WINSLOW — Their playoff berths secure, the Messalonskee and Maranacook/Hall-Dale/Winthrop hockey teams wrapped up their regular seasons Wednesday night with similar goals: To bounce back from defeat.

Thanks to a tie-breaking goal in the third period by James Varney, it will be the Eagles who will enter the postseason with a little momentum.

Varney had a goal and an assist to lift Messalonskee past MHW 4-2 in the regular-season finale for both teams Wednesday night at Sukee Arena.

“We grinded it out,” Varney said. “It wasn’t our best game of the season, but we’ll take it.”

Travis St. Pierre, Sam Dexter and Jake Dexter also scored for the Eagles (15-3-0), who will enter the Eastern B playoffs as the No. 2 seed.

Dan Condon had a goal and an assist for the Hawks (9-9-0), who appear locked into the fifth seed in Eastern A. Jason LaPorte also scored for MHW.

“The effort was there,” said MHW coach Andy Dube, whose team lost for the fourth time in five games. “The game could’ve gone either way. We’ll have something to build on for the playoffs.”

The teams were tied 2-2 after the second period before Varney poked home a loose puck in front after a wrap-around attempt just 2 minutes, 43 seconds into the third.

“The puck was just sitting there and I shot it,” Varney said. “It was a lucky goal. I actually thought their goalie (Tyler Plante) had it.”

Plante didn’t, but he still finished with 41 saves in what was otherwise a strong performance.

“He made some great saves for us,” Dube said. “He kept us in it.”

Messalonskee senior Nate DelGiudice stopped 31 shots and St. Pierre added an empty-net goal with 25 seconds left to seal the victory.

“It’s definitely good to get a win in the last game of the season,” DelGiudice said. “It wasn’t the best game we played, but we did what we needed to do.”

Messalonskee trailed 1-0 after the first period but scored twice in the opening seven minutes of the second to take a 2-1 lead.

Jake Dexter pulled Messalonskee even just 35 seconds into the second when he banked the puck off an MHW defender and past Plante.

Sam Dexter then scored a power play goal eight minutes later to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead.

Dexter took a pass from St. Pierre and came out of the left circle and into the high slot, where he buried the puck to the short side.

Condon pulled the Hawks even when he scored from out front with 40 seconds left in the second period.

“We battled,” Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse said. “I don’t think both teams played particularly well but it is nice to go into the playoffs with a win.”

The Hawks jumped out to a 1-0 lead 6:18 into the game when LaPorte scored a power play goal.

“We played some good hockey,” Dube said. “If we play like that in the playoffs I think we’ll be OK.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]


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