Messalonskee’s Logan Baron drives with the puck as Cape Elizabeth’s Colin Blackburn moves in on defense during the Class B boys’ hockey championship game on Saturday at Cross Insurance Arena. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald

PORTLAND —Late in the second period Saturday, a particularly raucous Cape Elizabeth student section started echoing a familiar chant through the Cross Insurance Arena.

“It’s all over!”

A bit premature at the time, perhaps, but not without merit. North regional champion Messalonskee eventually rallied in the third period of Cape’s 4-3 Class B state final win, but a four-minute stretch in the middle period saw a scoreless game turn into a 3-0 Capers lead.

Messalonskee had to chase the competition the rest of the way and never did enough to put a foot in front.

“We were playing catch-up,” said Messalonskee coach Dennis Martin. “We had a bad turnover, and they capitalized on our forecheck. It was a couple of bad plays (from us), and they made a couple of nice plays. Everything we did, they had an answer.”

Junior goaltender Hunter Hallee made 36 saves in the Messalonskee nets Saturday, and after the first one he surmised that an onslaught from Cape Elizabeth was looming.


He was right.

Nick Laughlin put the Capers on the board at 2:31 of the second period, and he then fired home a second 74 seconds later.

When Sebastian Moon netted the first of his two — shorthanded at 6:36 — it capped a 4:05 span that saw Cape emerge with a 3-0 lead.

“They’d done the same thing in the (Class B South semifinal) game,” Hallee said. “It was the same chunk of time, they scored three or four quick goals. When they score, they score quick.

Cape Elizabeth’s Nick Laughlin takes a shot on goal against Messalonskee. Laughlin scored twice. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald

“They were pretty impressive, they were pretty quick, they knew how to handle the puck. They just got those chances we couldn’t do anything with.”

Messalonskee (18-3-1) played on its heels in a rough first period Saturday. The Eagles were outshot 12-3 in the frame, but Hallee stopped everything he saw to keep his squad in it.


At the opposite end of the rink, Messalonskee generated only three shots on goal over the opening 15 minutes and none of those chances could be qualified as dangerous.

The start of the second was more of the same for the Eagles.

“Obviously, the environment of a state championship game was there,” said Martin, who last coached a team in a state championship game in 2017, the second of back-to-back Waterville titles.

“Being here was tough, getting used to what was going on. (Cape) came out and they were flying around, and we weren’t used to the physical style they were playing.”

The critical three-goal outburst came before Messalonskee could get comfortable.

“It took me a minute to get over (the first one),” said Hallee, who was offered real-time reassurance from every teammate on the ice before the puck dropped following Laughlin’s first goal.


“(Cape) built momentum up from that and carried that momentum over the next four minutes.”

A funny thing happened on the way to a Cape blowout, however.

Sophomore Owen Kirk answered Moon’s goal, while on the power play, only 16 seconds after the fact.

Kirk’s goal put Messalonskee on the scoreboard, first and foremost, but more significantly it inspired some hope.

Grayson Podey’s goal with 14.2 seconds remaining pulled Messalonskee within a goal of Cape for the final time, but missed chances from Will Durkee (he hit a post and was stuffed on a breakaway chance) in the final period came back to haunt the Eagles.

Still, given the play of Hallee and the defense in front of him over the second half of the season, it was a year that rightly ended with a regional title for the boys in blue and red.

“We knew we had a good chance as long as we didn’t have any injuries or breakdowns,” Martin said “When we started the last game of the season, things had really come together and we were rolling. We knew we’d score a lot of goals, and we knew we were going to be pretty good.”

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