HALLOWELL – The Cony and Maranacook/Hall-Dale/Winthrop co-operative hockey teams are accustomed to playing tight, physical and entertaining games.
Not much has separated the two teams in the last two seasons, and not much separated them Thursday night at the Bank of Maine Ice Vault.
Cony rallied from one-goal deficits in each of the first two periods, the latter on a Dallas Clark penalty shot goal, and the teams skated to a hard-fought 2-2 draw before a large crowd.
“This is just another one of those games with them,” Cony coach Chad Foye said. “It’s nice to have this local rivalry. It was a fun game with a great atmosphere.”
Austin Davis scored a goal and Tommy Small stopped 23 shots to lead Cony (7-3-3).
Dan Condon and Matt Plourde each scored for MHW (7-3-2). Tyler Plante also enjoyed a strong game, stopping 41 shots for the Hawks.
“It was a battle,” MHW coach Andy Dube said. “Both teams played hard.”
The teams played an up-and-down, back-and-forth game that featured big hits, big goals and big saves.
But in the end, the teams settled for the draw in what was an important Eastern A game. The Hawks and Rams are in the thick of a crowed race for a top-four berth in the playoffs.
The Hawks had their chances late in regulation and again in overtime, but Small – a Monmouth Academy freshman – came up big.
Plourde hit the crossbar with 3:03 left on a nice rush down the left side. Small then came up with a big save on Plourde just 30 seconds later to keep the teams tied.
“He’s been steady for us all season,” Foye said.
The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period before MHW grabbed a 2-1 lead when Plourde converted a mini breakaway when he wristed a shot past Small to the far top corner just 2:13 into the second.
The Rams responded 37 seconds later when Clark scored a nifty goal on a rare penalty shot.
Clark was hauled down from behind as he came barreling down on Plante. The officials signaled a penalty shot, which riled an already enthusiastic crowd
Clark converted when he faked the forehand before tucking the puck past Plante on the backhand.
“He made a nice move,” Foye said. “There is no one I’d want more taking that shot than him.”
That capped the scoring as the game settled into a goaltender dual – and neither Small or Plante budged.
“The goalies played tough,” Dube said. “(Plante) just had some remarkable saves for us. It was unbelievable.”
Bill Stewart – 621-5640