Yarmouth’s Michael Guertier battles for a loose puck with Andrew Eckhardt of Greely on Friday during their Class B semifinal at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald)

LEWISTON — Jake MacDonald scored two goals, the second a big one, and top-seeded Greely eventually pulled away from No. 4 Yarmouth, 4-1, in a Class B South boys’ hockey semifinal at Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Friday.

MacDonald’s power-play goal late in the third period extended the Rangers’ slim one-goal lead to two and they were able to breathe a sigh of relief.

“In a game like that, a 2-1 game against a team like Yarmouth, that’s got Dan Latham in net, you got to try to grab those opportunities,” Greely coach Barry Mothes said. “It doesn’t always happen, but that obviously just was probably the most important goal of the season, really, in terms of just opening up a gap a little bit because obviously it was a tight game.”

The Rangers (16-2-1), who were dominant in the shot department in the first period, broke the ice midway through the first period. MacDonald took control of the puck in the neutral zone and skated around a defender before beating Latham.

“I thought from a systems standpoint we played pretty well in the first period, but our battles were weak,” Yarmouth coach David St. Pierre said. “I thought they were out-working us in a lot of parts of the game. So we talked about that between periods, about trying to improve our battles.


The shots were more even in the second, with the Clippers holding a slight edge, and the scoring was even as well. Greely went up two goals on a Jackson Williams lamp-lighter just over three minutes in, but Yarmouth answered with a power-play goal from Michael Guertler less than three minutes later.

“It was huge,” St. Pierre said. “The whole idea that we had was to try to keep this game to a one-goal game as long as we could into the third period, so getting that goal on that power play was huge for us, set us up for the third period and try to steal one at the end.”

The Rangers did all they could to get some breathing room in the third, sending 20 shots at Latham. MacDonald finally provided the insurance, sending a power-play shot from the point into the back of the net with 3:44 to play.

“Obviously that was a huge power-play goal, and we didn’t really have a power play up until that point. We have a good power play and we’ve been working on it, and it’s been a key all year,” Mothes said. “And obviously to get that third goal was enormous.”

Matt Kramlich put the nail in the Clippers’ coffin, scoring a shorthanded goal on an empty net with 1:16 left.

Latham, a senior, stopped 44 of 47 shots he faced in his final game. Karsten Bourgoine stopped 19 of 20 in his varsity playoff debut for Greely.

“Danny’s been everything to us for the last three seasons. I mean, he carried us to a state final game two years ago, as a sophomore in his first varsity season, and he’s never looked back from there,” St. Pierre said. “He’s been the backbone of this program for a long time and we lean on him heavily.”

The Rangers will now face No. 2 Cape Elizabeth in next Wednesday’s regional final. The Capers beat Greely in overtime in the Rangers’ first game of the season, and Mothes said his team has been “looking forward” to a rematch ever since.


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