Deering, Portland boys' hockey playoff-bound; Cheverus falls short
Two of the city's three boys' hockey teams will take part in the Western Class A quarterfinals Tuesday of next week.
A year after winning just twice, the resurgent Deering Rams have enjoyed a fine regular season.
Last week, Deering increased its win streak to six with victories at Massabesic/Old Orchard (4-1) and Sanford (13-3). In the first game, Ben Rodick scored twice. Rodick had six goals, including a natural first period hat trick, against the Redskins.
The Rams took a 10-4-3 mark and the No. 5 ranking in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings into Tuesday's finale at Gorham.
Deering will be either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed for the playoffs. If the Rams go in No. 5, they'll play No. 4 South Portland in the quarterfinals. Back on Jan. 14, Deering lost 6-4 at home to the Red Riots. The teams have no playoff history. If they go No. 6, the Rams will have the daunting task of meeting No. 3 Falmouth. Deering didn't face the Yachtsmen this year. The teams have never met in the postseason.
Portland's also in the hunt for the No. 5 seed. The Bulldogs improved to 9-8 Saturday after a 3-2 overtime win over Cheverus on Bronson Guimond's goal. Portland (sixth in the Heals at our print deadline) closed Monday at home versus Thornton Academy.
The Bulldogs lost twice to South Portland this year, 6-2 and 6-3. Portland won both prior playoff meetings, 3-2 in overtime in the 2002 divisional quarterfinals and 5-2 in the 2003 quarterfinals.
The Bulldogs lost 5-1 to Falmouth in the regular season opener, way back on Dec. 5. The teams have met just once before in the postseason, a 3-1 Yachtsmen victory in the 2004 quarterfinals.
The Western A semifinals are Saturday, Feb. 27. The Western A Final is Tuesday, March 2. The Class A Final is Saturday, March 6. All three rounds will be contested in Lewiston.
Cheverus will fall short of the postseason, despite posting its first winning record since 2006. The Stags' loss to Portland Saturday left them 9-7-1 and 10th in the Heals, but only eight teams qualify for the playoffs. Cheverus closed Monday versus Noble.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org