The Cape Elizabeth boys' hockey team's season finished a lot like it started--with a victory over Gorham. After beating the Rams in the season opener at USM, the team book-ended the season by winning the regular season finale by a final tally of 6-4 in a back-and-forth contest at Troubh Ice Arena.

Phil Tarling opened the scoring for the host Capers at the 7:15 mark of the first period before Alex Glidden doubled the Capers lead with a brilliant individual effort, streaking down the right wing and backhanding a perfectly placed shot over goaltender Garrett Babineau's shoulder at the 10:56 mark for his team-leading 18th goal.

Lucas Roop would score with :44 seconds remaining in the first period on a beautiful passing play to cut the Cape lead to 2-1. The Capers held an 8-2 shot advantage through the first period of play.

Cape would come out of the gates flying in the middle frame, with Ryan Collins slotting a perfectly-placed shot over Babineau just a minute into the period to stretch the lead to 3-1. The lead would extend to 4-1 after Sean Agrodnia made a beautiful defensive play in the neutral zone break up a Gorham rush, with Stephen Murray collecting the loose puck and leading a rush that ended with a Gus Frankwicz goal, his 8th of the season.

Just when it looked like the Rams were down and out they reminded the Capers of why they are one of the most feared opponents heading into the postseason. Roop would score his 2nd of the night with 4:16 to play in the 2nd period to give Gorham life heading into the 3rd, cutting the lead to 4-2.

The visitors would cute the lead to 4-3 just :26 into the final period, with Cole Perrault picking up his third point of the night by banging a rebound past Cape Elizabeth starting goaltender Garrett Mello on a broken play. Just under four minutes later, on a power play, Gorham would complete the comeback with Holden Edwards placing a beautifully tipped shot past Mello to bring the game to a 4-4 deadlock.

From there, Agrodnia would take the game over. The the 7:10 mark of the period, Agrodnia would send a wrist shot from the point past Babineau when the puck took a cruel deflection off a Gorham player in front. Agrodnia would cap off his monster night with the insurance marker with 1:30 to go, stealing the puck at the offensive blue line and racing in alone on Babineau before placing a gorgeous wrist shot into the top right corner over the glove of the Gorham keeper.

Gorham would pull the goaltender with just under a minute to go but was not able to find another marker, falling to the Capers for the third consecutive time and finishing their season at 9-9-0. Babineau kept his team in the game with 25 saves, while Mello stopped 16 for the Capers. Gorham will travel to Yarmouth for a preliminary round playoff match-up on Tuesday; the Capers will await the winner of the York/Brunswick preliminary game set to take place the same night.

NOTES:

The Capers outshot Gorham 31-20...the victory improves Mello to 7-0-0 in his career, including 2-0-0 against Gorham...the Capers went 0-for-1 on the power play and finished the regular season at 30%...the Rams went 1-for-2 on the power play, giving the Capers a 73% penalty kill for the year...the Capers first round bye marks the first time the team has advanced straight to the semifinal round since 2011-2012, when they were defeated by York.
 
 
A five goal first period gave the host Cape Elizabeth Capers all the offense they would need as they cruised by the Kennebunk Rams for the second time this year, extending their win streak versus their Class B rivals to three games dating back to last season.

Gavin Simopoulos scored twice in the first--including a beautiful individual effort--to put the Capers on top 5-1 after the first period. After Simopoulos' beautiful opener at the 5:21 mark, Ryan Collins would double the lead on a power play tally just over two minutes later. Jackson Woods would add his second assist of the night on the play.

After Kennebunk pulled one back with just under 6 minutes remaining, Phil Tarling would restore the two goal lead just 23 seconds later, depositing a Derek Allen feed to push the Cape lead to 3-1. Simopoulos would add his 6th of the year at the 11:12 mark of the first, collecting a loose rebound and poking it home for his fourth goal in his last three games. Matt Laughlin would then round out the first period scoring with 2:56 to play, giving the Capers a 5-1 lead through one period of play.



Kennebunk would add power play tallies in the 2nd and 3rd but would pull no closer, eventually falling 6-3. Alex Glidden would add the Capers 6th and final goal of the night at the 11:44 mark of the 2nd, finishing off a beautiful Tarling feed on a 2-on-1 for his team-leading 17th goal of the season.

Capers goaltenders Peter Haber and Garrett Mello would split time in the contest. Haber collectedhis team-leading 9th win of the year, stopping three of four shots. Mello would see more action in Haber's relief, stopping 11 of 13 to hold the Rams offense at bay.

The Capers improved to 12-2-2 with the victory, extending their unbeaten run to three games. The Capers will next take on Yarmouth on Saturday, February 17th. The puck will drop at 6:00 p.m. at Troubh Ice Arena and marks senior night for the Capers as they look to topple Yarmouth for the first time in three contests.

NOTES: Cape Elizabeth went 1-for-5 on the power play...the penalty kill remains the Achilles' heel of the Capers, as they failed to kill 2 of 4 on the night, seeing their season total slip to 71.9%...the Capers outshot Kennebunk 39-17.