WINSLOW — The Greely and Messalonskee hockey teams renewed acquaintances for the first time since they played in the Class B state championship game last season.
The Eagles came up short last March, and they came up short again Saturday night at Sukee Arena.
Ted Hart had three goals and an assist to lead Greely past Messalonskee 8-4 in a much-anticipated showdown before a large and vocal crowd.
“Right now, they are the better team,” Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse said. “We created some issues for them and we showed we can play with them. But we have to play a full game against these guys.”
Mitchel Donovan scored two goals while Kyle Megathlin chipped in with a goal and an assist for Greely (9-4-0), which trailed 1-0 after the first period. Pete Hurley and Reid Howland also scored for the Rangers.
Jared Cunningham had a pair of goals and an assist for Messalonskee (11-2-0).
Kalib Bernatchez and Jake Dexter also scored while Chase Cunningham had three assists for the Eagles.
“It was a good, fast-paced hockey game,” Greely coach Barry Mothes said. “Obviously, there was a lot of offense. It’s good to have these guys on the schedule.”
Greely trailed 1-0 after the first period but erupted for a barrage of goals early in the second period, burying three pucks in the first five minutes to erase the deficit.
Messalonskee responded with two goals about three minutes apart later in the period and trailed just 4-3 heading into the third.
But that’s when Hart took over. He scored all three of his goals in the third, and the Eagles never recovered.
“He’s really come on since early January,” Mothes said.
Hart scored twice in the first three minutes of the third to all but put the Eagles away.
Messalonskee responded when Jake Dexter scored a power-play goal with 6:32 left in the third to cut the deficit to 6-4.
But again the Rangers answered on another goal from Hart about two minutes later.
“That was a big goal for us,” Mothes said. “Hopefully, if we both play to how we’re capable of playing, maybe we’ll be lucky enough to play again in March.”
Added Latendresse: “We’d love to see them again, obviously.”
Bill Stewart — 621-5640