The Winslow girls hockey team needed to win its final two regular-season games to climb into the East Division playoffs.

“There was no margin for error,” Winslow coach Chris Downing said. “We had to win it.”

And that’s just what the Raiders (5-10-3) did. Winslow pulled out a pair of one-goal victories — 3-2 over Yarmouth/Freeport and 4-3 over Gorham/Bonny Eagle — to earn the fifth and final playoff berth.

“We put it all together,” said Downing, who is in his first season. “We’re very, very excited.”

No. 5 Winslow will play at No. 4 Brunswick at 7:45 p.m. Thursday night at Bowdoin College’s Watson Arena. The teams split their regular season meetings.

“This is going to be fun,” Downing said. “It’s going to be a good game, no doubt. It wouldn’t surprise me to see another one-goal game. We match up with them.”

Forwards Jen Poulin and Paige Veilleux lead the Raiders, along with goalie Jessica Cain. Veilleux and Poulin each scored two goals against Gorham/Bonny Eagle in the regular-season finale that clinched a playoff berth.

* * *

Skowhegan (11-2-1) entered play Monday clinging to fourth place in Eastern A Heal points after a 5-0 loss to Bangor and a 3-1 win over Gray-New Gloucester/Poland last week.

“We’ve been playing pretty good,” Skowhegan coach Jeff Fowler said. “We gave Bangor a game. But we’ll find out what we’re made of with the rest of the games we play.”

Skowhegan closes the regular season with games against Maranacook/Hall-Dale/Winthrop (7-4-2), Cony (8-3-3) and Brunswick (6-7-1). If the Indians are to earn a top-four berth, they will need their offense to spring to life again, Fowler said. They’ve scored four goals in their last three games.

“Yeah, I’d like to see us score more goals,” Fowler said. “We’ll be working on that this week. We have to find ways to bury the biscuit.”

Fowler added he is not inclined to break up the top line, which is comprised of Trey Michonski, Kyle Demchak and Jake Johnson.

Anthony Paul was moved up to the second line with Chase Nelson and Cam DesPres. Paul scored two goals and Nelson added another in the win over the Patriotic Knights on Saturday.

“Hopefully, we can get the offense going here,” Fowler said.

* * *

Messalonskee will play Brewer on Wednesday in a game that could determine the all-important No. 1 seed in the Eastern B playoffs.

The Witches (10-3-0) and Eagles (11-2-0) will face off at 5 p.m. at the Penobscot Ice Arena. Messalonskee has won the last two meetings, including an entertaining 7-6 game at Sukee on Jan. 2

“This is a really important game,” Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse said. “We’re pretty much tied with them at the top of (Eastern B). The winner will probably take first and that’s a place we’d like to be.”

Seven teams will qualify for the Eastern B playoffs. The No. 1 seed will advance to the semifinals with a bye in the quarterfinals.

“The PIA is not an easy place to play,” Latendresse said. “To get that bye, that’s important. It’s just one step closer.”

* * *

Deborah Heath remembers her younger brother, former Gardiner hockey captain Ted Robbins, as a fun-loving person with a good sense of humor and a passion for hockey.

“He was fun to be around,” said Heath, 58, of Brunswick, “and, boy, did he love hockey.”

It’s been 32 years since Ted Robbins — who graduated from Gardiner in 1978 — died from complications of colon cancer, and his legacy will be secure when his No. 18 will be retired Thursday night at the Bank of Maine Ice Vault.

Robbins, who helped Gardiner reach the Class B championship game his senior year, died Feb. 4, 1981.

Robbins played for coach Norm Gagne, who promised the family that one day his former captain forward would be honored in some capacity.

That day will come prior to Gardiner’s game Thursday with the Maranacook/Hall-Dale/Winthrop co-operative team.

“It’s such an honor,” Heath said. “It means so much to our family. I know it’s quite an honor for my mother. We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.”

Gagne, who coaches Scarborough, coached Gardiner for 13 years, beginning in 1973. He will speak at the brief ceremony Thursday, which will begin at 8 p.m.

“Teddy, he was special,” Gagne said. “His senior year, he was a great leader for our young guys. He took them all under his wing. I remember that every day he would lead this chant with them: “One, two, three, we believe.’

“I remember visiting him in the hospital when he was sick and his last words to me were, “hey, coach, I still believe.’ I won’t ever forget Teddy Robbins.”

Robbins was diagnosed when he was 20 years old and studying at Calhoon Maritime Engineering School in Easton, Md. Heath was living in Baltimore at the time.

“That time was special,” she said. “We got to see each other a lot. We missed our first Thanksgiving from home together.”

A banner with his name, No. 18 and the date of his birth and death will be raised to the rafters at the Vault.

“It’s a pretty sharp banner,” said Gardiner coach Jeff Ross. “It’s nice that he will be remembered this way.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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