Maine Hockey Journal

Class B Cape Elizabeth out-duels Kennebunk in OT

Portland, ME – Battling down the wire at the Portland Ice Arena Saturday evening, Kennebunk and Cape Elizabeth went deep into overtime before forward Chris Grennon netted the game-winner and sent the Capers faithful home happy with the 4-3 defeat.

The Capers goal came with five ticks on the clock.

Kennebunk seized early control of the game with a pair of shorthanded goals.

The first goal came from forward D.J. Robinson a mere four minutes in. The Capers gave away a bad turnover in their own zone, and Robinson backhanded the puck past goaltender Kirby Saari.

Only minutes later, Rams forward Kurt Oakman outworked two Cape Elizabeth players in front of the Capers own net. Oakman gained some control of the puck and flipped it past Saari, giving the Rams an early two goal lead.

“Sometimes when you go on a power play you think it’s time to rest and relax, and I think that’s one thing we learned today – that it’s the complete opposite,” Cape Elizabeth head coach Bill Leblond said.

The Capers were able to salvage the first period somewhat, getting a goal from forward Donald Clark to end the period. Clark fired one from close in and was initially stopped by Kennebunk goaltender Jordon Kadlik, who sat on the puck not realizing that it trickled in behind him.

“We weren’t very happy after the first period,” said Leblond. “I left it up to the captains to get the team right. I think they did come through a little bit but we still got a lot of work, a lot to learn,”

If the Rams dominated the first, then the Capers took control of the second period, getting great looks in front of the net, and putting an abundance of pressure on the Rams defense.

Although the chances were piling up, the scoreboard remained in favor of the Rams deep into the second period. With a power play and the chance to end the period on a high note, Cape defenseman Brandon Negele took a rebounded shot and slid it five-hole past the goaltender, equalizing the game. Fellow defenseman Wilson Laprade was credited with the assist.

Capers forward Nick Breed started the scoring off early in the third period, shooting a leveled shot near the blue line that Kadlik would have loved to of had back. The Rams fighting spirit never dwindled though, and after earning a power play midway through the period, forward Ned Richard sniped one past Saari. Robinson was recognized with the assist.

The teams could not bring the game to an end during regular time, having to settle the score during a drama filled eight minute period.

The Rams nearly ended the game early on in the overtime period, but were refuted by Saari’s outstanding efforts in net. After a Rams player blasted one from the blue line, the puck rebounded fast off Saari’s pads and onto the tape of another Rams player. Saari recovered from the initial shot and scooted back to the other side of the net, making a sprawling save reminiscent of Boston Bruins net minder Tim Thomas.

As fate would have it, the penalties the Rams amassed during the game caught up with them. After taking a penalty with 2:55 remaining, the Rams were forced to play more conservatively instead of aiming for a game winning goal.

“Kennebunk is a good team,” Leblond said. “Both teams were evenly matched and it came down to the penalty. Calling a penalty in the last two minutes is not a great thing to happen. It makes them hang on; it gave us a little momentum.”

With seconds remaining in the overtime period and most of the crowd believing that the game would end in a wash, Capers sophomore Chris Grennon had other plans. With Kadlik sprawled out on his stomach, Grennon poked in the game’s final goal, emptying the Cape Elizabeth bench in the process.

“I just took it around,” Grennon said. “The goalie was on the ground, he reached over and it went off his arm. I just kind of poked it in.”

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