Jake MacDonald scored three goals and also had an assist on Saturday afternoon to spearhead Greely of Cumberland Center to an 8-0 victory over Old Town-Orono in the Class B hockey state championship game at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.
It was the first state championship since 2013 and fourth overall for the Rangers, who wound up 19-2 while avenging a loss to the Black Bears in last year’s title game.
“We were outmanned,” said Old Town-Orono coach Chris Thurlow. “It was exactly what we feared. They have tremendous speed and they move the puck extremely well. Nothing against our kids, we have great players, too. But Greely moved the puck so well, they got our guys running around a little bit. They exploited some of our weaknesses.”
Coach Barry Mothes’ high-powered Rangers finished with 140 goals in their 21 games, including 27 in three playoff games.
The victory snapped a string of five consecutive state titles for Class B North teams: two by Messalonskee of Oakland, two by Waterville and last year’s Old Town-Orono championship (a 3-2 overtime win over Greely).
Old Town-Orono wound up 15-6.
“Our kids never gave up,” Thurlow added.
“They wanted revenge, they’re a great team, they played a great game and we didn’t play our best,” added Thurlow.
The Rangers’ Evan Dutil opened the scoring just 2:14 into the game, tipping home a shot from sophomore defenseman Brennan Rawnsley, and they never looked back.
The Rangers expanded the lead soon after on the power play when Moore set up Jackson Williams in front.
“They were the best team we’ve played this year, by far,” said Old Town-Orono senior right wing Trent Lick. “They came ready to play.”
Greely made it 3-0 later in the period when MacDonald, son of Colby College head coach and former UMass Lowell coach Blaise MacDonald, converted a shorthanded two-on-one with Andy Moore (4 assists) providing the pass.
At that point, Thurlow decided to use his timeout.
“We fell behind 2-0 in last year’s game so we didn’t press the panic button. But after they scored the third goal, I felt we needed to take the timeout and re-focus,” explained Thurlow.
“But it was hard to regain any momentum,” he added.
MacDonald and Ryan Moore added second-period goals before Peter Lattanzi, MacDonald and Moore scored in the third period.
“It definitely wasn’t our best game but we can’t use that as an excuse,” said Old Town-Orono senior defenseman Cam Tower. “They were a great team. Moore and MacDonald are great players.”
Sophomore Jared Swisher made 14 saves for Greely while senior Kohle Parker had 17 stops for Old Town-Orono. Freshman Aiden Rand came on in the third period and made five stops.
Thurlow, a longtime assistant at Orono and Old Town-Orono before becoming the head coach this season, said Greely is of the best Class B teams he has ever seen.
“They’re up there with some of the better teams I’ve seen: Waterville a couple of years ago; those Messalonskee teams,” said Thurlow. “And even some of those Brewer teams (that won state titles in 2007 and 2010).”