WINSLOW — Ted Fabian played hockey for Mike Latendresse at Messalonskee High School. He helped breathe life into the program, won the Travis Roy Award in 2006 and graduated as one of the most prolific playmakers in program history.
Wednesday night, Fabian reunited with his mentor, but this time it was in an adversarial role as coach of rival Lawrence.
“It wasn’t too awkward,” Fabian said. “We’re friends. We respect each other. I just wish we could’ve played three complete periods. It was a good game.”
Score this one for the mentor.
Chase Cunningham had three assists and five different players scored to lead Messalonskee past Lawrence 5-3 in an Eastern B game at Sukee Arena.
J.T. Towle had a goal and an assist for the Eagles (4-0-0), who led 3-0 after the first period and 5-1 after the second. Jared Cunningham, Will Weeks and Dylan Burton also scored for Messalonskee.
Josh Doolan, Tyler Boudreau and Andrew Carpenter scored for the Bulldogs (1-3-0), with the latter two coming in the first seven minutes of the third period to make things interesting.
Latendresse said it wasn’t awkward coaching against one of his former players.
“He’s a former player,” Latendresse said. “Teddy and I are good friends. I thought he was going to be on the bench with me, but it is what it is. His team is playing well. It seems like he’s doing a good job over there. I just wish we had played better.”
Indeed, the Eagles led 3-0 before the game was seven minutes old, but then were out-played in long stretches of the final two periods.
Latendresse said it was the most frustrated he’s been with a Messalonskee team in “many years.”
“We were flat for two and half periods,” he said. “It was 3-0 after six minutes and then we stopped skating. You can’t think you’re going to win games by just showing up. You have to work, and we didn’t. But credit their goalie, he played well.”
Kyle McLain had 41 saves for the Bulldogs, who skated just 11 players.
Lawrence came out playing a trap to try to slow Messalonskee and keep their players fresh.
“We were playing the trap because of our numbers,” Fabian said. “But they came out and beat that trap. We wanted to slow the pace, but then we changed it up. If we could’ve put three periods together it might’ve been a different scenario.”
Jared Cunningham opened the scoring 1:27 into the game before Towle made it 2-0 with the Eagles on the power play. Coming out of the lower right circle, Towle beat McLain with a high shot to the far post about five minutes into the game.
Will Weeks made it 3-0 nearly two minutes later.
The game stayed that way until Jake Dexter scored a power-play goal just 3:11 into the second that gave Messalonskee a commanding 4-0 lead.
However, the Bulldogs didn’t go away.
Doolan put them on the board with 9:36 left in the second when he redirected a shot past Messalonskee goalie Ben Weeks (12 saves).
Boudreau and Carpenter scored about four minutes apart early in the third period, forcing Messalonskee into survival mode.
“We came out really strong but then we were flat,” Latendresse said. “We need to work a lot harder.”