AUBURN — Leavitt’s best sustained pressure of the afternoon came in the final three minutes of regulation Monday, but even a goal and an extended stay inside the Cape Elizabeth zone weren’t enough to help the Hornets out of the hole they’d created for themselves.
Freshman Matthew Riggle redirected a feed from the left corner past Leavitt keeper Nick Allen with 5:08 to play in the third period for his first career varsity goal and it stood as the game-winner after Leavitt’s late comeback bid as Cape Elizabeth held on for a 2-1 win over the Hornets at Ingersoll Arena.
“I think every goal we’ve scored this year has been from within three feet of the net,” Cape coach Matt Buotte said. “We work on it every single day, getting to the net, getting tips. It was a great play. It was his first high school goal, so it was a great moment. It was a great play, he was in the right place, he did the right things and it paid off.”
Riggle’s goal gave the visiting Capers a 2-0 lead, a lead into which the Hornets chipped with 2:25 to play in regulation. On the power play, Leavitt pulled Allen in favor of an extra skater. Just after the power play expired, Adam Poulin capped a scramble in front of Cape Elizabeth goalie Kevin Hare with a goal of his own, tightening things up at 2-1.
The goal made for some nervous moments in the final two minutes for the Capers.
“That’s what I’ve been stressing since Day 1, you have to have that killer instinct, and we just don’t have it right now,” Buotte said. “But I was proud, we dug down in the last two minutes and finished it off.”
Leavitt tried again to lift Allen in the final minute of play, but had a hard time getting the puck in deep.
“We skated well with them, but we were turning the puck over too much,” Leavitt coach Dave Boucher said. “We couldn’t get it in deep in their zone and get the forecheck going.”
Allen finished with 23 saves on 25 shots, and helped keep the Hornets in the game through the middle frame and into the third.
“Nick Allen kept us in the game, he played another strong game,” Boucher said. “He kept us in the game the whole time, and we had some chances. Not as many as we’d like to see.”
Satchell McCarthy netter the game’s first goal at 9:32 of the second period on a feed from Chris Grennon near the end of the Capers’ first power play of the game.