biddeford (4-1), Winslow (6-2) and St. Dom’s (3-1). After an overtime loss to Brunswick (4-3), Yarmouth/Freeport handed Cheverus its only loss (2-1), then defeated Gorham (6-0), Winslow (4-2), Penobscot (6-5), Mt. Ararat (11-1) and Edward Little (4-0) before falling at home to Penobscot Tuesday, 4-1.

The Beacons have been a consistent contender for many years and started this winter by defeating Greely (8-1), Winslow (7-4), Yarmouth/Freeport (5-4) and York (13-5). After letting a lead slip away in a 5-4 overtime loss to Cheverus, the Beacons defeated Biddeford (7-2). Losses to Penobscot (6-2) and Falmouth (6-3) were followed by wins over York (8-1), Biddeford (7-4) and Gorham (4-3). After a 9-1 home loss to Penobscot, the Beacons beat Edward Little (10-1), then lost at Cheverus (5-2) and Gorham (3-2) before beating Falmouth Tuesday (5-4) and losing at home to Brunswick Thursday (5-4).


Saturday, Yarmouth/Freeport started fast and that was enough to propel it to victory.

The Beacons had the first scoring chance, but Wiles hinted at a big game to come by denying Bassett on a rush.

Then, at 2:28 of the first period, the puck came up top to Zur Muhlen, whose shot deflected off a defender and got past Beacons senior Erin Winship for a 1-0 lead.

Wiles then preserved the lead by saving three shots from Bassett, including a rebound off an initial shot from junior Vivian Bryand.

At the other end, after senior Rosie Panenka came within inches of doubling the lead, only to hit the crossbar, Winship kept the deficit at one by saving bids from junior Drea Rideout, Panenka, senior Amanda Panciocco and freshman Erica O’Connor.

Early in the second period, Bassett twice had looks to tie the score, but both just missed the mark.


Then, at 4:57, Peters got in on the fun, rebounding a shot from Panenka (sophomore Adelaide Strout also had an assist) to make it 2-0.

“It was just a rebound off the goalie’s pads and I just tapped it in,” said Peters.

A mere 19 seconds later, the Beacons got back in the game, as Bassett scored on a wraparound.

Initially, the goal wasn’t awarded, but after an officials’ discussion, it was counted, cutting the deficit to 2-1.

The Beacons then went on the power play and had a chance to pull even, but Bassett had a shot saved by Wiles.

“I saw the puck well today and I had a great defense to back me up,” said Wiles. “It’s been exciting. I’m glad to have the opportunity.”


“(Lexi’s) done so much for us,” said Peters. “It’s crazy that it’s first year ever playing hockey. We’re really proud of her.”

“Lexi has been unbelievable,” Intraversato added. “She has a figure skating background and came to us this summer and put the pads on. She’s a good athlete and has worked with our goalie coach.”

Then, at 10:26, the Clippers went back ahead by two goals, again scoring on a rebound, as Winship saved a shot from sophomore Sophie White, but Zinman pounced on the loose puck and finished to make it 3-1.

“The puck went up and then it went down, then I was there to score it,” Zinman said.

After Wiles preserved the lead by robbing junior Jane Flynn, Yarmouth/Freeport took a two-goal lead to the final period.

The Beacons, who were outshot, 13-4, in the middle period, came out strong in the third and after Wiles saved shots from senior Phoebe Knoll and Basssett twice, then Bassett missed high, they went on the power play and coach Bob Mills called timeout.


It worked, as at 7:32, Bassett got the puck to Hooper, who roofed it past Wiles and in to cut the deficit to 3-2.

But any momentum the Beacons might have gained, disappeared 34 seconds later, as they turned the puck over, Panenka brought it up the left side, then crossed to Peters, who beat Winship to make it 4-2.

“Rosie’s a really good center and dishes out great passes,” Peters said. “It’s nice to have that chemistry with her. We’ve played together a few years now and we work well together.”

After Wiles denied Hooper, Yarmouth/Freeport salted it away with 2:10 to go, as Strout found Buchanan for the clincher and the Clippers went on to a 5-2 victory.

“We really wanted to finish on a high note,” Zinman said. “It’s a big win for us since we lost to them earlier in the season. It shows how much we’ve grown as a team.”

“It feels really good to win,” Peters said. “It’s really exciting to be the top seed again. It’s been fun to have more competition this year.”


“We were missing a couple players today and we did a great job with the adjustments,” Intraversato added. “Our defense, I can’t say enough about them. They were rock-solid. It was back and forth, but we had the upper hand this time. This was a good way to end the season.”

Yarmouth/Freeport wound up with a 31-24 advantage in shots on goal and got 22 saves from Wiles.

The Beacons scored the game’s lone power play goal and got 26 saves from Winship, but fell short.

“We used this game as a chance to get a lot of players in who don’t normally get a lot of shifts in games and they played with heart and played with a lot of passion,” Mills said. “The score isn’t what we were hoping for, but it was a good game.”

Playoff time

The Beacons will face No. 6 York (3-14-1) in the South Region quarterfinals, Wednesday at 4 p.m., at Troubh Ice Arena.


“I think we have a good team here,’ said Mills. “I’m pretty proud of 10-8. There’s some games we’d love to have back, but we’re just going to look forward. I think any team can win in the playoffs and I like our chances. We want to make sure we’re playing with a five-person mentality on the ice, because we can’t win games as individuals. We just have to work on playing good defense at all times.”

Yarmouth/Freeport is projected to host No. 8 Mt. Ararat (1-17) in the quarterfinal round. The Clippers will likely have to go through second-seeded Penobscot (a squad they split with this winter) to get back to states and if they’re fortunate enough to do that, it’s likely Cheverus will be standing in the way again.

But Yarmouth/Freeport is eager to overcome whatever challenges might await.

“I think we just have to play our game and stay strong,” Wiles said.

“I think this gives us an extra boost of confidence,” said Zinman. “We’ll face some tough teams in the playoffs, so this gets us set. We want it. We know the feeling of not reaching our goal, so we really want to win it this year.”

“I want to win pretty bad,” Peters said. “I remember last year and us almost tying the game. I think this year it can be different. We have the chemistry. We just have to keep playing hard and keep playing like we have been the past few games.”

“We returned a lot of last year’s group and we learned a lot from losing states,” Intraversato added. “That stuck with a lot of players and coaches. At the end of last season, they wanted to get going again the next day. We want to get (to states), but it’s obviously a tough road. We want to be playing our best at the end of the year and that’s what we’re doing. The girls are extremely driven to finish.”

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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