February 17

HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY NOTEBOOK: Winslow gets break before playoffs

The Black Raiders get a week off to rest after a tough loss to end the regular season.

By Bill Stewart bstewart@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

The Winslow boys hockey team wrapped up its regular season with a tough 3-2 setback to Brewer on Saturday.

TOP 10

1. Messalonskee

2. Bangor

3. Lewiston

4. Falmouth

5. Scarborough

6. St. Dominic

7. Biddeford

8. Cheverus

9. Thornton Academy

10. Gorham

The Black Raiders (9-9-0), who are enjoying their best season in four years, will wait more than a week before the Eastern B playoffs begin February 25.

“We’ll have some time to rest and practice hard,” Winslow coach Andy Dube said. “We accomplished our first goal, which was to make the playoffs. We’re very excited to be back in the playoffs. Now we will wait to see if we will host a game.”

Winslow entered play Monday sitting fourth in Eastern B. The top two teams receive byes to the semifinals March 1.

Messalonskee (15-0-0) has clinched the No. 1 seed and Presque Isle (11-5-1) can clinch the second with a win over Brewer today.

“If we can host a playoff game that would be a big advantage,” Dube said. “It would be really huge.”

The Raiders will practice all week and will hope to get a few injured players healthy, including standout defenseman Walker Thompson (shoulder).

Dube said the team can still play one exhibition game, and he hopes to do that this weekend.

“We’ll see,” he said. “We’d like to, and I think we have the ice time to do it. We’d have to find a team at our level to come and play us, though.”

• • •

Lawrence/Skowhegan (11-6-0) pounded Windham 11-2 on Monday, thanks to a four-goal performance from Cody Martin.

The Bandits are 9-2-0 in their last nine games, propelling them into the Eastern A playoff hunt.

They can finish anywhere from fourth to sixth in Eastern A, depending on the outcome of their regular season finale Wednesday against Mt. Ararat/Lisbon (8-8-0) and other games.

“We’re playing some pretty good hockey,” Lawrence/Skowhegan coach Ted Fabian said.

The Bandits are also scoring a lot of goals of late.

They’ve scored at least four goals in their last seven games.

“We’ve been putting the puck in the net,” Fabian said. “We’re taking advantage of our opportunities. We’re getting to the net and putting a lot of pucks on net.”

• • •

Waterville’s bid to secure a top-two seed in Eastern B took a hit with a 6-3 loss to Camden Hills on Monday morning.

The Purple Panthers (10-6-1) are trying to chase down Presque Isle for the second seed and a bye in the Eastern A playoffs.

Waterville will close the regular season Thursday against Messalonskee (15-0-0). A victory over the Eagles could be enough for the Panthers to leapfrog Presque Isle.

“We have our work cut out for us,” Waterville coach Dennis Martin said.

Waterville will likely finish third should it lose to Messalonskee.

“We’re either going to get a bye or host a playoff game, so that is good,” Martin said.

• • •

Cony/Monmouth is holding on to the seventh and final seed in the Eastern A playoff race.

The Rams (8-8-0) played Brunswick on Monday and will close the regular season Thursday night against Edward Little.

“Right now we just want to make sure we are playing good hockey going to the playoffs,” Cony/Monmouth coach Chad Foye said. “We need to make sure we are working together and playing together. That’s the No. 1 thing for us right now.”

The Rams had an outside shot to climb into sixth place, but they needed to win their final two games and get help from others.

A seventh-place finish would set up a quarterfinal game at Bangor, Lewiston or St. Dominic.

“We’ll worry about that when we get there,” Foye said.

The Rams had dropped three straight games heading into their Monday showdown with Brunswick.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640 bstewart@centralmaine.com Twitter: @billstewartkj

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