PORTLAND—The Cheverus and Yarmouth boys’ hockey programs have become one big, happy family.

A family that now gets to share a big, shiny prize.

After it reached the pinnacle in thrilling fashion at the Class B state final Saturday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Cheverus/Yarmouth, a fourth-year co-op squad, took control early against Camden Hills, navigated through some anxious moments late and sailed into the history books in dramatic and therapeutic fashion.

But it needed all 45 minutes to taste victory.

It took just 54 seconds for Cheverus/Yarmouth to go in front for good, as junior Quinn McCoy found the net.


Then, after hitting the post twice, Cheverus/Yarmouth was rewarded with two power play goals in a 40-second span, as senior captain Andrew Cheever finished, then he set up his little brother, freshman Owen Cheever, for a goal to make it 3-0 after one period.

The Windjammers made things interesting in the second period, as senior standout Owen McManus scored nine minutes in, then he struck again at 11:46 to cut the deficit to a mere goal.

But midway through the third period, again on the power play, Andrew Cheever set up senior standout David Swift for the biggest goal of his life for some breathing room and that loomed enormous, as McManus completed his hat trick with just 27 seconds to go.

Cheverus/Yarmouth then held off one final Camden Hills foray and was able to exhale and celebrate a memorable 4-3 victory.

Four different players tickled the twine and sophomore goalie Ethan Tucker stopped 21 shots as Cheverus/Yarmouth finished the year 18-2-2, ended Camden Hills’ fine season at 15-7 and in the process, captured a championship for the first time.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to high school hockey,” said Swift, a finalist for the Evans Spear Award given to the top senior player in Class B South. “It’s the coolest feeling ever to write your own history and do something that hasn’t been done before. I have so much love for this locker room.”


“I’m just elated, through the roof for these kids,” added Cheverus/Yarmouth coach Dave St. Pierre. “I’m so proud of them. They worked so hard. They came together as such a great family. It’s such a special moment.”

We are family

Cheverus and Yarmouth, longtime contenders in their own right, united as a co-op team just in time for the COVID-shortened 2021 season, a campaign without a postseason tournament. Two years ago, Cheverus/Yarmouth lost a five-overtime heartbreaker to eventual state champion Brunswick in the Class B South semifinals and last winter, it lost again to the eventual champion, Cape Elizabeth, in the semifinals.

But through it all, the two programs became one and a championship culture was created.

“Ever since we were freshmen, each group of seniors did so much for this program and led us to where we are now, so I want to give them credit,” Swift said. “They paved the way.”

This season, Cheverus/Yarmouth lost early to Greely and midway through the season to York and also tied Gorham and York but won its other 14 contests to earn the top seed in Class B South (see sidebar for links to previous stories).


After pulling away to blank No. 8 Mt. Ararat, 5-0, in the quarterfinals, Cheverus/Yarmouth downed No. 4 Greely, 5-3, in the semifinals last Saturday, then held off No. 2 Poland/Leavitt/Oak Hill/Gray-New Gloucester, 3-1, in the regional final Wednesday.

“Once we developed our team chemistry and started playing the way we can play, we knew we’d make a run for it,” Andrew Cheever said.

“I had the seniors over to my house for dinner prior to the season to talk about the year and when I saw their focus and dedication and willingness to compete and buy in, I had a sense we could special,” St. Pierre said. “Then, when we beat (reigning Class A champion) Thornton (Academy, 4-1, Jan. 25), that’s when we realized how good we could be and that was the catalyst for us.”

Camden Hills, meanwhile, was just 4-5 at the season’s midway point, then caught fire and went 8-1 down the stretch.

As the No. 5 seed in Class B North, the Windjammers eliminated No. 4 Presque Isle (7-4) in the quarterfinals, rolled past No. 8 Old Town/Orono (9-1) in the semifinals, then advanced to states with a 6-5 victory over third-seeded Hampden Academy in their regional final Tuesday.

Cheverus/Yarmouth didn’t face Camden Hills this season and the teams had no playoff history.


They have some now, as Saturday they did battle for 2,700 palpitating seconds.

Cheverus/Yarmouth couldn’t have asked for a better start, as just 54 seconds in, on a rush, sophomore Colby Carnes set up McCoy in front and McCoy fired a writer past Windjammers’ sophomore Quinn Hoppin for a lead his team wouldn’t relinquish.

Thirty-six seconds after McCoy’s goal, senior Lucas Soutuyo hit the post, then senior defensive standout David Swfit was denied by Hoppin.

After Tucker made a key save, denying junior Alden Howard one-on-one in front, senior Sam Bradford and junior Owen Walsh had shots denied by Hoppin before senior Ian O’Connor rang a shot off the far post at 7:08.

Tucker preserved the lead by saving a shot from McManus, then at 8:40, Cheverus/Yarmouth went on the power play.

And capitalized.


After Hoppin denied a Swift shot, O’Connor got the puck to McCoy, who fed Andrew Cheever on the right side for a blast that found the net at 9:59 for a 2-0 advantage.

“Starting strong was a huge emphasis,” Andrew Cheever said. “We knew we had to come out flying. This game, of all games, we knew this was the one. We did that. We knew it wasn’t enough, so we had to keep playing our game.”

At 10:35, Cheverus/Yarmouth went on the power play again and this time, it took just four seconds to strike, as Andrew Cheever ripped a shot that Owen Cheever, perhaps telling his older brother, “Anything you can do, I can do better,” tipped past Hoppin for a seemingly commanding 3-0 lead.

“That was a great feeling to see (Owen) score one,” Andrew Cheever. “Pretty cool to hear on the bench them announce, ‘Cheever from Cheever.'”

Camden Hills went on the power play at 13:13, but couldn’t capitalize, as senior Billy Kurzius shot high in front, then Tucker snared a bid from sophomore Bridger Witbeck just before the horn.

Cheverus/Yarmouth enjoyed a 10-7 edge in shots on goal in the first period, but more importantly, put three of them in.


The second period was an entirely different story, as the Windjammers roared back.

Tucker kept Camden Hills frustrated for much of the period, denying sophomore Blake Christie, sophomore Flynn Lilly, Howard and Christie again, while Kurzius missed just wide on an open net.

Hoppin, meanwhile, kept the Windjammers in the game, by stopping shots from O’Connor and McCoy.

Then, at the 9-minute mark, McManus showed what makes him so special, taking a pass from Christie, then skating past two defenders, getting Tucker to move to his left, then backhanding the puck home to cut the deficit to 3-1.

Then, after Andrew Cheever had two shots saved by Hoppin, he also rang one off the far post.

“We shook it off and went on to the next play and kept going, knowing we’d get the puck in the back of the net again,” Cheever said.


McManus then made it a one-goal game at 11:46, taking a pass from senior Owen Hotchkin and wristing a low shot past Tucker.

“(The Windjammers are) a really talented team,” said Swift. “They won the North for a reason. Owen McManus is a great player with a ton of talent. At no point, did we think we had it won. We might have a little bit of a letdown in the second period, but it was a good reality check.”

“I’ve been coaching Owen McManus for four years now in two different sports,” said Camden Hills coach Harrison Rogers, who also coaches the Windjammers’ boys’ lacrosse team. “He’s just developed into a complete player. Using the whole ice, his turns, his vision, his toughness with the puck. You’re not getting the puck away from his stick.”

After Christie missed just wide in a bid to tie it, Cheverus/Yarmouth got to go on the power play at 13:53, but managed just a shot from McCoy, which was saved, keeping it anyone’s game heading to the fateful third period.

During the second intermission, St. Pierre and his assistants got the team refocused.

“Second periods have been our bugaboo all season long,” added St. Pierre. “We just told the guys to settle down and get back to work and do the little things we did well in the first period.”


Cheverus/Yarmouth had 53 seconds of power play time to begin the third, but only managed one shot, an Andrew Cheever bid from the side, which Hoppin saved.

At 2:10, the Windjammers had a great look to tie, as the puck came off the end board right to Howard in front, but his backhanded shot was denied by Tucker.

After Christie missed wide, O’Connor blocked a shot from Kurzius.

Then, at 6:14, Cheverus/Yarmouth went on the power play for the fourth time and for the third time, it would take advantage.

After Hoppin denied initial shots from Walsh and Swift, Andrew Cheever sent a cross-ice pass to Swift, who ripped a shot just between Hoppin’s pad and the near post and at 7:27, Cheverus/Yarmouth had a 4-2 lead.

Swift, whose high school resume also includes a prodigious home run in last year’s regional final victory by Yarmouth’s baseball team, saved his biggest goal for most optimal time.


“It’s hard to compare, but I think a state championship goal always takes the cake,” Swift said. “I put a lot of hard work into that shot. My season goal percentage on that shot was probably pretty low, but that’s why you have to love sports. Anything can happen. That was so special. It was just a perfect pass from Andrew.”

“We’ve been working on that play forever,” Andrew Cheever said, “I tried a couple times and it didn’t work. Once I saw the lane and gave him the puck, I saw that hyped up look in eye and knew he was putting the puck in the net.”

At 9:42, Cheverus/Yarmouth nearly put it away, as a Swift shot was saved, but the rebound trickled behind Hoppin. The puck was bottled up in time, but just in case, the officials reviewed the play and upheld the no goal call.

After McManus got past a defender at 10:35, Tucker stopped him cold.

Swift then blocked a shot from Witbeck, but at 12:39, Camden Hills went on the power play and after a timeout, would creep back within a goal again.

After pulling Hoppin with just under a minute to go, the Windjammers nearly gave the puck away on a couple occasions, but Cheverus/Yarmouth couldn’t clear the puck and with 27.2 seconds showing, McManus pounced on a loose puck in front and roofed it home to make the score 4-3.


St. Pierre then called timeout and then the longest 27 seconds of anyone’s life involved with the Cheverus/Yarmouth program played themselves out.

After gaining control of the puck and going on to the attack, Camden Hills pulled Hoppin again and had three chances to force overtime.

The first saw Swift block a shot by Christie.

Christie then got a shot through, but Tucker made the save.

“After they got that last goal, I was a little bit nervous, but I just told myself I was going to save it,” said Tucker. “We have a lot of seniors and a lot of heart and I knew we weren’t going to let them score.”

Then, just before the horn, Andrew Cheever got in front of a final bid and at 2:38 p.m., the horn sounded and at last, Cheverus/Yarmouth could celebrate its 4-3 victory.


“It’s such a good feeling,” said Andrew Cheever. “Doing it with this team, our last year, having me and (Swift) get the game-winning goal together, it’s amazing. I’ve waited for this for so long.”

“There’s so much hard work that went into this,” Swift said. “Wow. It’s an unbelievable feeling. I’ve never felt anything like this.”

“I got head-butted by a helmet in the celebration, but it was a really good feeling,” Tucker said. “We have really good chemistry. We thought from the beginning we could do it and now it’s reality.”

“Camden Hills is a great team,” St. Pierre added. “They have a lot of fight and they’re well-coached. They did a great job staying with us.

“(That last timeout) was about giving our guys a rest. I got a text this week from one of my former coaches, Dennis Hunt, a legend in Yarmouth. He said, ‘The time for tinkering with the engine is over, it’s time to let the car run.’ That’s what we did. We put our seniors out there and I said look, ‘We can’t let guys get loose and any 50-50 puck, we have to keep in front of us and get them into a safe place.’ The guys did a great job.”

Cheverus/Yarmouth finished with a 25-18 advantage in shots on goal, got 22 saves from Tucker and was superb on the power play, converting three of four opportunities.


“Our power play hasn’t been as good as we’d like it, but it got better as the season went on,” said St. Pierre. “The guys are dedicated to the craft and did a great job preparing in practice. I don’t think we’d scored three power play goals in a game all season.”

Hoppin made 21 saves for the Windjammers.


St. Pierre was along for the ride for the last Yarmouth title, back in 2002, when he was an assistant to Scott Matusovich. He came within inches of leading the Clippers to the Class B crown in 2016, only to lose an overtime heartbreaker to Waterville.

St. Pierre, as much as anyone, knows how much this means not just to Yarmouth, but to a very proud and accomplished Cheverus contingent as well.

“The community has been behind us,” St. Pierre said. “My phone has been going non-stop for the last three days with people reaching out. It shows how much love we have in our community and how much support we have. We do a good job of respecting the tradition. We have a foot locker at (North Yarmouth Academy) for our practices and there’s a combination lock on it and the combination is ‘2006,’ which was the last time this organization won a state championship. When we went to unlock it, it reminded us of how long it had been.


“It’s going to feel good to change that number.”


The only bittersweet part of this story is that Cheverus/Yarmouth will have to say goodbye to Bradford, Andrew Cheever, O’Connor, Soutuyo, Swift and Evan Hankins.

“The senior classes the past three years that helped build us to this point deserve as much credit for this win as anyone else,” said St. Pierre. “They built the culture and did so much and these seniors carried that forward for us. All six of our seniors, I can’t say enough about them. They’re warriors. They know how to win and compete. I’m so proud of them. They’ll be missed.”

The cupboard will be far from bare in 2024-25, however, and now that Cheverus-Yarmouth has tasted the thrill of the ultimate victory, it’s going to be hungry to do it again.

“It would be great to make another run,” Tucker said. “We have a good chance with some great players returning.”

“There’s no reason not to keep this going,” Andrew Cheever said. “We’ll come back and watch them as much as we can and hopefully they’ll keep the roll going and get another one.”

“All my underclassmen said, ‘We want more, we’re not done,'” St. Pierre added. “We’ll reload and get back to work and see how far we can go.”

Press Herald staff writer Travis Lazarczyk contributed to this story.

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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