Greely boys get hat trick from MacDonald in win over Yarmouth

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Greely sophomore Matt Kramlich (20) celebrates a second period goal with the fans during the Rangers’ 5-1 home victory over Yarmouth Tuesday. Greely won its eighth successive contest.

Joe Carpine / 365digitalphotography.com photos.

More photos below.

FALMOUTH—Greely’s boys’ hockey team was hungry and ready when rival Yarmouth came to Family Ice Center Tuesday evening and one player in particular had a night to remember as the Rangers kept the recent good times rolling.

Greely came out of the gates with tremendous pressure, but initially couldn’t solve Clippers’ standout senior goalie Dan Latham.

Then, after going on the power play, the Rangers broke the ice with 4:43 to go in the first period when sophomore Jake MacDonald scored.

With 1:18 remaining, sophomore Andy Moore added a goal and it appeared Greely was on its way.

Yarmouth fought back in the second period, however, cutting the deficit in half when senior standout Cooper May finished after a terrific individual effort with 8:06 remaining, but a mere 34 seconds later, sophomore Matt Kramlich restored momentum for the hosts with a goal that made it 3-1 heading for the third and final period.

There, MacDonald stole the show, scoring with 8:10 to play, then completing his hat trick with 4:34 remaining, putting the finishing touches on the Rangers’ 5-1 victory.

Greely won its eighth game in a row, improved to 8-1 and in the process, dropped the Clippers to 5-3-1.

“That first period is the best period we’ve had,” said longtime Rangers coach Barry Mothes. “The guys were very focused. They knew it’s Yarmouth. The tempo was great. I wish I could package that and roll it out the door every 15 minutes.” 

In the thick of it

Greely and Yarmouth both made runs to Lewiston a year ago and both are rounding into form as top contenders again this winter.

The Rangers, who lost in overtime to York in the Class B South Final, dropped their opener, 5-4, to visiting Cape Elizabeth in overtime, but they soon caught fire, beating visiting Brunswick (5-2), downing Falmouth in the “Dudley Cup” for the first time, 7-3, then beating host Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon (7-2) and Kennebunk (7-3), visiting Gardiner (9-2), host York, in a regional final rematch (5-3), and host Brunswick (6-0).

The Clippers, who were ousted by York int he semifinals last winter, also lost their first game, 6-1, at home to York, then edged host Gorham in overtime (3-2), lost in overtime to visiting Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon (6-5) and after a 7-1 home win over Maranacook, opened the 2018 portion of their schedule with a 3-3 tie at Portland/Deering. Yarmouth then turned it up a notch, edging visiting Waterville (4-3, in overtime) and Gorham (1-0) and host Gardiner (3-2).

Entering play Tuesday, dating to the start of the 2001-02 season, Greely had won 19 of the 36 meetings, Yarmouth had captured 16 and one game ended in a tie (see sidebar, below). 

Last year, the Clippers won in Falmouth, 3-2, in overtime, and the Rangers returned the favor in Yarmouth, 4-2.

This time around, Greely carried play much of the way and went on to yet another victory.

Latham was under assault almost from the get-go, but he denied shots from Kramlich, MacDonald, Moore, MacDonald, Kramlich and junior Jackson Williams.

With 6:11 to go in the first, Clippers senior Joe Truesdale was sent to the penalty box for two minutes for cross-checking and playing 5-on-4, the Rangers got the game’s first goal.

MacDonald would do the honors, rushing in and finishing with the backhand to make it 1-0.

“We knew Yarmouth is a big rival and we wanted to keep things simple and produce,” said MacDonald. “That (first goal) gave us the momentum and that really helped us out. Dan’s a great goalie. We knew we’d get to him. Once we got one, we knew we’d get more, but he is good.”

Sure enough, with 1:18 on the clock, Greely doubled its lead, as Williams passed the puck to Moore, who spun around and fired a blast past Latham for a 2-0 lead, which held up into the first intermission.

The first period was so lopsided that the Rangers finished with a 16-1 shots advantage.

“(Greely’s) a very good hockey team with a lot of firepower,” said Yarmouth coach Dave St. Pierre. “We know they have team speed and talent up front. We tried to lock it down defensively and get the puck in safe places and hold them off.”

The Clippers would get back in the game in the second period, but the Rangers immediately wrested control of the contest right back.

After Latham denied Greely senior Matt Dubbert in front, Yarmouth got its first good chance, but Rangers junior goalie Karsten Bourgoine denied Clippers senior Dom Morrill, then stopped a shot off the stick of junior Kurt Heywood.

Finally, at 6:54 of the second, May took a pass from Morrill, raced in and managed to beat Bourgoine after a great move to cut the deficit to 2-1.

“Cooper doesn’t need a lot of room to make something happen,” Mothes said. “That was a great finish by him. Yarmouth is a team that plays with a lot of emotion and momentum.”

But before Yarmouth’s celebration could die down, Kramlich answered, finishing a feed from senior captain Ben Kennedy to restore Greely’s two-goal advantage.

“We knew once they scored, we couldn’t get down on ourselves,” said MacDonald. “We just kept it simple.”

“We got a big goal by Matt to answer,” Mothes said. “That was important. Our poise has been pretty good.”

“One of our problems all year is allowing a goal after we score,” lamented St. Pierre. “We can’t allow that to continue. If it was 2-1 into the third period it might have been a different game.”

The Clippers went on the power play and had a chance to draw closer again at 10:29, but Morrill had a shot denied by Bourgoine.

The Rangers had a pair of short-handed opportunities, but Latham stopped a shot by Williams and a breakaway bid from Moore to keep the score 3-1 after two periods.

Second period shots were much more even, 8-5, in favor of Greely.

The Rangers would return to their dominating ways in the third period and ended all doubt.

Greely went on the power play early in the period, but Latham kept his team’s hopes alive by denying shots by Kennedy and MacDonald.

MacDonald wouldn’t be held down much longer, however, as with 8:10 remaining, off a beautiful feed from Williams, who while diving to the ice, got the puck across the goal mouth, he beat Latham to make it 4-1.

“It was a great pass,” said MacDonald. “Jackson saw me breaking down the middle. I loved his effort.”

MacDonald put the cherry on the sundae at 10:26, when Williams again got him the puck and this time, MacDonald finished on the backhand for a 5-1 lead, inducing a celebration which saw several hats fly on to the ice.

“I didn’t expect it to go in, but I just gave it a whack and it did,” MacDonald said. “Some games you think about a hat trick, but as long as we win, that’s all that matters. I saw the hats after. Gotta love the fans.”

“Jake is a real strong two-way player,” said Mothes. “He was one of our best players last year in the playoffs. He takes pride in back-checking. He has a complete game. He’s been fighting injuries, but he’s scored big goals. He’s contributed a lot even if he’s not 100 percent.”

Yarmouth never seriously threatened from there and Greely brought the curtain down on its 5-1 victory.

“It’s nice to see the offense we’re generating and I’m also pleased with our defensive game of late,” said Mothes.

The Rangers enjoyed a 34-12 shots advantage and got 11 saves from Bourgoine.

Latham stood on his head and while he gave up five goals, he made 29 saves and earned the respect of both coaches. 

“Dan played a great game,” St. Pierre said. “He challenged his angles and his rebound control was good. You can’t allow that many shots on net.”

“Dan’s a strong goalie,” said Mothes. “He’s had four great years. He can win a game for you. 

Eye on the crown

The teams meet again in Yarmouth Feb. 19 in the penultimate game of the regular season. By that point, the playoff picture will be more clear and in the interim, both squads have ample opportunity to improve their standing.

Yarmouth (fourth in the Class B South Heal Points standings at press time) goes to St. Dom’s Saturday, then visits Brunswick, hosts Cape Elizabeth, plays at Edward Little and Kennebunk, welcomes Camden Hills, travels to Cape Elizabeth, hosts Greely and closes at home versus Gardiner.

“We’re about where I expected us to be,” St. Pierre said. “We have some tough games coming up where we’ll be tested. We still have a lot of season left to learn and grow. I’m confident by the end of the year, we’ll be where we need to be.”

Greely (first in Class B South) is back in action Thursday when Kennebunk visits. After welcoming Gorham Wednesday of next week, the Rangers travel to Biddeford, Maranacook and Gardiner, host Scarborough and Camden Hills and close with games at Yarmouth and St. Dom’s.

“(Losing to York) last year really hurt us, but we use that as a motivator this year,” MacDonald said. “We have to keep it simple, nothing too fancy, just dump and chase.”

“It’s been a good stretch of hockey,” Mothes said. “The pace of the schedule has been good after the new year. We’re in a good rhythm. We’re getting better in important areas, but we’re honest enough to self-assess and we know there are areas where we can be better.

“We want to be a real presence in the playoffs, but we know there are good teams in our league. We have some big games to come, league games and crossovers against Biddeford and St. Dom’s. That will give us big tests and get us in the playoff mindset.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Greely sophomore Jake MacDonald bears down on Yarmouth senior goalie Dan Latham. MacDonald stole the show Tuesday with a hat trick.

Greely senior captain Ben Kennedy fires a shot.

Yarmouth senior goalie Dan Latham makes one of his 29 saves.

Yarmouth senior Cooper May beats Greely junior goalie Karsten Bourgoine for the Clippers’ lone goal.

Yarmouth senior Dom Morrill races up the ice.

Greely sophomore Matt Kramlich prepares to shoot.

Greely sophomore captain Andy Moore skates in on Yarmouth senior goalie Dan Latham.

Recent Greely-Yarmouth results

2016-17
Yarmouth 3 @ Greely 2 (OT)
Greely 4 @ Yarmouth 2

2015-16
Yarmouth 2 @ Greely 1
@ Yarmouth 4 Greely 3 

2014-15
Yarmouth 5 @ Greely 3
@ Yarmouth 4 Greely 0
Western B quarterfinals
@ Yarmouth 4 Greely 2 

2013-14
@ Yarmouth 5 Greely 4
Yarmouth 5 @ Greely 2 

2012-13
@ Greely 5 Yarmouth 2
(forfeited to 1-0 Yarmouth win)
Greely 7 @ Yarmouth 1 

2011-12
Greely 7 @ Yarmouth 2
Yarmouth 7 @ Greely 6
Western B semifinals
Greely 5 Yarmouth 2 

2010-11
@ Greely 5 Yarmouth 1
Greely 4 @ Yarmouth 2
Western B semifinals
Greely 4 Yarmouth 2

2009-10
@ Greely 5 Yarmouth 3
@ Yarmouth 2 Greely 1 

2008-09
Greely 7 @ Yarmouth 0
@ Greely 11 Yarmouth 1 

2007-08
@ Greely 3 Yarmouth 0
Greely 8 @ Yarmouth 0 

2006-07
Greely 7 @ Yarmouth 2
@ Greely 7 Yarmouth 2

2005-06 
Greely 4 @ Yarmouth 1
@ Greely 1 Yarmouth 0 

2004-05
@ Yarmouth 2 Greely 2 (tie)
Yarmouth 2 @ Greely 1 

2003-04
Yarmouth 3 @ Greely 1
@ Yarmouth 3 Greely 0
Western B semifinals
Greely 2 Yarmouth 1 

2002-03
Greely 5 @ Yarmouth 4 (OT)
@ Greely 5 Yarmouth 2 

2001-02
Yarmouth 3 @ Greely 1
@ Yarmouth 2 Greely 0 

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.