No boys’ hockey team in Maine scored with the frequency that the Leavitt/Gray-New Gloucester/Oak Hill/Poland co-op did this season. The PLOG Kings entered the Class B South final Wednesday night with a streak of 12 games scoring at least four goals.

Only one team had really shut down the Kings all season. It was PLOG’s misfortune to face that opponent, Cheverus/Yarmouth, with a trip to the state championship game on the line at Cross Insurance Arena.

Playing strong defense from start to finish and capitalizing on its own offensive chances, top-seeded Cheverus/Yarmouth earned its first regional title since forming as a co-op team four years ago, skating to a 3-1 victory.

“That’s what we said going into the game, defense first. Just shut them down,” said David Swift, a Cheverus/Yarmouth defenseman and co-captain.

Cheverus/Yarmouth (17-2-2) will take on North champion Camden Hills (15-6) at 1 p.m. Saturday back at Cross Arena. The second-seeded Kings saw their 15-game winning streak snapped, and ended the season at 17-4.

It was the third win for Cheverus/Yarmouth over the Kings this season, 3-1 each time. The Kings played the regional final without Will Keach, the leading scorer in Class B South with 25 goals and 27 assists. Keach was on the bench wearing a knee brace. PLOG Coach Jason Rouleau said Keach suffered a knee injury in Saturday’s semifinal overtime win over York, and the team found out Tuesday that Keach was done for the season.


“He’s our captain. He’s our leader. It’s hard for us to overcome,” Rouleau said.

Cheverus/Yarmouth knew the Kings posed a strong threat even without Keach. Swift said it was a shame Keach was unable to play, calling the Leavitt senior “a heck of a player.”

“They’re the highest scoring team in our league this year, and we knew that their offense was deep,” Coach Dave St. Pierre said. “Even without Keach in their lineup, we knew they had plenty of firepower left. We really worked hard on our defensive responsibilities.”

A key to Cheverus/Yarmouth’s defensive effort was sophomore goalie Ethan Tucker, who made 26 saves, including 13 in the third period as PLOG increased its offensive intensity while trying to overcome a two-goal deficit.

“They just like to shoot the puck, so I was ready for them to shoot every time they had it,” Tucker said. “We knew we could do it again. We knew we had to play our game.”

St. Pierre said even though Tucker has been strong all season, Wednesday’s effort was another level.


“He was phenomenal. I thought this was the best game he’s played this year,” St. Pierre said.

After a scoreless first period, Cheverus/Yarmouth broke through for a pair of goals in the second. First, Owen Walsh took control of a loose puck in the neutral zone and fired a hard shot from the top of the right circle past PLOG goalie Ian Guerin for a 1-0 lead at 3:23.

Cheverus/Yarmouth made it 2-0 with a power-play goal just five seconds before the end of the period. Andrew Cheever took a pass from Quinn McCoy and let go a shot from almost the same place where Walsh scored earlier.

Seconds before Cheever’s goal, the Kings had a golden chance to tie the game with Connor Boulay breaking in alone for a short-handed try, but his shot went just wide left. Earlier in the period, PLOG’s Brody Emond tipped a Brock Langevin pass in front of the net, but Tucker slid left to right in the crease to make the save.

The Kings cut the deficit in half with a power-play goal at 11:18 of the third period. Parker Pelletier scored on the rebound of Luke Gladu’s shot, which rang off the post. The goal came with one second left on the power play.

Cheverus/Yarmouth, though, iced the victory with McCoy’s empty-net goal at 14:01. PLOG won a faceoff in the Cheverus/Yarmouth zone with 1:06 left, but Gladu’s shot from the point was blocked by McCoy, who gained control of the puck in the neutral zone and broke in alone.

Guerin made 16 saves for the Kings.

“The teams that Dave puts on the ice, they’re always well-disciplined. They always play well defensively,” Rouleau said. “I knew we were going to have a hard time picking up second-chance opportunities. We put the puck on net. We just couldn’t pick up those second-chance opportunities.”

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