WATERVILLE — With 15 skaters on its roster, the Waterville hockey team can ill afford off nights from more than a few of them.

The Purple Panthers were all on Tuesday night.

Waterville (2-2-0) erased an early one-goal deficit with six unanswered goals to beat rival Winslow 6-2 at Alfond Rink.

“We just kept working and working,” Waterville coach Dennis Martin said. “It was a good bounce-back win.”

Dalton Denis led the charge with two goals and three assists. Tom Sturtevant had a pair of goals while Tommy Samson added four assists for the Panthers, who were coming off an 8-2 loss to Gorham.

“We take it upon ourselves to score more,” Denis said. “It was a big win for us.”

Alex Berard scored 1 minute, 38 seconds into the game to give Winslow (1-3-0) the early 1-0 lead. From there, it was all Panthers.
The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period, but Waterville iced the game with three goals in about a two-minute span late in the second. Denis broke the tie when he banged home a pass from Will Bolduc with 8:57 left in the second period.

A scoring barrage soon followed.

Bolduc got things rolling with 4:37 left in the second, when he blasted a laser of a shot from just inside the blue line that beat Winslow goalie Cam Tibbetts.

“I came up high, slid into the middle and (Sturtevant) set a good screen,” Bolduc said. “I looked up and put it where I wanted.”

Edward Atkins made it 4-1 just 56 seconds later when he one-timed a shot past Tibbetts. Then, with 2:44 left in the period, Denis scored on a nice individual effort coming down the right side.

“I wanted to go glove side,” he said. “It was there all game. I just came down and put it there. It was snipe salad.”

Added Martin: “Scoring in bunches helps. It can change a game quickly.”

The Black Raiders, who were playing without defenseman Walker Thompson and forward Cam Grenier, never recovered. Thompson and Grenier received game disqualification penalties against Old Town on Saturday, which triggered automatic one-game suspensions.

Josh Larsen scored a goal and Tibbetts had 33 saves to pace the Raiders.

“Team mistakes and inexperience hurt us,” Winslow coach Corey Lessard said. “The two guys missing hurt, but we never stopped skating. When we made some mistakes, Waterville capitalized on them. This is a good learning experience for us.”

Bolduc added an assist and goalie Kaleb Kane had 18 saves to earn the victory.

“We needed this game,” Bolduc said. “It was good to come back like this.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640
bstewart@centralmaine.com