LEWISTON — Bill Jacobs scored two goals in the second period to break open a close game and top-ranked Yarmouth downed Gardiner 5-0 in the Class B South boys’ hockey regional final Wednesday night at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
The Clippers advance to Saturday’s state championship game, where they will face North champion and No. 1 seed Waterville.
The Clippers (16-4) dominated the first period by every metric — offensive-zone time, possession, shots — yet led just 1-0 after 15 minutes, thanks to a Noah Grondin goal.
There was still hope for Gardiner at that point.
“I just said, ‘we got the bugs out. They beat us to the puck. They were doing everything that we want to do. We’re in this game. Let’s go out and see what we can do,’” Gardiner coach Sam Moore said of his first-intermission message. “And Yarmouth, to their credit, they beat us to the pucks all night.”
Jacobs made it 2-0 two minutes into the second, grabbing the puck at his own blue line and skating the other way on a 2-on-0 rush. Jacobs waited to make a decision after entering the offensive zone — pass or shoot — before ripping off a wrist shot from the right circle that rocketed past Gardiner goalie Michael Poirier.
Penalties hurt the second-seeded Tigers (15-5-1) in a regional semifinal win over Cape Elizabeth, when power-play goals brought the Capers to the brink of a comeback.
Jacobs made Gardiner pay on the power play again Wednesday night. Just 16 seconds into Yarmouth’s second power play of the game, and first of the second period, Jacobs collected a loose puck in the slot and buried it into an open net to make it 3-0 just over five minutes into the middle period.
Man-advantages and disadvantages dominated the remainder of the second. The Clippers went on another power play seven minutes in, only for that man-advantage to cut short by 33 seconds. The Tigers then began their first power play of the contest, but that ended just two seconds in when Hunter Russell was whistled for high-sticking.
Gardiner did get a full two-minute power play later in the period, producing two shots, and then another one with 43 seconds left before the second intermission.
“We reminded them of the fact that Cape came back on (Gardiner) on power plays,” Yarmouth coach David St. Pierre told his team heading into the third period. “We knew we had to kill the power play here, so we really stressed getting out of that PK and making sure we took care of business.”
The Tigers totaled three shots on that power play that spanned the second and third. Soon after the man-advantage was done so was Gardiner. Cooper May rushed the other way for Yarmouth, got around a defender, then skated right to left in front of Poirier before beating him with a back-handed shot.
The final nail in the coffin came on another Yarmouth power play. Joe Truesdale was open by the right post for an assist from Owen Ramsay with less than four minutes to play.
Poirier faced 34 shots in the game, stopping 29 of them.
Yarmouth sophomore goalie Dan Latham stopped all 21 shots against him.