The Cony hockey team is in the Eastern A playoffs for a second consecutive season, and it’s made some changes heading into a quarterfinal game tonight against Brunswick.

The No. 4 Rams (11-4-3) are without key forward Austin Davis, as well as defensemen Spencer Buck and Chris Murphy, forcing coach Chad Foye to make some adjustments.

Cony athletic director Paul Vachon said the players violated a school policy.

“We’ve shifted some people around and adjusted for that,” Foye said. “We’ll do the best we can. It adds another element of challenge to it.”

Freshman Connor Perry is seeing more time on the top line with Tyler Leet and Dallas Clark. Fellow freshmen Aaron Manter and Anthony Brunelle have helped fortify the defensive unit.

The Rams and fifth-seeded Dragons (10-7-1) will face off at 7 tonight in the Bank of Maine Ice Vault. Brunswick went 1-0-1 against Cony in the regular season, including a 2-2 tie in their last meeting Jan. 21.

“The first game we played them (a 5-0 loss) they finished off everything,” Foye said. “The second game we stuck with them a little bit better. Whenever you get into the playoffs, it usually comes down to the little plays. Brunswick works hard and they dump the puck and get to the defensemen quickly. We’ll have to be ready for that. It’s one adjustment we’ll have to make. Hopefully, we’ll be up for the task.”

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Maranacook/Hall-Dale/ Winthrop earned the seventh seed in the Eastern A playoffs and will play at No. 2 Bangor at 7 tonight.

“They have a ton of skilled players,” MHW coach Andy Dube said.

“They are solid across the board. They play three lines consistently and are getting good goaltending.It’s going to be a challenge.”

The Hawks (10-6-2) dropped a 4-2 decision to Bangor (15-3-0) in the season opener. The Rams led 3-0 in that game before the Hawks battled back.

Dube also said that standout forward Matt Plourde is “100 percent healthy.” Plourde suffered a mild concussion about two weeks ago.

“He played in three games since and he’s ready to go,” Dube said. “He’s healthy.”

• • •

Messalonskee returned to practice Monday as it awaits who it will face in the Eastern B semifinals Saturday at Sukee Arena.

The Eagles (16-2-0), who earned their first top seed in program history, will play the winner of No. 4 Hampden (11-7-0) and No. 5 Orono (8-9-1).

“It’s a big week of practice,” Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse said. “(Monday) and Tuesday we’ll work on parts of our game we need to improve. Starting Wednesday, we’ll start focusing on our opponent Saturday. We’re going to go scout the game and we’ll go from there.”

Messalonskee, the defending regional champ, lost to Camden 5-4 in double overtime in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship last Saturday. The Eagles won their final five regular-season games.

“We’re healthy,” Latendresse said, “and that is big for us. Last year at this time we weren’t.”

Added senior captain defenseman Dom Dexter: “It was nice to get a little break and to have a full week of practice. I think it will help us.”

By the numbers: Lawrence is one of nine teams in the state to make the playoffs with a losing record. Three of the five Western B playoff teams finished below .500. … The difference between fourth place in Eastern A — and the right to host a quarterfinal game — and seventh was 7.8 Heal points. Western A top seed Scarborough (17-1-0), coached by Norm Gagne, takes a 16-game winning streak into the playoffs.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640
[email protected]

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