The Lawrence hockey team is one of just two teams in the state — Lewiston is the other — who’ve wrapped up the regular season.

Unlike the Blue Devils (14-3-1), who will likely enter the postseason as the top seed in Eastern A, the Bulldogs (6-12-0) must wait and see if they’ll get into the Eastern B playoffs.

Lawrence entered games Monday ranked seventh in Eastern B Heal points. Houlton/Hodgdon (4-13-0) was in eighth, about three points behind.

The top seven make the playoffs, and first-year Lawrence coach Ted Fabian knows it’s going to be close.

“We’re going to practice the rest of the week with the hopes we’ll have a playoff game,” he said. “We’ve run the numbers and it does look good. We’ll see what happens.”

The Shiretowners, whose pivotal win came against Orono (8-7-1), close their regular season Wednesday against Winslow (3-13-0). A victory over the Black Raiders, coupled with an Orono win over Camden Hills (13-2-0), might be enough for Houlton/Hodgdon to slip in the field. In the meantime, Fabian said the team will use this week to prepare and rest up.

Leading scorer Tyler Boudreau is coping with a lower leg injury suffered in a 5-4 loss to John Bapst last week. Fabian says Boudreau likely would be available if the Bulldogs reach the playoffs.

“He can’t hurt it any worse,” Fabian said. “He’s such a big a part of the team.”

Boudreau has 15 goals and 20 assists for 35 points. Andrew Carpenter is second on the team in scoring with 24 points, including 20 goals.

* * *

Messalonskee made history last season by reaching its first state championship game. It’s on the cusp of making history again this season.

The Eagles have all but sewed up their first top seed in program history as the regular season comes to a close Thursday.

“We’re pretty confident we finish No. 1,” Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse said. “We’re pretty confident we’ll be first going into the playoffs. I don’t think John Bapst or Brewer can catch us now.”

The Eagles (15-2-0) hold a comfortable Heal points lead in Eastern B over the Crusaders (12-5-0) and Witches (11-5-0).

Brewer still has a game left with Eastern A contender Bangor (12-3-0), but a victory Wednesday likely isn’t enough to pass Messalonskee.

The top seed in the Eastern B playoffs receives a bye to the semifinals. Messalonskee closes the regular season Thursday when it hosts Hampden (10-6-0), which is a possible semifinal opponent. The Eagles likely are headed to the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship game Saturday at Sukee Arena against either Camden Hills or Brewer.

“We wanted to follow up last season with another good season,” Latendresse said. “We didn’t want last year to be a fluke and it wasn’t. We’ve been consistent throughout the year. We’ve improved since Day 1.”

The Eagles are also in a different predicament compared to a year ago. For starters, they are healthy entering the playoffs this season.

“We had a lot of injuries at the end of last season,” Latendresse said. “That was tough. Sammy (Dexter) was hurt and Chase (Cunningham) had (mononucleosis). We are in a totally different place as far as health is concerned.”

* * *

Former Lawrence coach Dave Richard is enjoying his role as an assistant to Latendresse this season.

Richard resigned last year after he accepted a full-time job at a food servicing company in Augusta. The increased workload — Richard also runs Instant Replay Pro Shop at Sukee Arena — would hamper his ability to attend afternoon practices.

“I am basically working 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Lawrence practices right after school,” Richards said. “It just wasn’t going to work. But Messalonskee practices mostly later and Mike (Latendresse) called me over the summer and asked if I’d want to help out. It was a tough decision because I didn’t want the Lawrence kids to feel like I walked out on them. But I still wanted to be involved in hockey. It was a tough decision but I ultimately felt like I made the right one.”

Richards started the season coaching the forwards but is working with the defensemen now. He said he’s learned a lot from Latendresse.

* * *

Former Messalonskee goalie Nate DelGiudice is turning in a spectacular season with the Lake George (N.Y.) Fighting Spirit in the North Atlantic Junior Hockey League.

DelGiudice is 15-0-0 with a 2.13 goals against average for the Spirit (27-3-0), who are second in the league behind the Syracuse Stampede.

“It’s been a really great experience,” DelGiudice said. “It’s a lot faster pace and it took a little time to get used to it, but I think I adjusted well. The game is so much faster. I had to be quicker and smarter and make quicker decisions.”

DelGiudice said he hopes to play college hockey, but is unsure of his plans next season.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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