HALLOWELL — A Cony/Monmouth hockey team that’s been in a slump of late turned in one of its better efforts of the season Saturday night at the Bank of Maine Ice Vault.
Senior Austin Davis scored two goals while Drew Keithley and Aaron Manter added one apiece to lead the Rams to a 4-2 win against Winslow. Alex Berard and Keegan Cain scored for the Black Raiders.
Cony (7-5-0) had lost three of its last four coming into the game and had slipped to sixth place in the Eastern Maine Class A standings. Included in the recent losses were two less than stellar efforts against St. Dominic and Waterville. That wasn’t the case against Winslow (6-5-0), which last week beat Waterville in a matchup of Eastern Maine Class B rivals.
“We worked hard all week in practice and we definitely knew we had to come out and play,” Davis said. “We kept moving our feet which was key and we played through the physicality.”
The Rams took control of the game in the first period. Keithley put them on the board when he redirected a tough angle shot from the left side past Winslow goalie Andrew Beals (18 saves). Both teams picked up the physical pace of the game midway through the period. Cony goalie Tommy Small (21 saves) kept Winslow off the board with a couple of nice saves and Davis added to the lead with just 56 seconds left in the period when he took a pass from Spencer Buck behind his own blue line and skated end to end. His shot bounced off Beals and trickled over the goal line to make it 2-0.
“We played a lot better as a team tonight,” Cony coach Chad Foye said. “I thought we skated and hustled a little more. We’ve just got to develop some consistency off this and keep going.”
The Black Raiders had some good scoring chances early in the second period and finally got on the board with a nifty play from Berard who knocked a crossing pass from Jacob Houghton out of the air with his stick and flipped a shot past Small. The momentum was short-lived. Just 20 seconds later, Manter went end to end, stick handling through traffic and wristed a shot to the top left corner of the net to restore Cony’s two-goal lead.
“That was a nice answer to that goal,” Foye said. “It’s kind of what you look for.”
Winslow picked up the pace in Cony’s end and generated some good scoring opportunities in the third period. Small made a couple of tough saves and a few more shots either hit the post or went just wide of the goal.
“Most teams turn it on when they’re behind and play harder,” Winslow coach Andy Dube said. “It was a game where we had to show up immediately and play hard the first five minutes. Cony came out with a lot of fire.”
Davis gave the Rams a three-goal lead with 6 minutes, 41 seconds left to play with another solid effort.
“Nate Foye flicked it up the boards and I snuck up by the defenseman, lifted his stick, went down, picked a corner and shot and scored,” Davis said. “It was a pretty good play.”
The Black Raiders made it interesting in the final three minutes as they stormed Small and the Cony end. Junior Keegan Caine made it 4-2 when he wristed a shot from the slot into the goal with 2:44 left.
Gary Hawkins — email@example.com