PORTLAND—The Portland/South Portland/Deering Beacons boys’ hockey co-op team enjoyed a memorable first season combining forces.

But the Beacons weren’t able to reach the state final.

That’s because they ran into a determined, talented and ultimately, history-making Bangor Rams squad in a Class A state semifinal Wednesday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Arena.

The Beacons and goalie Michael Zaccaria, the hero from the quarterfinals, were on their heels from the start and the third-ranked Rams went on top to stay midway through the first period on a goal from junior Marc-Andre Perron.

Bangor then broke it open in the second period.

After senior Jackson Guimond made it 2-0, the Beacons answered on a goal from senior standout Toby Lappin, but before the end of the frame, Guimond scored a second goal, senior Miles Randall got in on the fun, then Perron scored on the power play for a commanding 5-1 lead.

Perron capped his hat trick early in the third period and while senior Ben Palson and Lappin kept hope alive with goals, it wasn’t nearly enough and the Rams went on to a 6-3 victory.

Bangor improved to 14-5-1, advanced to battle No. 1 Lewiston (16-4) in the Class A state final Saturday at 3:30 p.m., at the Cross Insurance Arena, and in the process, brought the Beacons’ season to an end at 10-9-1.

“I’m so proud of how, right from day one, we went from Beacons to family,” said Jeff Beaney, who co-coaches the team, along with Joe Robinson. “As a coach, you like to see that happen. Last year, Portland didn’t field a varsity team. South Portland had two players who played a lot. This year, the kids were open minded and we did some things differently and they bought in and worked.”

Cinderella run


The former Portland/Deering and South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport co-op teams came together this winter (Freeport players are now combined with Brunswick and Waynflete didn’t produce any players this season) and after a 1-3 start, began to put it together, winning eight of 11 games before closing on an 0-2-1 skid.

Last Friday, the Beacons got goals from junior Lucas Milliken and Lappin, while Zaccaria dazzled with 44 saves in a 2-1 victory at No. 2 St. Dom’s.

“We had some ups and downs, but it was a very rewarding game last Saturday,” Beaney said.

Bangor, meanwhile, started with victories in eight of nine contests before going just 4-4-1 in the second half of the season. Friday, the Rams eliminated No. 6 Marshwood, 5-0, in the quarterfinal round.

Bangor and the Beacons met just once this season and neither team could find the goal in a 0-0 tie Feb. 15 in Portland.

Bangor had never met Portland or South Portland in the tournament.


Wednesday, in the first of three playoff games at the Cross Insurance Arena, the Rams left no doubt that they’re title-caliber.

Bangor came out on fire and Zaccaria held strong initially, saving shots from senior Ty Walker, junior Zach Lindquist, senior Michael Moscone and Guimond.

The Beacons had chances as well, but Rams sophomore goalie Cody McCue denied Lappin and senior Henry Cossaboom.

At 7:37, Bangor got the jump, as Randall got the puck in front to Perron and Perron buried it before Zaccaria could react (sophomore Chase Caron also got an assist).

“It all starts with Chase Caron,” said Perron. “He did a great job going to the net. And Miles Randall had some great passes.”

After McCue preserved the lead by saving a shot from Hunter Temple, after he got a fortuitous bounce off the boards, Zaccaria denied Caron.


With 1:06 left in the period, the Rams went on the power play, but couldn’t generate a good chance and the game went to the first intermission with the Beacons still very much in it, down just 1-0.

But Bangor was able to break it open in the second period.

The Rams couldn’t score on the final 54 seconds of the power play to begin, but at 3:09, Guimond got the puck from Walker and fired it off Zaccaria’s pad and in.

Undaunted, the Beacons answered 22 seconds later, as Lappin redirected a shot from junior Ian House past McCue, but a mere 48 seconds after that, Walker found a wide open Guimond at the far post and Guimond finished to make it 3-1.

“Jackson missed four or five games with a knee injury, but he’s played the past couple games and he’s back to where he needs to be,” said Rams coach Quinn Paradis.

At 5:13, Bangor went on the power play for the second time and this time, it capitalized, as Randall finished from Perron (senior Preston Henry also got an assist) to make it 4-1.


“We have slow first periods all year, but we have depth and we keep running and it works,” said Paradis. “That line is playing so great right now. They’re clicking right now and that’s what we’ve needed.”

At 13:43, the Rams got another power play opportunity and again cashed it in, as Henry set up Perron for the goal (Randall also got an assist) and the lead was 5-1 heading to the second intermission.

“The biggest thing was getting more shots,” said Perron. “The power plays really helped. Our power play has really turned it on.”

Any lingering doubt was dashed just 3:06 into the third period.

After McCue made a nice pad save on a Temple shot, Bangor transitioned to offense and Perron scored for the third time, from Randall, to make it 6-1.

Palson answered, from senior Jack McArthur 18 seconds later.


At 9:02, Lappin scored the final goal of his nonpareil career, finishing unassisted.

The Beacons weren’t able to get any closer, however, and the Rams closed out their 6-3 victory.

“It’s pretty surreal right now,” Perron said. “It’s great. I love these guys. I’ve grown up with them. I knew this year was going to be special.”

“We’ve had some tough losses over the years, so this feels so good for the whole Bangor hockey community,” Paradis said. “We’ve had some highs and lows, but we’re playing our best hockey now.”

McCue made 12 saves for Bangor, which enjoyed a 27-15 advantage in shots on goal and scored on 2-of-3 power play chances.

Bangor split with Lewiston this year, losing at home (4-3) and winning on the road (3-0).


The Rams are 45 minutes from making even more history and know it won’t come easily Saturday.

“This is a huge game, but now we have to focus on the next one,” Perron said. “The biggest thing for us is repeating our second period. That was probably our best period all year.”

“It’s always a fun environment playing down here,” Paradis said. “Hopefully it’ll be a good game.”

Building block

The Beacons got 21 saves from Zaccaria, but couldn’t dig out of their early deficit.

“Today, we had to chase the score a little bit and that made it tough,” Beaney said. “Bangor was able to sustain their intensity for all 45 minutes. They played well. We knew what we were facing, but it was the first time here for everybody but two players. The seniors said it was beyond their wildest expectations to make it here and how much fun they had every day. That was the message from the coaches too. It was fun for us.”

Graduation will take its toll, as not only will Lappin, who has been named a Travis Roy Award finalist, depart, but nine others will take off their sweaters for the final time.

The cupboard isn’t bare, however, and the 2024-25 Beacons will be starting from a place of more experience and cohesion.

“We lose 10 seniors and three All-State players, but we have a goalie back and three defensemen and a line or two and our JV team won their league, so we’ll get some players there,” Beaney said. “This year’s experience and being able to do stuff together over the summer will help. Sometimes that bridge can seem miles apart with the ‘Battle of the Bridge,’ but this team has become one unit.”

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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