Greely celebrates after defeating Old Town/Orono in the Class B state championship Saturday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Portland Press Herald photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

 

LEWISTON — Greely didn’t let an early lead slip. In fact, the Rangers never took their foot off the gas pedal.

A year after losing to Old Town/Orono in overtime, Greely got its revenge in the Class B boys hockey state championship with an 8-0 victory over the Black Bears at Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Saturday.

“There’s nothing better than this,” junior Jake MacDonald said. “Playing the same team that beat us last year in overtime, coming back and beating them 8-0, it’s a real great event for this team.”

The state title is Greely’s fourth.

Just like a year ago, the Rangers (19-2) quickly put two goals on the board, but they did it even quicker this year. Evan Dutil tipped in an assist from Brennan Rawnsley (with Chris Williams adding the secondary assist) just 2:14 into the game, and Jackson Williams finished a feed from Andy Moore on the power play less than two minutes later.

The key for Greely was scoring the next goal, which it failed to do in last year’s state final loss after taking a 2-0 lead. This time, Moore and Jake MacDonald rushed out on a shorthanded 2-on-1 and Moore beautifully dished to MacDonald, who was able to one-time a shot past Black Bears (15-6) goalie Kohle Parker midway through the opening period.

“Obviously getting that third goal in the first period opened it up a little bit,” Greely coach Barry Mothes said.

The third goal forced Old Town/Orono coach Chris Thurlow to use his lone timeout with two and a half periods still to play.

“Kind of got us quick, and before we could blink our eyes we’re down 3-0,” Thurlow said. “You know, hats off to them. That’s a heck of a team. Our guys kind of played a little jittery, you know, definitely at the start.”

The Black Bears didn’t put their first shot on goal until about four minutes remained in the first, but once Sam Henderson sent that shot at Greely goalie Jared Swisher two more followed, and another hit off the post. But Swisher kept the net clean and the Rangers skated into the first intermission up 3-0.

It took Old Town/Orono less than a minute into the second to get a shot on goal, but Swisher made the easy save, and scoring still proved difficult for the Black Bears. Two full power plays in the second netted three shots apiece, but still no goals.

“I thought we played a decent second period. We got some puck deep and generated a little bit of offense, but just couldn’t get one by that goalie,” Thurlow said. “You know, we had a couple chances. I think if we could have made it 3-1 at one point, or whatnot, then you’re talking a different game.”

Greely scored again on the power play 2:33 into the period. MacDonald finished off assists from Moore and Alex Wallace. Ryan Moore then made it 5-0 just over seven minutes into the frame, with assists by MacDonald and Richard Walker.

“They came out strong in the second, and I was glad we were able to kind of get a couple and win that middle period,” Mothes said. “It certainly made the third period easier.”

The Old Town/Orono fans cheered for what they thought was a power-play goal with 5:30 left in the period, but the shot went off the far side of the net.

Greely also had a would-be goal wiped out by a penalty with 1:19 left in the second, giving the Black Bears a power play to bring into the third.

That turned into a two-man advantage for Old Town/Orono, but a penalty of its own after it went back to 5-on-4 wasted another opportunity for the Black Bears.

“We didn’t do ourselves any favors for sure by getting in the box,” Thurlow said.

The Rangers then put the game away with three more goals in the third.

Peter Lattanzi scored unassisted on a breakaway, MacDonald completed a hat trick thanks to Andy Moore’s fourth assist and Dawson Jowett’s first, which was followed by Old Town/Orono taking out Parker for freshman Aiden Rand.

Moore rounded out the scoring with his first goal of the game. Jackson Williams assisted.

Swisher stopped all 14 shots he faced, while Parker made 17 saves and Rand five.

“(Jared) came up great,” MacDonald said. “Just because of him in net, that’s why there was zero goals up on the board.”

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