WATERVILLE — The Waterville hockey team finished with just 25 goals in 18 games last season.

The Purple Panthers nearly scored half that Thursday in a rout of Westbrook at Alfond Rink.

Dalton Denis scored a hat trick and younger brother Nick Denis had two goals and two assists as Waterville rolled to an easy 10-1 victory.

“We came out ready to go,” Dalton Denis said.

Waterville, which is competing in Eastern B this season after winning a combined eight games the last two seasons in Class A, scored five power-play goals and another two short-handed.

Tom Samson had two goals and an assist for Waterville, which outshot Westbrook 41-7.

“The effort was there,” Waterville coach Dennis Martin said. “We got contributions from everybody.”

Zach Disch, Andrew Roderigue and Jackson Aldrich also scored for the Panthers.

Waterville scored three power-play goals in the first period and then cruised the rest of the way. Westbrook senior defenseman Shawn McKeough was whistled for a five-minute major penalty for hitting from behind just a minute, 25 seconds into the game. Waterville scored two goals on the power play, forcing the Blazes to play catch up the rest of the way.

“That really helped,” Waterville senior captain Chris Lee said. “We got off to such a good start. We just came out fired up. Those two quick goals really helped.”

Roderigue got things started when he ripped a shot from the left point past Westbrook goalie Alex LeBlanc just under three minutes into the game. Nick Denis made it 2-0 about four minutes later when he slipped a shot past LeBlanc from out front. Waterville led 4-0 after the first period and 7-0 after the second.

“We just got a lot of scoring from everybody,” Martin said. “We skated three lines and got a good victory. It was good to see us play hard and get off to such a good start.”

Waterville returned several key players from last season and figures to be a strong playoff contender in Eastern B. After Messalonskee, which established itself as the frontrunner in the early going, Eastern B is wide open.

“We should be in the playoffs,” Dalton Denis said. “It’s a long season but we have the talent.”

Added Lee: “We’ll be competitive. Hopefully, we can keep this going.”

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

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