The Cape Elizabeth Capers varsity team was doomed by a slow start on Wednesday, falling behind early to a hungry Hebron Varsity B unit before seeing a furious comeback fall short. The Capers were looking to avenge a 3-1 defeat to the Lumberjacks in their exhibition opener from a year before and had started the pre-season with a convincing 6-3 victory over Windham/Westbrook. It would not be the Capers night, as despite a Ben Ekedahl hat trick they would lose their final exhibition game by a final count of 5-3 in Hebron, Maine.

Hebron would put the Capers on the back foot early, outshooting the visitors 14-2 in the first period. Before the Capers could settle into the game they found themselves down 1-0, with freshman Alex Romano scoring his first prep goal just 1:26 into the contest. The Lumberjacks came in waves of relentless pressure throughout the remainder of the first until Isaiah Dubois was able to beat Cape Elizabeth goaltender Peter Haber and stretch the Hebron lead to 2-0, which would hold through the first intermission.

The Capers would begin to find their footing in the second only to be pegged back again at the 4:55 mark. Junior Todd Williams would beat Haber for his second point of the night and stretch the Hebron lead to 3-0. The Capers had several quality opportunities in the second, including a power play opportunity, but they headed into third period buried in a three-goal hole.

Ekedahl, after scoring twice against Windham, continued a torrid pre-season by giving Cape Elizabeth the lifeline it longed. Derek Allen would get a puck to the net from the Cape blue line where Ekedahl would jam home the ice-breaking tally to pull his side within two. The lead would be short-lived, however, with the Capers momentum ground to a halt by a Dylan Richmond slapshot. Richmond uncorked a bullet from the left point, beating Capers goaltender Grant Rusk cleanly. Rusk replaced Haber at the midway point of the second period after Haber turned aside 14 of the 17 shots he faced in his only start of the pre-season. 

The Capers would show incredible spirit despite the 4-1 deficit. With 5:39 remaining, Ekedahl would strike again to keep Cape Elizabeth within striking distance. Ethan Gillespie’s shot from the blue line caromed out to Ekedahl’s stick where he calmly restored the two goal deficit. 

It would be only :39 more seconds before the Capers struck again. Senior Brett Eubanks would poke the puck away from a Hebron forward in the neutral zone before attacking 2-on-1 with Ekedahl. Eubanks would calmly slide a brilliant pass on to Ekedahl’s tape where he calmly slotted the puck into the top right corner, giving Cape Elizabeth a massive jolt as they cut the lead to 4-3. The hat trick gave Ekedahl his fifth goal in the Capers first two games.

With Hebron taking two minor penalties in the closing minutes—one for interference and one for holding—Capers coach Matt Buotte would call a timeout with 2:09 remaining and pull Rusk in favor of an extra skater. Despite winning the subsequent offensive zone face-off, Cape Elizabeth, despite a 6-on-3 man advantage, were unable to find the tying goal as Williams would add his second goal and third point of the night, sliding a 140 foot shot into the open net for the shorthanded tally and sealing a 5-3 win for Hebron Varsity B.

Despite stopping 19 of the 20 shots he faced Rusk would be goaltender of record, picking up his first loss of the pre-season. Cape Elizabeth were outshot 38-23. Hebron Varsity B improved to 1-0-0 on the season, with Cape finishing up it’s exhibition schedule at 1-1-0. The Capers begin the regular season on Saturday when Maranacook comes to Troubh Ice Arena at 4:10 p.m. 



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05/10/2016 12:42pm

Cape hockey is one of the most entertaining games. I am always excited to watch its match. Players are usually very energetic and the teamwork is the main requirement for getting success in this game.

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