The Capers got off to a promising start in the first frame, with all four lines buzzing in the Gorham end and creating several quality scoring opportunities. Bird had turned aside seven Cape Elizabeth shots before the Rams would register their first shot on goal, when a stroke of misfortune ominously foreshadowed the evening ahead for the visitors. Rams junior Jack Niles would push the puck to the front of the Cape Elizabeth net, where Capers defenseman Gus Frankwicz would inadvertently kick the puck into his own net with 5:58 to play. Lucas Roop was credited with the lone assist.
The Capers would immediately take to the attack again, creating several impressive scoring chances that saw Bird robbing Capers forward Alex Glidden in the high slot and senior Evan Concannon on the doorstep. After a heavy spell of Cape Elizabeth pressure, Gorham senior Carter Landry found himself streaking through the neutral zone untouched before unleashing a laser that beat Capers goaltender Peter Haber and pushed the Rams to a 2-0 lead with just 2:12 to go in the first. The play was unassisted.
The Capers seemed destined for a comeback in the second period as a fast start built more pressure around Bird's goal. The visitors would finally break through at the 5:38 mark, with Concannon banging a rebound over Bird's shoulder for his first varsity goal, halving the deficit to 2-1. Ethan Gillespie would notch the only assist on the goal. The Capers would then carry the balance of play for the rest of the period, holding a 21-10 shot advantage after two frames despite trailing by one.
As the task of beating Bird seemed increasingly insurmountable, the Rams delivered a staggering blow to the Capers comeback hopes just 2:52 into the third. Landry again found himself in space, taking the puck wide into the Cape Elizabeth zone before beating Haber to his blocker side and extending the hosts' lead to 3-1. Niles would pick up an assist on the play for his second point of the night.
The story of this contest was Bird, however, who kept the Capers potent offense at bay throughout the entire third period, turning aside 16 shots in the final stanza alone. The Capers barrage continued right until the final buzzer, but with just over a minute to play Dominic Lorello would ice the cake for Gorham, sliding the puck into an empty net with Haber pulled for an extra attacker. Niles would add his third point of the day with the primary assist, with Jordan Gaudreau picking up the secondary.
In total, Bird made 36 saves as Cape Elizabeth outshot the Rams 37-16. The two teams will next meet on January 12th at Troubh Ice Arena.
NOTES: The Capers are now 1-3 at Gorham since the Rams joined Class B, the lone victory coming on December 23rd, 2015 in a 5-1 Cape Elizabeth victory. Gorham went 0-for-4 on the power play, while Cape Elizabeth was 0-for-1; the Capers had just 1:16 of power play time in the contest. Haber made 12 saves on 15 shots in defeat.