The weekend snowstorm coupled with some inclement weather Monday threw several hockey teams out of rhythm.
Skowhegan and Waterville had games postponed Monday, although both will return to action tonight.
“We’re playing the waiting game,” Skowhegan Jeff Fowler said. “But what can you do? It’s no fun to play the waiting game.”
The Indians (11-2-1), who will play at John Bapst tonight, haven’t been on ice since last Thursday.
“We just hope the other team will be in the same situation,” Fowler said. “It’s tough, but there’s not much you can do. Hopefully, we’ll still be sharp. These are pieces of adversity that hit teams, but you just have to do the best we can.”
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Messalonskee learned quite a bit about itself when it faced Class B powers Greely and Brewer in consecutive games last week.
The Eagles (12-2-0) split the much-anticipated showdowns, losing to Greely 8-4 before beating Brewer 5-1.
“We still have a lot of work to do but we are in a good position now,” Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse said. “We need to improve in some areas, particularly the neutral zone, but we are in a good position.”
Indeed, they are.
The Eagles hold a comfortable Heal point in Eastern B over the Witches (10-4-0) and are in prime position to earn the top seed for the playoffs. Messalonskee has four games remaining, beginning tonight when it plays Lawrence (6-9-0) at Sukee Arena.
The Eagles also play Old Town (0-13-0), Houlton/Hodgdon (4-11-0) and Hampden(6-6-0) to close out the regular season.
“We still have a lot of hockey left but we really want that top seed,” Latendresse said. “It’s important to finish first to get that bye.”
The No. 1 seed in Eastern B receives a bye to the semifinals.
Of course, it also comes with the bulls-eye tattooed across their jerseys.
“Everyone would be gunning for us,” Latendresse said. “We know that, and we’ll have to be ready.”
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Waterville is on the outside looking in at the Eastern A playoffs, but it finishes the season with games against Heal point worthy teams.
“We’re still in it,” Waterville coach Dennis Martin said. “We are going to have a lot of opportunities to get in.”
The Purple Panthers (3-11-0) are chasing Mt. Ararat/Lisbon (6-9-0) and Edward Little (4-9-2) for the eighth and final playoff berth.
Waterville will host Bangor (11-2-0) at 6:45 tonight before playing at Gray-New Gloucester/Poland (2-11-1) on Thursday.
The Panthers finish the regular season with games against Cony (8-3-3) and MHW (8-4-2).
“Those guys are worth a lot of points,” Martin said. “We know we have a chance. The season is not done yet. We control our own destiny in a way.”
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It’s been a season of “what if” for Gardiner, which is still in the hunt for a Western B playoff berth. The Tigers (4-9-1) are chasing Cape Elizabeth (5-10-1), a team they will play in Hallowell on Feb. 18, for the fifth and final spot. Gardiner defeated Cape Elizabeth 2-1 in overtime on Jan. 31.
“We still have opportunities left but we have to start winning games,” Gardiner coach Jeff Ross said. “Being close enough isn’t good enough right now.”
Gardiner has been close in an abundance of its games this season. Eight of Tigers 14 games have been decided by two or fewer goals. Gardiner is 2-5-1 in those games.
“We have to finish out games,” Ross said. “We’ve played a lot of really close games but we need to start winning some of them.”
Bill Stewart — 621-5640