December 16, 2013

HOCKEY: Cony clicking offensively

Davis leads new-look team

By Bill Stewart
Staff Writer

The Cony hockey team lost two if its leading scorers to graduation, which put some pressure on its top returners to bury some pucks on a consistent basis this season.

Kennebec Journal / Morning Sentinel Top 10

1. Scarborough

2. Lewiston

3. Messalonskee

4. Bangor

5. Kennebunk

6. Falmouth

7. St. Dominic

8. Thornton

9. Biddeford

10. Gorham

Weekly honor roll

• Maranacook/Winthrop forward Bailey Clark scored the overtime goal in a 2-1 victory over Gardiner.

• Cony forward Austin Davis scored four goals in an 8-4 win over Poland.

• Messalonskee forward Chase Cunningham had three goals and four assists in a 7-2 win over Falmouth.

• Messalonskee forward Dan Condon scored three goals and two assists in a 7-2 win over Falmouth.

• Waterville defenseman Andrew Rodrigue scored two goals in a 6-6 tie with Camden Hills.

• Waterville forward Nick Denis scored two goals in a 6-6 tie with Camden Hills.

So far, so good.

Senior forward Austin Davis has eight goals in three games for the Rams (2-1-0), who hope to contend for a top-four finish in Eastern A this season.

“He’s been awesome,” Cony coach Chad Foye said. “He’s playing really, really well. Most importantly, he’s getting back on defense, which is great. We need that. But I really like how we are scoring some goals.”

Cony has 16 goals in three games.

Davis is skating with Aaron Manter and freshman Cam Wilson. Cody Pelletier, Anthony Brunelle and Andrew Keithley comprise another line.

“Offensively, we’d like to see a little more out of that line,” Foye said. “They are working hard but we’d like to see them get a few more goals.”

Defensemen Spencer Buck and Zach Gagne are also contributing at both ends of the ice as well, Foye said.

“They are scoring some goals, which is what we expected,” he said. “It’s good to see.”

Cony next plays at Mt. Ararat/Lisbon (2-1-0) on Thursday.

• • •

Maranacook/Winthrop lost more than a game to Gorham on Saturday night.

Hawks coach Chip Jones said senior defenseman Zach Bessette injured his collarbone and will be out “for a little while.”

Bessette, a Maranacook senior, broke his collarbone early during football season but recovered in time for hockey. However, he re-injured it against the Rams (3-0-0).

“It’s tough because he is a big part of our defense,” Jones said. “We really rely on him. He will be out a little bit of time to make sure he’s healed up again.”

Maranacook/Winthrop (1-2-0) earned its first victory of the season Thursday night, when it edged Gardiner 2-1 in overtime at the Bank of Maine Ice Vault.

Bailey Clark scored the game-winner on a breakaway moments after Jones sat him for a few shifts.

“He was too hyped up at how the game was being played,” Jones said, “so I sat him down to just calm him down and re-focus him. We always tell the kids to stay fired up but to stay focused. It’s a fine line sometimes. But once he calmed down he went out there and won the game.”

• • •

The Kents Hill boys are off to a 3-3-1 start but coach Larry Cockrell said the team has yet to find any consistency.

“We’re a whole new team,” he said. “We kind of have to re-learn everything. We got off to a little bit of a slow start but we’re hanging in there.”

Cockrell’s son, Jared, leads the team with four goals and four assists. He scored a hat trick in a 5-4 win over Bridgton Academy on Dec. 11.

“This past week we’ve actually started practicing better but the question now is whether we can take the next step,” Coach Cockrell said. “We need to see it show up in the games.”

• • •

Messalonskee (3-0-0) earned perhaps its biggest regular-season victory when it pounded defending Class A state champ Falmouth 7-2 on Saturday night.

The Eagles, the two-time defending Eastern B champs, already have a victory over Eastern A contender Bangor this season.

However, the victory over Falmouth likely opened some eyes across the state.

“We made a statement,” Messalonskee forward Chase Cunningham said after the game.

The senior forward scored three goals and assisted on four others to give him 180 career points. He needs 13 more points to become the all-time leading scorer in Messalonskee program history. Defenseman Nate Ponitz had 192 points in the late 1990s for Messalonskee.

Cunningham leads a dominant Messalonskee team that so far is overcoming an injury to key forward Josh Towle (broken arm).

Coach Mike Latendresse moved Winthrop transfer Dan Condon to the top line with brothers Chase and Jared Cunningham. Condon opened the season as a defenseman, his natural position.

“Dan played really well,” Latendresse said. “He created some room for Chase and Jared to move around. He was just very strong with the puck.”

Latendresse could afford to move Condon up because freshman Connor Smith stepped in behind the blue line and provided some consistent play.

“He’s very steady,” Latendresse said. “He makes good decisions and just does his job.”

• • •

Games of the week: Messalonskee (2-0-0) and Skowhegan/Lawrence (1-1-0) will play at 7 p.m. at Sukee Arena on Wednesday. Cony (1-1-0) will play Gardiner (0-2-0) at 7:40 p.m. Saturday at the Bank of Maine Ice Vault.

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

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