Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Chad Foye knew it would be tough for the Cony boys hockey team to wrestle one of the top three spots from traditional powers Lewiston, St. Dominic and Bangor in Eastern A this season.
What the Cony coach didn't know was who would contend for the next few playoff spots.
“It was all a crap shoot,” he said. “It was up for grabs.”
Thanks to a strong finish to the regular season, including a pivotal 4-3 overtime victory over Skowhegan in the regular-season finale, Cony clinched fourth place in Eastern A and will host Brunswick in a quarterfinal game Tuesday at the Bank of Maine Ice Vault.
The No.4 Rams (11-4-3) and No. 5 Dragons (10-7-1) will face off at 7 p.m.
Cony went 0-1-1 against Brunswick this season. The teams tied 2-2 in their last meeting Jan. 21 at Bowdoin College. Cony rallied from two goals down to earn the tie.
“We're really happy to get that fourth spot,” Foye said. “We wanted it. We had a real even game with them. We're looking forward to the challenge. It should be a pretty good game.”
Lewiston (14-3-1) finished No. 1 in Eastern A while Bangor (15-3-0) was second and St. Dominic (11-6-1) third.
Maranacook/Hall-Dale/Winthrop (10-6-2) finished seventh and will play at No. 2 Bangor.
Skowhegan (12-5-1), which dropped two consecutive overtime games to end the regular season, grabbed the sixth seed and will play St. Dom's at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Androscoggin Bank Colise in Lewiston.
The Indians and Saints did not meet in the regular season.
“It's going to be a tough game,” Skowhegan coach Jeff Fowler said. “They've played a lot of tough teams. It's not going to be easy.”
The Indians appeared to drop three spots to seventh after losing to Cony, but it leapfrogged the Hawks when Winslow defeated Orono on Thursday night.
Skowhegan finished eighth in Eastern A last season and hosted a prelim game.
“Dropping two spots instead of three is better for the psyche,” Fowler said. “We'll start preparing for St. Dom's now.”
Defending Eastern B champ Messalonskee (16-2-0) earned its first top seed in program history and will receive a bye into the regional semifinals on March 2 at Sukee Arena.
“It's definitely a great place to be in,” Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse said. “It's a great accomplishment. This is the first time it's happened in school history and the boys should be proud of that.”
Lawrence, under first-year coach Ted Fabian, slipped into the field as the No. 7 seed and will play at No. 2 John Bapst (12-5-1) at 7 p.m. Tueady at Sawyer Arena in Bangor.
The Bulldogs (6-12-0) lost to John Bapst 5-4 a little more than a week ago.
“It's a good matchup for us,” Fabian said. “We played them tough.”
Messalonskee will await the Hampden-Orono winner in the semifinals. The Eagles, who are riding a five-game winning streak, will play Camden Hills in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship game at Sukee Arena on Saturday night at 8.
“We took care of business in the regular season,” Latendresse said. “Getting the bye, it's big because it's one less game we'll have to play to get to where we want to be.”
Bill Stewart – 621-5640