vs Lewiston 1/5/13


The Greely Rangers dropped to 4-2-0 for the 2012-13 season following a 4-2 loss to Class A East Lewiston Saturday night in front of a good home crowd at Family Ice.

The Rangers, who have struggled to score goals over the past five games, struck first halfway through the period on a strong rush down the right wing by Joe Saffian who finished off a pretty deke to his backhand and slipped it in at the near post behind Lewiston goalie Evan Bourassa. Greely freshman forward Colby Williams got an assist on the play and scrapped hard at mid-ice to keep it moving foward for Saffian (his 2nd goal of the year).

The Rangers held a 1-0 lead after one period and killed off two Lewiston power plays in the opening 15 minutes, but the Blue Devils tied it 1-1 on a power play goal early in the second. Kyle Lemelin, Lewiston's top forward, slipped wide down the right wing boards and beat his man to come to net along the goal line and fired a hard wrister on the ice past Kyle Kramlich at the near post.

Minutes later however, Greely junior forward Aidan Black collected a long accurate pass from defenseman Brian Storey outside the Lewiston blue line and battled past a Lewiston defenseman to find room to quickly lift a backhand shot high to Bourassa's glove side that sailed past him into the net and brought the crowd to its feet as Greely took a 2-1 lead.

Later in the period, with a 2-1 lead, the Rangers went on the power play. Unfortunately a Lewiston penalty killer intercepted a diagonal pass high inside the offensive zone off a face off and raced the other way to finish off a partial breakaway and tie the game 2-2. Just minutes later, in the closing moments of the second period, Lewiston grabbed a 3-2 lead when the Rangers failed to control the puck along the boards to clear the zone and a Lewiston defenseman fired a hard shot that was tipped in from the slot out front.

The score stayed at 3-2 for most of the third period, and the Rangers had some chances to tie, but the Blue Devils opened up a 4-2 lead with under 5 minutes to go when a shot from the left point took a strange high bounce towards the net and went up and over goalie Kyle Kramlich where a Lewiston forward swatted it in below the crossbar. Kramlich finished the game with 20 saves.

WIth the loss, Greely dropped its second straight countable game against top Class A competition (the other loss was a 3-1 final to Falmouth in the Dudley Cup on Jan. 1). Including the Salem NH Tuscan Kitchen Blue Devil Classic tourney Dec. 28-29, the Rangers are 0-4-1 in their last 5 but have played against very challenging Division 1/Class A teams from New Hampshire (Pinkerton Academy, Salem, Londonderry) and Maine. In that stretch, the Rangers have managed to score only 7 goals while allowing 14 (two of which were empty netters).

"The team has been playing some good hockey in stretches in all of these games," said Coach Barry Mothes. "And I thought the shift-to-shift effort and energy tonight against Lewiston was very good. We didn't seem to catch any breaks, including officials getting in the way of passes that might have led to breakaways when we had a one-goal lead. The number of penalties called didn't help either and we didn't seem to catch many breaks there either, although again the penalty kill did a good job killing off four of their five power players. When the game was 5-on-5 we were right there. Each line was generating good movement and pressure and chances. The defensemen moved the puck well from the back overall. The rhythm of the game changed a lot once the penalties started coming heavier. But there were good signs there and we need to build on those against York and Gardiner this week."