It’s been an up and down season for the Winslow High School girls hockey team, which is skating several newcomers after returning just seven players.

The Black Raiders are 4-11-1, but are still in contention for an Eastern Maine playoff berth.

Five of the seven teams in the East will qualify, and Winslow is fifth in Heal points with just two regular-season games remaining.

“We’re still holding on to it,” Winslow coach Eric Lachance said. “Barring any upsets, we should be all set.”

Winslow holds a comfortable lead in points over Yarmouth/Freeport (5-10-0) heading into the final week of the regular season.

Yarmouth/Freeport closes the season with games against Lewiston (8-7-1) and Cheverus (7-9-0). Winslow finishes with Brunswick (13-3-1) and Gorham/Bonny Eagle (1-14-0).

Sarah Fowler has scored 23 of Winslow’s 40 goals this season.

“She is our offense this year,” Lachance said. “She’s really stepped it up.”

* * *

Messalonskee did what no other Eastern B team has this season: Skate with two-time defending regional champ Brewer.

And not just once, but twice.

The Eagles (9-2-0) fell to the Witches 6-4 on Saturday night at Sukee. They lost a 7-5 decision to Brewer earlier in December. Messalonskee led by as many as two goals in each of those contests.

“Close, but not close enough,” Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse said. “We played well on Saturday, but the end result was not what we were looking for. Until we beat them, I don’t think you can say we are right there with them. They are the better team than us at this point.

“We’ll learn from it, though. If we get another opportunity, hopefully we can succeed.”

Of course, should teams meet again it will come in the Eastern B playoffs. Brewer (12-1-0) and Messalonskee are ranked first and second, respectively, in the region.

* * *

Lawrence spent about 10 hours on a bus Monday as it traveled to Presque Isle for a 3 p.m. game and then returned to Fairfield.

“We left at 9 a.m. and got there around 2 p.m.,” Lawrence coach Dave Richard said. “We got done at 5 or so, and then we headed out. It was a long, long day for us. Five hours up and five hours back.”

The game didn’t make the trip any easier for the Bulldogs (2-8-1), who lost 9-2 to Presque Isle (8-5-0).

“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Richard said. “We’re seeing improvement, just not the wins. We’re young.”

Christian Carpenter and Andrew Carpenter scored for the Bulldogs, who are skating just 18 players.

* * *

Waterville (2-11-0) still has an outside shot at the Eastern A playoffs, but it will likely need at least two victories, and possibly three, in its final five games.

The Purple Panthers play Wednesday at Biddeford (4-5-2) before what coach Dennis Martin says are must-win games against a pair of co-operative teams: Gray-New Gloucester/Poland (2-9-0) and MHW (8-4-0).

“We still have a chance but we’ll need those games,” Martin said. “If we win those games, it may get us enough Heal points.”

Waterville closes the season with Lewiston (8-3-1) and Bangor (10-1-0).

* * *

Lewiston and St. Dominic shook off slow starts and are quickly climbing up the Eastern A standings. Bangor, the frontrunner for much of the season, is holding strong.

And then there’s the Maranacook/Hall-Dale/Winthrop co-operative team that finds itself in a fight for a coveted quarterfinal home game.

The Hawks are 8-4-0 after defeating Gray-New Gloucester/Poland 4-3 on Monday. They are third in Eastern A, trailing Lewiston (8-3-1) and Bangor (10-1-0) but staying ahead of St. Dom’s (7-3-0).

“That’s what we want,” MHW coach Andy Dube said. “We want a home game. It’s what we’re fighting for. We knew (Lewiston and St. Dom’s) would move up. We have to let things sort each other out.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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