WINSLOW – It’s early, but the Messalonskee hockey team looks like it will be a player in Eastern B this season.

The Eagles showed it Saturday night.

Sam Dexter scored two goals and Nate DelGiudice stopped all 17 shots he faced as Messalonskee opened with a convincing 4-0 win over Winslow at Sukee Arena.

“The first game is the most important,” said Dexter, who also had an assist. “We scored first and forechecked hard. It’s what we wanted to do.”

The Eagles (1-0-0), who dropped from Class A this season, dominated play Saturday. They moved the puck well, controlled the neutral zone and otherwise had Winslow (0-1-0) skating on its heels all night.

“I’m really pleased with how we played,” Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse said. “The guys stepped up. I liked our poise.”

Messalonskee scored the only goal it would need when Dexter roofed a shot past Winslow goalie Cam Tibbetts with 2 minutes, 23 seconds left in the first period.

Dexter got the puck from Shawn Veilleux and quickly buried the puck from out front of the net.

“I had an opening and I went top right,” he said. “It was good to get that first one.”

Dexter and the Eagles doubled their lead with a power play goal just 5:16 into the second. Dexter, positioned inside the left circle, collected a rebound off a Corey Foye shot, settled the puck, then ripped it high to the far side to give Messalonskee a 2-0 lead.

“I tried to be patient with the puck,” he said. “I put it home.”

Billy Blake made it 3-0 when he scored off another rebound about three minutes later.

Freshman Jake Dexter scored midway through the third for the Eagles as well.

Meanwhile, the Raiders struggled to generate scoring chances.

Messalonskee defensemen Dom Dexter and Travis St. Pierre helped shut down the Raiders.

“The defense played really well,” DelGiudice said. “They really stepped up and we came out flying.”

Added Latendresse: “It always starts with Nate in net. He made the saves he had to make, and we really played well in front of him. We stuck to our game plan.”
 

Tibbetts played well in net for Winslow, stopping 25 shots.

Bill Stewart – 621-5640
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