Chad Foye is not big into changes, particularly when it comes to setting his forward lines.
The patience paid off for the Cony coach in a 4-2 win over Winslow on Saturday.
“I’m slow to change when it comes to lines,” Foye acknowledged. “I like to develop that chemisry and let them play. I can’t let one or two bad games change that.”
Cony (7-5-0) had lost three of four games and slid down the Eastern A standings before it beat Winslow.
Leading scorer Austin Davis, who skates with Drew Kiethley and Anthony Brunelle, scored a pair of goals.
Aaron Manter, Connor Perry and Evan Bowers are skating together on another line.
“The more they all work together, the better they will be,” Foye said. “We had to be patient.”
The Rams entered play Monday ranked sixth in Eastern A. The top seven teams qualify for the playoffs.
Cony still has a pair of games remaining against Edward Little (7-3-0) and Brunswick (7-4-1). The Rams also play Lawrence/Skowhegan (5-5-0), which is in the playoff hunt as well.
“We can make a statement and do some big things,” Foye said. “We’ll all be competing for two or three spots that are open. They are some big games coming up.”
Cony will host Brunswick at 8 p.m. Thursday.
â€¢ â€¢ â€¢
Not much has gone right for Gardiner (1-9-0), which is headed toward another season in Western B without a playoff appearance.
However, several players have enjoyed strong seasons for the Tigers, starting with senior goalie Brad Moore.
“Hes been the backbone for us,” Gardiner coach Jeff Ross said. “He knows we’re young and he knows we have a lot of expectations on him. He’s handled it very well.”
Moore is constantly under pressure, facing at least 30 shots a game. Most, said Ross, are high-percentage shots.
“He sees quality shots and a lot of second and third opportunities,” Ross said. “It’s a lot, but he never complains. He never yells at the guys or points fingers. The only time he ever gets really mad is when he doesn’t make the saves. He’s an ideal teammate. He’s been a shining light for us.”
Gardiner played at Windham (2-6-1) on Monday night and will host Old Town/Orono (0-9-0) on Saturday.
â€¢ â€¢ â€¢
Waterville picked up a pair of big wins against Presque Isle and Houlton/Hodgdon to take a firm grasp on second place in Eastern B.
The Purple Panthers (8-3-1) haved won three straight games since losing a tough 4-3 overtime decision to Winslow on Jan. 15.
“So far, we’re in good shape,” Waterville coach Dennis Martin said. “As a team we’re starting to get better and better. We’ve been playing some good hockey.”
Waterville, which lost key forward Dalton Denis (violated team policy) for the season, is benfitting from the recent strong play of forward Nick Denis, goalie Kaleb Kane and forward Tommy Samson, among others.
Kane scame up big in a 2-1 victory over Presque Isle last Friday, stopping Andrew Michaud on a penalty shot with 1 minute, 16 seconds left in regulation.
Denis has a team-leading 15 goals while Samson picked up a goal and three assists last weekend.
â€¢ â€¢ â€¢
Lawrence/Skowhegan entered action Monday night 5-5-0 and holding onto the seventh and final berth in Eastern A.
The Bandits had won three of their final four games entering a showdown with Edward Little on Monday.
“The kids are more focused this year,” Lawrence/Skowhegan coach Ted Fabian said. “We’ve had some adversity but we’ve handled it well.”
The Bandits likely lost senior captain Andrew Carpenter (broken collarbone) for the season. He had surgery last week. His absence created a void in the Bandits lineup at both ends of the ice.
“He did so much for us,” Fabian said. “He’s a special player who is really irreplaceable. With him being out, it’s brought some adversity. We’ve needed a lot of other guys to step up.”