WATERVILLE — Short a few players and still smarting from a tough overtime loss to Winslow last week, the Waterville hockey team rebounded with one of its best efforts of the season Monday afternoon.

Nick Denis scored a hat trick and Chris Lee finished with a goal and three assists as Waterville skated past Cony/Monmouth 6-1 before a modest crowd at Alfond Rink.

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“This is probably the best three periods we’ve put together all year,” Waterville coach Dennis Martin said. “We did all the little things and just out-worked them.”

Added Denis: “The Winslow game brought us down a lot. It was a really tough loss. We wanted to come out ready today and we did.”

Michael Oliveira had three assists and Andrew Roderigue also scored for Waterville (6-3-1), which played without forward Dalton Henderson and defenseman Todd Serbent.

Those two served the first of a two-game suspension as a result of being assessed major fighting penalties against Winslow last Wednesday.

“It was an awful game,” said Roderigue. “It was such a tough game for us. Hopefully, we can get rolling now.”

Zach Gagne scored the lone goal for Cony/Monmouth (6-5-0), which was out-played, out-worked and out-shot 37-24.

“We weren’t ready,” Cony/Monmouth coach Chad Foye said. “It’s frustrating. We talked about how you have to show up prepared. We’ll keep working.”

Added Gagne: “It was a lack of fire, a lack of intensity. We just didn’t have it.”

Waterville led 3-1 after two periods before it put the game away with three goals in the final five minutes of the third period.

Lee ignited the outburst when he took a pass from Oliveira and beat Cony/Monmouth goalie Tommy Small from out front with 5 minutes, 5 seconds remaining in regulation.

“Michael moved the puck and got it to me,” Lee said. “I was out front and a wide open net to shoot at. I wasn’t going to miss on that one.”

Denis and Edward Atkins scored in the final three minutes to cap the scoring.

“We just kept working hard,” Denis said.

Cony/Monmouth struck first just 5:29 into the game on a goal from Gagne, who made a nice individual effort in the corner.

Gagne, a senior captain, worked to possess the puck in the left corner then came into the circle and beat Waterville goalie Kaleb Kane with a tough-angle shot to the near post.

“I was fortunate,” Gagne said.

However, the Purple Panthers responded with a pair of power-play goals, the first coming just 48 seconds after Gagne scored.

Oliveira skated behind the Cony net then fed Denis a nice pass out front. Denis beat Small with a quick shot to the glove side.

“We’ve been working on the power play a lot,” Denis said.

With five minutes left in the period, Roderigue made it 2-1 when he called for the puck at the right point and blasted a shot through traffic that beat Small to the far side.

“We just kept shooting,” he said. “We played really well. It was a great win for us.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640[email protected]Twitter: @billstewartkj