WINSLOW — Opening night couldn’t have come quick enough for the Winslow boys hockey team.
Its first victory of this campaign will have to wait a little longer.
Colin McKay scored five goals, including the game-winner just 1 minute, 51 seconds into overtime, to lift Presque Isle past Winslow 10-9 in an entertaining season opener for both teams at Sukee Arena.
“Wow, it was a wild (game),” said McKay. “We came away with what we wanted, but it was pretty crazy.”
Alex Michaud scored two goals and five assists for the Wildcats, who squandered leads of 3-1 and 9-6 before McKay beat backup freshman goalie Andrew Beals on a low shot as he was being tripped into the net. Adam Flynn also added a pair of goals for Presque Isle (1-0-0).
Winslow junior defenseman Walker Thompson scored two goals and four assists to pace the Black Raiders, who were eager for a fresh start after coming off a tumultuous 1-14-1 season.
“We really wanted them to put last year out of their minds, which they did,” Winslow coach Corey Lessard said. “We’re going to lose some close games this season and we’re going to win some close games. Many times in this game we could’ve given up but we didn’t.”
The Raiders trailed 3-1 after the first period, led 6-4 midway through the second but then fell behind 9-6 with 10:31 left in the third.
But Jacob Cain, Nick Denis and Cam Grenier scored in about a five-minute span to erase the deficit and force overtime.
Grenier finished with two goals.
The game-tying goal came in the waning seconds of a Winslow power play that brought the modest crowd to its feet.
“I wanted to call a timeout after the power play because we were gassed,” Presque Isle coach Carl Flynn said. “I didn’t expect this type of game at all.”
McKay stymied the comeback when he pushed the puck through the pads of Beals — who relieved starter Cam Tibbetts after two periods — as he was charging down the right side.
McKay appeared to get tripped up and was sprawling toward the ice when he got the shot off.
“I took the puck off one of the ends and knew I had some room to skate,” he said. “I got tripped and just tried to get a shot off. It went five-hole.”
Added Thompson, who provided a strong physical presence for the Raiders: “It was nerve-racking, but I thought we played well as a team. We never gave up.”
Winslow trailed 3-1 after the first period but pulled even with a pair of quick strikes 23 seconds apart in the opening minutes of the second.
Keegan Cain beat Jillian Flynn (31 saves) with a terrific shot to the far corner just 2:02 into the second period.
Thompson tied it up moments later when he ripped a shot from the high slot that again beat Flynn high.
“We knew they were going to go to her shoulder,” Flynn said. “We told her they were going to do it and they still did it anyway.
Bill Stewart — 621-5640