WINSLOW — Bring on the Eagles.

At least that was the message the Winslow boys hockey team delivered with their play on the ice Wednesday night as the Black Raiders scored three goals less than one minute apart in the second period in a 7-1 win over Maranacook/Winthrop at Sukee Arena.

Winslow (7-2-0 Eastern B) plays Messalonskee (6-1-0) Saturday night at Sukee in a rematch from opening night, a 6-5 come-from-behind victory for the Eagles.

While the final score ultimately was decidedly in Winslow’s favor Wednesday night, it still will need to get off to a better start against Messalonskee.

“We’ve been talking about the game on Saturday, we’ve tried to use some practices and this game to prepare for Saturday,” Winslow coach Andy Dube said. “We know that the way we played in the first period if we bring that to Saturday it’s not going to work out to our advantage.

“The second period was better and the third period was even better.”

Against the Hawks (1-6-0 Western B) neither team could gain the advantage early, thanks in part to strong goaltending from both Winslow’s Andrew Beals (11 saves) and Maranacook/Winthrop’s Brandon Baxter (28 saves).

The Black Raiders finally broke through with 2 minutes, 3 seconds remaining in the opening period when Jake Larsen scored off an assist from Alex Berard, but the Hawks had the answer early in the second when Peter Prescott slipped behind the Winslow defense for a breakaway goal to tie the game at 1-1.

Both teams jockeyed back-and-forth until the game clock ticked under six minutes and the Black Raiders exploded.

First, Jacob Grenier flipped a second shot on net with the backhand after his initial attempt had been stopped by a Hawks defender. The follow-up found its way in between Baxter’s blocker and right leg for a goal with 5:58 to play in the second.

It took just 44 seconds for the Black Raiders to strike again, as Berard lunged for a rebound with his stick at the same moment Baxter tried to cover up, resulting in the puck just squirting underneath the Hawks’ goaltender.

The final goal in the spurt came just 13 seconds later, as Larsen ripped a thunderous slapshot past Baxter to give Winslow a commanding 4-1 advantage. In the third period Berard scored twice and Jacob Trask once to round out the scoring.

For the Hawks it was not the best of finishes, yet coach Chip Jones believes his team did enough in spurts to build on going forward.

“I thought we played a lot more positive game than we’ve played in the past,” Jones said. “Even though they scored as many goals as they did, we controlled a better defensive zone and challenged more in the neutral zone. Those have been two things that we’ve been really lacking on the last few games.

“We really talked about getting out of the individuals and it’s all about team. We weren’t looking for the win, we were looking for a positive game. We needed a springboard game and I think this was a good springboard game.”

• • •

Earlier in the evening at Sukee it was a hot start with an ice-cold finish that did in the Lawrence/Skowhegan co-op (1-4-1 Eastern A) in a 4-3 loss to Bangor (6-2-0).

The Bandits raced out to a 3-0 lead by the early part of the second period only to watch their advantage dissipate. Ben Crichton scored the game-winner for the Rams with 1 minutes, 43 seconds remaining in the contest on a wrist-shot from just outside the left circle, as a screen by Alec Coleman-Pray in front of goaltender Curtis Martin kept the Bandits’ goalie from ever seeing the puck on the shot.

The Bandits may not have come away with a win, yet coach Ted Fabian said after the game that he still saw progress from his team.

“If you look at where we were at the beginning of the year to where we are now, I think we’ve come a long way,” Fabian said. “It doesn’t show it in the win column but we’ve come a long way.

“…It’s a horse race, not a sprint.”

Wednesday night’s game was a perfect example of that lesson, as the Bandits charged out of the gates to take a 1-0 lead just 30 seconds into the contest on the first of three goals from Cody Martin.

Just three minutes later it was Martin again, this time getting a fortuitous bounce as his shot deflected straight up in the air off Bangor goaltender Derek Fournier’s stick and landed just over his left shoulder before trickling into the net.

Martin’s third goal came 2:50 into the second, as Adam Littlefield sent a pass off the left boards that travelled nearly two-thirds the length of the ice and caromed back towards center to spring Martin for a breakaway.

The score gave the Bandits a commanding 3-0 lead, yet during that stretch Lawrence/Skowhegan had a few more opportunities to score of which it failed to take advantage.

“We had a couple chances to bury a few more goals — open nets — and we just didn’t do it,” Fabian said. “That could have been the nail in the coffin.”

Instead of being buried, Bangor managed to come back from the dead and do so in a hurry. Crichton scored his first goal with 6:25 remaining in the second and less than one minute later Nick Graham scored to make it a one-goal game.

“They’re one of the top teams in the state, they’re not just going to a roll over die,” Fabian said. “Once they got their momentum they came and they came quick.”

The Bandits nearly escaped the period with the lead, but with 18.5 seconds left Coleman-Pray managed to sneak the puck inside the near post on Curtis Martin on a one-on-one break to tie it up heading to the final period.

Both teams had their chances in the third, yet it was the Rams — thanks in large part to Coleman-Pray’s work in front of the net — that left Sukee with a win.

“He had a great night. We told him to get in front of the net and screen the goalie, and he did a great job,” Bangor coach Quinn Paradis said. “He did what he had to do to help the team win.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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