WINSLOW — It wasn’t its best game of the season but the Messalonskee High School hockey team kept chugging toward the playoffs Saturday with another convincing victory.

Sam Dexter scored two goals and an assist as Messalonskee cruised past John Bapst 4-1 in an Eastern B game Saturday night at Sukee Arena.

Chase Cunningham scored a goal and two assists for the Eagles (12-2-0), who pushed their winning streak to three games since losing to Brewer on Jan. 28.

The Eagles opened a 3-0 lead before the Crusaders (7-7-0) finally scored on an Alex LaFrance goal late in the first period.

Houlton/Hodgdon 6, Lawrence 4: Lawrence coach Dave Richard said the effort is there and so, too, is the improvement.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, neither added up to a victory in a game between two teams on the outside looking in of the Eastern B playoff race.

“We’ve made wicked improvement,” said Richard, whose team couldn’t hold a 3-1 second-period lead.

“We’re just not winning the games.”

The teams were tied 4-4 after two periods before James Fitzpatrick scored his second goal of the game midway through the third to give Houlton/Hodgdon (4-9-1) the lead for good. Sam Fitzpatrick added an empty net goal to cap the scoring.

“It stinks to lose but we kept battling,” said Lawrence forward Jordan Nutting, who scored a goal and two assists.

Tyler Boudreau scored two goals while Christian and Andrew Carpenter each had a pair of assists for Lawrence (2-9-1).

The Bulldogs led 3-1 when Boudreau scored his second goal of the game just a minute into the second period. However, Lawrence then allowed three unanswered goals — including a short-handed one — to fall behind 4-3 with just under six minutes left in the second period.

The Bulldogs again fought back.

With 1:44 left in the second period, Nutting banged home a rebound off a Christian Carpenter shot to pull the Bulldogs even at 4-4.

“We did a good job of getting back,” Richard said.

Houlton/Hodgdon opened up a 1-0 lead when Sam Fitzpatrick beat Kyle McLain with a low shot from out front with 9:19 left in the first period.

The Bulldogs finally broke through with a pair of goals just 46 seconds apart.

Boudreau evened the game at 1-1 when he came in through the right circle, took a nice pass from Nutting, and then lofted a high shot over the right shoulder Houlton/Hodgdon Payton Porter with 4:03 left in the period.

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