Slow start dooms Capeflete in third straight loss

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PORTLAND—After enjoying a quick start to the 2014-15 season, the Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete girls’ hockey team has hit a rough patch.

Capeflete suffered close losses to top West Region contenders Falmouth and Scarborough and Wednesday, welcomed Edward Little/Leavitt hoping to get back on track.

This time around, Capeflete dug an early hole as the visitors scored twice in the first nine minutes. After Capeflete got a goal back early in the second period when sophomore Kate Ginder finished a feed from senior Julia Ginder, EL/Leavitt answered quickly to make it 3-1. Sophomore Hannah Bosworth scored on the power play with 5:15 remaining in the second period, but a mere 22 seconds later, EL/Leavitt answered again for a 4-2 advantage. A goal early in the third period gave the visitors some breathing room and even though Bosworth scored as time expired, it wasn’t enough as Capeflete fell, 5-3.

While EL/Leavitt remained undefeated on the season, Capeflete fell to 2-3 with the setback.

“We had opportunities,” lamented Capeflete coach Bob Mills. “They’re a good team. They move the puck well. They’re well coached. They’re physical. I thought we tried to match that, but we lost our composure a little bit and that hurt.”

In contention

Capeflete is coming off a resurgent season which saw it win 11 games and make the West Region semifinals.

This winter, Capeflete opened with wins over Portland/Deering (6-0) and Gorham/Bonny Eagle (7-1), then dropped close decisions to Falmouth (3-2) and defending state champion Scarborough (2-1, in overtime).

EL/Leavitt, meanwhile, won its first five outings by a composite 27-3 margin, which included impressive wins over Falmouth (3-1) and Scarborough (4-1).

Last year, Capeflete dropped the only meeting against EL/Leavitt, 5-0, on the road in the season opener, but it became a much more formidable squad as the year went on.

Wednesday, Capeflete hoped to end its skid and certainly had opportunities to do so, but it didn’t happen.

On the power play, EL/Leavitt got the jump when junior Madison Derosa scored on a rebound 2 minutes, 8 seconds in.

EL/Leavitt had another power play chance moments later, but this time Capeflete killed it and coming out of the box, senior Allison Mills had a breakaway with a chance to tie the game, but she had her shot turned aside by EL/Leavitt sophomore goalie Tori Sanford.

Then, at the other end, EL/Leavitt senior Danica Nadeau scored after a nice individual move to make it 2-0 with 6:24 left in the first period.

Capeflete had a couple power play opportunities later in the first, but couldn’t convert.

Capeflete was able to score just 27 seconds into the second period, as Julia Ginder passed to Kate Ginder up top and Kate Ginder’s shot handcuffed Sanford to cut the deficit to 2-1.

The Red Hornets answered with 11:43 left in the second when sophomore Haley Frohlich banged home a rebound of a shot from Nadeau that Capeflete senior goalie Lily Jordan had stopped.

After Capeflete senior Kathryn Clark was robbed, the hosts again managed to pull within one on the power play.

With 5:15 to go in the second, out of a scrum, Bosworth was credited for tapping in the rebound and the deficit was just 3-2, but before the score could even be announced, Nadeau scored on a rebound of a shot from sophomore Emma Martineau and EL/Leavitt had a 4-2 advantage with 4:53 remaining.

The Red Hornets got some additional breathing room 2:30 into the final stanza when Frohlich, from the side, somehow got the puck past Jordan to make the score 5-2.

Midway through the third, Capeflete earned a 5-on-3 opportunity, but only managed one shot. As time wound down, Capeflete had another two-man advantage and this time scored, on a Bosworth rebound, but time wound down in the process and EL/Leavitt had a 5-3 victory.

“A couple goals were soft,” Coach Mills said. “It could have easily been a 3-2 game. We have a lot of injuries right now. Not being able to run two lines is hard.

“The goal is for this team is to become a top tier team in the state. I think we’re close. It’s a learning process to get over that final hurdle. Against Scarborough and Falmouth, I feel we didn’t play very well and we lost both those games by a goal. Ironically, I thought we played better tonight.”

Shots were even, 18-18. Jordan made 12 saves, while Sanford stopped 10 shots.

Bouncing back

Capeflete is at Cheverus Saturday, plays at York Monday and welcomes Falmouth Wednesday as it closes the 2014 portion of its schedule.

“I’m very excited about this group,” Mills said. “As long as we continue to improve and learn how to handle these tough situations, I feel we’ll be a tough team at the end of the season. We need to improve the power play and puck movement. We’re getting there. It will be a fun rematch with Falmouth, then we have almost a week-and-a-half with no games. We have still a lot of potential.”

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

Capeflete senior Kathryn Clark fires a shot.

Capeflete senior captain Julia Ginder plays the puck up the ice.

Capeflete senior goalie Lily Jordan makes a stop.

Capeflete senior Julia Ginder raises her arms in celebration after sophomore Hannah Bosworth (18) bangs home a rebound for the team’s second goal.

Capeflete celebrates a goal during Wednesday’s loss.

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Capeflete senior Allison Mills is robbed by EL/Leavitt sophomore Tori Sanford during the teams’ battle Wednesday night. Capeflete fell behind early and never caught up in a 5-3 setback.

Jim Allen photos.

More photos below.

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