WINSLOW — Gardiner Area High School junior Dalton Sargent acknowledged feeling anxious Wednesday prior to playing goalie for the first time since his youth hockey days.

“Yeah, I was actually really nervous,” he said. “This is a whole new position for me. It’s a lot different.”

Sargent, subbing in for the ill Brad Moore, stopped 13 shots, and Bryant Whitley scored a pair of goals to help Gardiner erase a two-goal deficit in a 5-3 win over rival Winslow at Sukee Arena.

“We asked if (Sargent) could do this and he said, ‘Absolutely I can,’ ” Gardiner coach Jeff Ross said. “I texted him (Tuesday) at 10 a.m. and he came up with all the gear he needed for practice that day. He really did a great job for us and helped out the team.”

The Tigers trailed 3-1 early in the second period before scoring four unanswered goals cap a wild comeback that brought a three-game losing streak to an end.

Austin Moore, Alex Nadeau and Cam Sullivan also scored for Gardiner (3-3-0). Hunter Belanger added a pair of assists.

“We wanted to get back on track,” Ross said. “We just weren’t going to be denied. We’ve been struggling to put it in the back of the net and we just went back to the basics. We just kept putting it on net.”

Winslow, which saw its season-opening losing skid extend to seven games, led 3-1 after Josh Larson and Cam Grenier scored 53 seconds apart early in the second period.

However, the Raiders couldn’t hold the lead, giving up three goals in the third period.

“They played three periods and we didn’t,” Winslow coach Corey Lessard said. “The combination of lack of experience and mistakes cost us. They did us in. We can’t give up 40-something shots and expect to be productive.”

Freshman Alex Berard had a goal and an assist for the Raiders (0-7-0). Larson added an assist and Cam Tibbetts stopped 38 shots for Winslow.

Gardiner cut into the deficit when Sullivan scored with 38 seconds left in the second period. Whitley then scored the equalizer 2 minutes, 23 seconds into the third.

“I got a bounce off the boards and just put it in,” he said.

Nadeau gave Gardiner the lead for good when he beat Tibbetts on a rebound about a minute after Whitley scored. Whitley capped the scoring with 1:11 left in the third period.

“We had lost three in a row and we needed to regroup,” Whitley said. “We had to get back to where we wanted to be. We played well.”

The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period before Winslow struck quickly early in the second. Larson banged home a rebound past Sargent 5:11 into the period before Grenier scored 53 seconds later.

The Raiders seemed poised to take the 3-1 lead into the locker room after two periods, but Sullivan pulled Gardiner closer when he scored with 38 seconds left in the second.

“We did some good things in the second period,” Lessard said, “but we made some mistakes in the third. We just need to keep our heads up and keep working.”

Bill Stewart – 621-5640

[email protected]

 


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