February 21

HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY: Eagles put historic regular season behind them

Messalonskee is looking ahead to the playoffs determined not to be distracted by its undefeated campaign.

By Bill Stewart bstewart@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

The Messalonskee hockey team rolled through the regular season unblemished, averaging 6.7 goals in its 18 games.

The Eagles (18-0-0) scored at least seven goals in nine games and boast victories over Bangor and Falmouth, the regular season champs in Eastern A and Western A, respectively.

“Going undefeated, it’s never been done before in Messalonskee program history,” Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse said. “It’s not something that happens every year. Obviously, it was a great season.

“But now that part is over.”

The boys hockey regular season came to a close Friday and the playoff matchups are finalized.

Messalonskee, the two-time defending Eastern B champs, received a bye to the regional semifinals and won’t play until March 1. The Eagles will face either No. 4 Winslow (9-9-0) or No. 5 John Bapst (9-9-0). The Black Raiders will host the Crusaders in a quarterfinal game Tuesday.

Also in Eastern B, No. 3 Waterville (10-7-1) will host No. 6 Hampden (8-8-2) in a quarterfinal game Tuesday as well. The Broncos and Purple Panthers will face off at 7:30 p.m.

“Having a home ice game was one of our goals,” Waterville coach Dennis Martin said. “I think we match up well with them.”

Waterville sank Hampden 5-2 in the regular season.

No. 2 Presque Isle (12-5-1) also received a bye to the semifinals.

In Eastern A, Lawrence/Skowhegan (12-7-1) parlayed a strong finish into the fourth seed. The Bandits, who’ve won seven of their last eight games, will host No. 5 Brunswick (9-7-2) in a quarterfinal Tuesday at Sukee Arena.

“We’ve come together at the right time,” Lawrence/Skowhegan coach Ted Fabian said. “We got off to a slow start as we tried to find our identity. It was a process with the two schools merging but it’s been incredible what we’ve accomplished. We’ve had overtime wins, come-from-behind wins. We’re pretty excited.”

Lawrence/Skowhegan, which started the season 2-4-0, dropped a 5-1 decision to Brunswick on Jan. 25.

“We’re playing a lot better now, though,” Fabian added. “We’re in a much better spot.”

Cony/Monmouth (9-8-1) earned the seventh and final seed. The Rams will play at No. 2 Lewiston (14-4-0) on Monday night.

“We’ll have our hands full,” Cony/Monmouth coach Chad Foye said. “But you will have to play them sometime so it might as well be early. We’re playing pretty solid right now.”

The Rams closed the regular season with a 0-0 draw to Brunswick and a 5-2 win over No. 6 Edward Little (10-7-1).

Bangor (15-3-0), which split its two meetings with Lewiston, earned the top seed in Eastern A and received a bye to the semifinals. It will play either Lewiston/Skowhegan or Brunswick at the Androscoggin bank Colise on March 1.

In Western B, Maranacook/Winthrop (7-11-0) earned the seventh seed and will play at No. 2 Camden Hills (13-4-1) in the quarterfinals.

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