It’s been a challenging start to the season for first-year Lawrence coach Ted Fabian, who’s fielding a team that is skating just 12 players.

“We’re limited,” said Fabian, whose team is 1-2-0. “It affects practice because we have just one goalie. The limited numbers make it a challenge to come up with drills for them to do. You kind of keep everything at one end of the ice. On the plus side, they are all in shape.”

Fabian, a 2006 Messalonskee High School graduate, won the Travis Roy Award — given to the top senior in Class A. On Wednesday night, Fabian will coach his Bulldogs against the Eagles at Sukee Arena.

Fabian said he and Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse are still good friends, but acknowledged it will be a “unique experience.”

“Obviously, I’m really excited to go up against Messalonskee,” he said. “I think both teams will have fun with it. I’m sure both of us will give each other some looks during the game. I’m also sure he’ll throw something at us that we’ve never seen before.”

* * *

Messalonskee improved to 3-0-0 with a convincing 12-2 win over Presque Isle on Saturday. The Eagles have scored 20 goals in their last two games after beating John Bapst 1-0 in their season opener.

Not bad considering two of their top four scorers from last season — Sam Dexter (graduated) and James Varney (juniors) — didn’t return.

“I’m pleased with our improvement,” Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse said. “Our top line is really producing. All three of them are putting up some points.”

Chase Cunningham, who scored 65 points last season, skates with his brother Jared, a freshman, and J.T. Towle on the top line. The trio combined for 17 points against the Wildcats (1-3-0).

Latendresse said pairing the Cunninghams together was one of the easiest decisions he’s made.

“There’s a real connection between the two,” he said. “They just connect really well. J.T. fits really well with them, too. And, really, it’s been there since the first few days of training camp.

“Jared, he’s just hockey smart. He’s just at a different level.”

* * *

 

Skowhegan scored an important 5-2 early season victory over Edward Little on Saturday night.

The Indians (2-0-0) are gunning for their second consecutive Eastern A playoff appearance.

“When you have a chance to get Heal points you have to take advantage,” Skowhegan coach Jeff Fowler said. “I tell my team that there are lot of us trying to make the playoffs. It’s a long, long road. The difficulty is being consistent all year long.”

Skowhegan has done a good job of closing teams out through its first two games. The Indians have outscored their opponents 6-0 in the third period.

“We’ve been out-playing teams in the third period, which is nice,” Fowler said. “At the same time, we can play better.”

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The Winslow boys edged Old Town 6-5 on Saturday night to match their win total of last season when they finished 1-14-1.

“We needed it,” Winslow coach Corey Lessard said. “It came at a good time.”

Freshman Andrew Beals earned the victory in his first varsity start.

The offense also turned in another big game. The Raiders (1-2-0) have scored 17 goals in three games.

“It’s doing well beyond what I expected,” Lessard said. “We’re working on the defensive side of it. We’re tightening it up. We’re moving people around, trying to find the right pairings.”

* * *

Waterville graduate Matt Lee committed to play hockey for Division III SUNY-Geneseo recently.

Lee, 19, who helped Waterville win the 2008-09 Class A state title, is playing for the Walpole (Mass.) Express of the Atlantic Junior Hockey League.

“I talked to a few schools but then I went for a visit, and Geneseo had a New Englandly feel to it. It felt like home and I fell in love with it. I knew I could get a good education there, too, and it all sold me.”

Lee, a defenseman, will join a Geneseo team that competes in the State University of New York Athletic Conference. The Knights are 7-4-1 this season and have been ranked nationally.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

bstewart@centralmaine.com