WINSLOW — It took a while, a full period actually, for the Messalonskee hockey team to get going in its showdown with rival Lawrence/Skowhegan on Wednesday night.

But once the Eagles did, they never slowed.

Messalonskee (4-0-0) erupted for four second-period goals to erase an early 2-1 deficit and cruise to an 8-2 victory at Sukee Arena.

Jared Cunningham had three goals and four assists to power the Eagles, who trailed 1-0 and 2-1.

“We didn’t come in very focused,” he said. “After the first period, we picked it up a notch. We kicked it into gear.”

Dan Condon had a goal and four assists for the victors as well. Defenseman Dylan Burton also had a huge night with two goals and an assist.

“We were very sluggish at the start,” Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse said. “We just didn’t play well but then all of a sudden we woke up.”

Andrew Carpenter scored both goals for the Bandits (1-2-0), who came out in a trap to try to contain the dangerous Eagles.

“We didn’t know what they would do,” Latendresse said. “The trap did affect us a little.”

Burton pulled Messalonskee even at 2-2 when he buried a shot past Bandits goalie Sam Edmondson just 1 minute, 10 seconds into the second period.

Cunningham then gave the Eagles the lead for good when he took a great pass from Burton and slammed the puck home from out front with 8:43 left in the second.

Condon scored just 23 seconds later and Burton capped the frenzy when he fired a laser from inside the right faceoff circle that beat Edmondson to the far post with 3:07 left in the second.

“We just came out and tried to win every loose battle to the puck and just play hard,” Cunningham said.

The teams were tied 1-1 before the Bandits scored with 7.1 seconds left in the opening period after a turnover on the blue line.

Carpenter took the loose puck, chipped it to himself along the right dasher and skated into the zone with Anthony Paul for a two-on-one rush. Carpenter took the shot himself and beat Messalonskee goalie Ben Weeks with a low shot to the far post.

The Bandits struck first when Carpenter redirected a shot from Trey Michonski past goalie Weeks just 2:21 into the game.

The Eagles broke through with 5:20 left in the period, when Cunningham took a pass from Condon, charged down the slot and roofed a shot over Edmondson to the blocker side.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640[email protected]Twitter: @billstewartkj

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