FALMOUTH—It really is Greely and everyone else.
Tuesday afternoon at Family Ice Center, the Rangers boys’ hockey team hosted undefeated Camden Hills, the squad that most feel is the one standing between Greely and a repeat Class B state championship, and dominated the Windjammers for 45 minutes.
On Senior Day, the Rangers set the tone just 4 minutes, 16 seconds in when junior Ted Hart scored the first of his three goals. By the end of one period, Greely was in control, up, 4-1. The Rangers tacked on four more goals in the second period and scored once more in the third to cruise, 9-1, improving to 11-4, while handing Camden Hills its first loss in 13 outings in the process.
With the victory, Greely is back on top in the Western Class B Heal Points standings as well.
“It was the last home game of the season, so we wanted to make a big statement,” said Hart. “The seniors really wanted to go out with a bang. We wanted to jump on them. We went up 3-0 and kept rolling.”
Greely has clearly been the dominant team in the regular season, losing only to Class A powers Falmouth and Lewiston and forfeiting wins over St. Dom’s and Yarmouth after inadvertently using an ineligible player. Since then, the Rangers bounced back with victories over Biddeford, Leavitt, Messalonskee in a state final rematch and Cape Elizabeth.
Camden Hills had passed all 12 of its tests this winter, but the question remained how the Windjammers would do against an elite power.
Camden Hills got its answer Tuesday in a game that had been delayed a day by poor weather and it was painful.
After seniors Matt Ames, Mitchell Berube, Kyle Megathlin, Caleb Slocum and Brendan Trelegan were honored in a pregame ceremony, the Rangers seized control in the first period.
Hart got the party started when he backhanded a shot past Camden Hills freshman goalie Jet Magri with 10:44 to go in the first period for a quick 1-0 lead. Megathlin and sophomore Mitchel Donovan were credited with assists.
With 5:37 left in the period, junior Pete Hurley, on his second try, rebounded a shot past Magri to make it 2-0. Junior Aidan Black and Ames had assists.
Fifty-two seconds later, on the power play, sophomore Reid Howland (assisted by Donovan and Hart) scored for a a 3-0 advantage.
The Windjammers got on the board with 4:06 left when junior Jack Orne outfought a defenseman for a puck and beat Greely sophomore goalie Kyle Kramlich, but 30 seconds later, after a failed clear, junior Joe Saffian scored to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead after one.
The Rangers poured it on in the second period as Hart, after putting on a display of his nonpareil stick skllls, finished unassisted at 3:51, then scored another unassisted goal to cap his hat trick at 8:47.
“I got a couple quick,” Hart said. “My linemates moved the puck well. A hat trick was in the back of my mind, but that’s not really the point of the game. Sometimes it just happens that way.”
“(Ted’s) a talented young player,” said Greely coach Barry Mothes. “He has a lot of skills. His speed is improving. He has deceptive speed. He has a great pair of hands. He’s good in tight. Good in open ice. He has terrific release on his wrist shot. He sees the ice well. He’s picked his game up a lot since early January. He’s a captain as a junior. He’s really positive on the bench. His presence has been good too.”
Freshman Jarod Lavallee (from freshman Nathan Gervais) tucked a shot past Magri at 11:27 and Megathlin (unassisted) scored at 13:41 for an 8-1 advantage.
Howland scored on a rebound at 8:38 of the third period to bring the curtain down on Greely’s 9-1 win.
“We’ve just wanted to get better,” Hart said. “That’s been our motto the past couple weeks.”
The Rangers finished with a 38-14 advantage in shots on goal. Kramlich made 13 saves, while Magri stopped 29.
“I liked the way we got all over it early,” said Mothes. “We’ve played good first periods all year, but this was obviously a big game. It was nice on the seniors’ last home game to come out strong. I thought the first period was excellent. The guys did a good job pushing in the second as well.
“I was pleased with our quickness and puck movement. Our forwards did a great job today. Our transition game relies on quick passes. We have guys who are dangerous in transition. We did well also low in the offensive zone, cycling and moving the puck. It’s good to see.”
After going to Leavitt for a makeup game Wednesday, Greely goes to Camden Hills Friday before finishing the regular season Feb. 20 at Yarmouth.
The Rangers know the rematch won’t be easy Friday, but they’re in a strong position as they go for their third state title in five seasons.
“Friday will be a tough game,” said Mothes. “It’s a tough crowd at their rink. The Heal Points fluctuate a lot. We have a goal of wanting to finish as high as we can. We don’t play for home ice per se. We’ve had teams finish first lately and the guys have a high standard.”
“We know (Camden Hills will be) coming back at us pretty hard,” said Hart. “They’ll be upset after this one. I don’t think we’ll have trouble refocusing. i definitely think we’re peaking. That’s crucial going into the playoffs. Hopefully we’ll keep getting better.”