Most of the Colby College men’s hockey team’s the games have been close. Unfortunately for the Mules, they’re still 3-11-1 overall and 1-8-1 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

“It’s very common and easy to be close,” Colby first-year coach Blaise MacDonald said, “and we’re not in the close business.”

MacDonald said the biggest problem has been consistency. He said the Mules will play 40 to 45 minutes of very good hockey, and five to 10 minutes of “very pedestrian” hockey.

“Then we will give up a couple goals and not be able to recalculate ourselves to bring about victory,” MacDonald said.

MacDonald believes a team’s inconsistency comes from its habits — from locker room space to how to you practice, to how you prepare for the game. He says the team is doing its best to identify the issues that might be leading to that inconsistency.

Nick Lanza (nine goals, seven assists, 16 points), Cory McGrath (4-9-13) and Ben Chwick (3-9-12) are the top scorers for Colby. Sophomores Jordan Nathan and Sam Parker and senior Matt Delaney have split the goaltending duties.

One stat that looks alarming is that in 10 conference games, Colby has scored six power-play goals and allowed four short-handed goals. MacDonald said there’s an explanation there.

“I believe two of those short-handed goals were empty-netters,” he said. “The other two were just misplayed pucks. Statistically, compared to last year, I think we’re in a significantly better place with the special teams.”

MacDonald said the team has three major positives.

“I’ve seen very good leadership from our two captains,” he said. “Our work ethic is very positive, both in practices and in games. But to me, work ethic is like breathing — it’s something you should just do naturally. The positive is it’s just a very engaging group of young men to be around.”

Colby is 0-4-1 over its last five games. The tie was against Trinity when the Bantams tied the score with 1:18 left in regulation. MacDonald said Colby then dominated the overtime, although neither team scored.

“So we’ll celebrate those moments a little bit, and try to build on those,” he said. “It is going to be a process, without question. That’s what the focus is on — the process. It doesn’t always bear fruit, but you’ve got to stick with the plan and believe in it.”

* * *

The men’s basketball roster for the University of Maine at Augusta on the school’s website currently has seven players. Coach Jim Ford is hoping that will change, maybe even in the next day or two.

Ford said two or three players are trying to fix some incomplete grades to be eligible for second semester games. One of those players is Maranacook graduate Andrew Pullen, who is averaging 21.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. The Moose are also hoping to add former Cony players Wade Cooper and Anthony Roberts to the roster by early next week.

Cooper’s brother Walker is averaging 17.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game as a freshman. Lawrence graduate Keith Chesley, another freshman, is at 11.4 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per night. Another Lawrence graduate, freshman Emmitt Faulkner, has given the Moose some good minutes off the bench.

Those players helped UMA win six of its final eight games before the December break. Ford said the turning point was the game Nov. 27 against Maine Maritime Academy. The Moose entered the game 1-6 and trailed by 18, but came back for a 57-54 victory.

“It was an entirely new group of guys playing together,” Ford said. “The bell rang when we beat Maine Maritime on the road. From there, all of a sudden, it was like, ‘We can do this.’

“So now if we can get Andrew back, we can build on that. Without him, I think we’ll struggle, but I think we’ll still be competitive.”

UMA has lost twice in January and is now 7-10 overall and 6-5 in conference play. The Moose are trying to hold on to the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division of the Yankee Small College Conference.

Ford said Pullen could return anytime in the next two weeks.

“I’m hoping it’s sooner rather than later,” he said.

* * *

The Colby College women’s lacrosse team, which has made three straight appearances in the national quarterfinals, is ranked fifth in the 2013 Lacrosse Magazine Division III preseason rankings.

Colby, under sixth-year head coach Karen MacCrate Henning, ended the 2012 season ranked seventh nationally in the final Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association poll.

The Mules return most of their players from a team that went 15-3 last season. Two-time all-American Kate Pistel and defender Lisa Hoopes will be co-captains this season.

* * *

The UMaine-Presque Isle women’s basketball team won its Star City Classic tournament this weekend, posting victories over Fisher and Thomas.

Carrabec graduate Randi Kaplan made the all-tournament team due to her breakout game in the 75-71 victory over Thomas on Saturday.

Kaplan entered the game with a total of 16 points in 12 games, but finished with 14 points, five rebounds, three assists, and four steals in 31 minutes against the Terriers.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.