The Cony High School hockey team opened the season with modest expectations: Qualify for the Eastern A playoffs.

Plans have since changed for the Rams (11-3-0), who won seven straight games heading into Monday night’s showdown in Bangor.

The top four teams will earn a home game in the quarterfinals, and Cony entered play Monday in fifth place.

“Originally we wanted to make the playoffs but now we are working toward that,” Cony coach Chad Foye said. “We’ll have to get a little luck for that. A lot will depend on how other teams do. We have our work cut out for us.”

Cony hosts Edward Little (9-5-1) on Thursday, then Brunswick (6-8-1) on Saturday. The Red Eddies and Dragons are in the mix for a home playoff game, as well.

The Maranacook/Hall-Dale/Winthrop co-operative team (8-7-0) entered play Monday in fourth place.

“We have a pretty big week,” Foye said.

• • •

MHW has lost three straight games for the first time this season, stalling its charge for a top four seed in Eastern A.

“We have to get back on track,” MHW coach Andy Dube said. “Everyone seems to be getting better but us. There is not a lot of time left, there is some, but not a lot. We need a big win here.”

MHW lost to Edward Little and Waterville (4-12-0) last week.

“The Edward Little game hurt us,” Dube said. “They’re gaining. This is a slump. I keep telling the kids to hang in there. The puck will bounce the right way eventually. The perfect time to come out of it is this week.”

The Hawks will play Mt. Ararat/Lisbon (5-8-1) today before they host Eastern A frontrunner Lewiston (11-3-1) on Friday.

MHW will also play Messalonskee (14-2-0) on Feb. 22

“We haven’t beaten a team above us in the rankings,” Dube said. “We’re capable of beating Lewiston. I really believe we can. Messalonskee and Lewiston, we have to win one of those games, if not both.”

• • •

Gardiner will need a strong finish to reach the Western B playoffs after dropping its fourth straight game, losing 4-1 to York on Saturday night.

The top five teams in Western B will make the playoffs, and Gardiner is sixth. The Tigers (6-9-0) will close the season with games against Camden Hills (7-7-1), Cape Elizabeth (9-4-2) and Yarmouth (9-4-1).

They will need to win at least two, if not all three, to make the playoffs.

“We still have an opportunity,” Gardiner coach Jeff Ross, whose team has allowed 23 goals in their last four games. “I think we need to get all three. It’s a tough hill to climb. All three are tough teams, but they are all worth points. It’s going to be us or Camden.”

The two teams play Wednesday night. Gardiner defeated Camden Hills 2-1 earlier this season.

“Camden is the one team that can slide to us,” Ross said. “If we lose to Camden, it’s pretty much over. We have our work cut out for us.”

• • •

The Kents Hill boys (17-8-1) are riding a five-game winning streak and have played themselves into the Division I playoff mix.

Of the 60 New England prep schools, 24 will qualify for postseason play. The top eight, regardless of school enrollment, will compete in an open tournament. The remaining 16 teams will be divided into large and small school divisions and hold their own tournaments.

Kents Hill is ranked 23rd in the New England Prep School Ice Hockey Association.

“We’re getting to be very competitive,” Kents Hill coach Larry Cockrell said. “We hope to be competitive for a small school slot. We have five games left, including three big league ones.”

Those include Brunswick School, North Yarmouth Academy and Hebron.

Winthrop native Mark Dufour, a junior who is drawing interest from Division I schools, leads the Huskies with 36 points, including 22 goals.

Kents Hill won the New England prep Division II title in 2008 before moving up to Division I in 2009-10.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.