In an epic game that will be remembered for years to come, the Clippers suffered a heart-breaking loss to Waterville with 2:47 left to go in the second overtime period. In his final high school game, Walter Conrad put forth a Herculean effort as he was on the ice for almost all of the overtime periods.
The first period did not start well for the Clippers as Waterville largely dominated play, but luckily the penalty kill unit got the job done and gave Yarmouth the lead. While a man down, Walter Conrad blocked a shot, which resulted in a 2-on-1 break with Patrick Grant. Grant made a pass to Conrad whose shot was stopped, but Grant was there to put home the rebound.
The Captains continued to lead the way as Noah Grondin stripped a Waterville defenseman of the puck and buried a top corner shot to give Yarmouth a 2-0 lead. However, Waterville kept pressing and cut the lead in half when Waterville Michael Bolduc found the back of net for with 2:17 remaining in the period.
The Clippers played much better in the second period and turned the tables on Waterville as they were able to maintain good offensive pressure. Despite a number of opportunities, however, the Clippers could not convert. After two periods, Yarmouth went into the locker room still leading 2-1.
In the third period, Yarmouth started to wear down, but Dan Latham was there to make the saves. Although Latham was spectacular in net, a skate save led to a rebound goal to tie the game with 6:38 to go in regulation. The score remained tied at end of the third period and the teams went into sudden-death overtime.
In the first overtime period, both teams were clearly fatigued and neither squad could convert any of the numerous scoring chances. With a clean sheet of ice in the second overtime, the pace quickened and it seemed incredible that neither team was able to capitalize on a number of prime opportunities, but both netminders were that solid.
With 2:47 remaining the second overtime period, Andrew Rodrigue’s one-timer bomb from the point through traffic ended Yarmouth’s hopes of a State Title.
Throughout the season, the Senior leadership was outstanding and the key to Yarmouth’s success. Walter Conrad and Patrick Grant are obviously two of the best hockey players in the State of Maine and Noah Grondin’s willingness to go into the dirty areas made him an offensive threat in every game. But there were also the Shawn Thornton-like character guys in the locker room.
Erik Salmon and Will Landry were two of the unsung heros. Salmon was a great leader and provided a calming presence in the most stressful times. He was particularly good with the younger players and provided an example of how a winner carries himself. Salmon was exactly the type of Senior player any coach would want on a team and scored a pivotal goal in the Junior Varsity’s Wakelin Cup Championship win.
Will Landry was the heart and soul of the Junior Varsity team and his commitment to the game of hockey was impressive. It is no mistake that Landry was the player chosen to accept the Wakelin Cup on behalf of the Junior Varsity team. Both Salmon and Landry will be greatly missed next year.
Finally, the YC Ultras were the rowdiest, loudest and scariest fans in the State of Maine. It was fun to watch them take over rink after rink while security kept their eyes on them.
The team banquet is on March 15th and the boys will start preparing for their 2016-17 title run during the off-season.