HALLOWELL — A veteran such as Logan Peacock doesn’t just sense when he’s lined up against a vulnerable opponent. He knows how and when to take advantage.

Gardiner kept the pressure on throughout and Peacock and Jake Folsom scored two goals apiece in a 4-1 win over Maranacook/Winthrop Saturday at the Bank of Maine Ice Vault.

Bailey Clark scored the lone goal for the Hawks.

Peacock got his fingernails dirty early, jamming home a rebound midway through the first period to give the Tigers (5-8) a lead they’d never relinquish.

“That was the game plan. We needed to come out quick,” said Peacock, one of three juniors on Gardiner’s senior-less squad. “We knew if we scored first we’d get in their heads first, and hopefully it would be a domino theory.”

“That’s one of the reasons Logan wears the ‘C’ for us,” Gardiner coach Jeff Ross said. “He understood. We talked about how they had a short bench and that any puck that’s in front is going to be up for grabs and Logan took that to heart.”

The Tigers, who beat the Hawks, 4-2, on Dec. 10, outshot the visitors, 13-3, in the first period and 37-13 for the game.

“We knew we could outwork them and get in their head pretty easily, so we decided to keep the pressure on them,” Peacock said. “That caused a couple of errors and gave us a couple of goals.”

“We’ve had a lot of illnesses and injuries, and so our lines are always being jostled and flipped and flopped,” Hawks coach Chip Jones said. “It’s hard for us to get a lot of continuity together and actually start working well together. We’re starting to get a lot of those kids back now. They’re slowly filtering in, but that’s been a main concern to our offensive prowess.”

The Hawks (1-11) could have used a boost early and nearly got one on the game’s first power play, but sophomore goalie Michael Poirier denied Clark from close range to preserve the 1-0 lead.

“Mike’s been real impressive for us all year,” Ross said. “These are hard games for him because he didn’t see much rubber in the first period. A little more in the second, but again, not a lot. The kids were doing a good job of getting on them early coming through the neutral zone, so it’s hard for a goalie to stay sharp in that situation.”

Folsom made it 2-0 46 seconds into the second period. Ryan Kelley won the faceoff to Folsom, who collected the puck at the top of the left circle, skated to the bottom and flipped the puck over Hawks goalie Eli Bulba’s left shoulder.

“Ryan, our center, passed it back nicely and I got a good snap shot off,” Folsom said. “We just had to keep the pressure on, because that’s been our downfall a lot. We just come out in cruise control sometimes, but we actually kept it up tonight.”

Folsom made it 3-0 1:45 into the third. Peacock got his second at 5:29 by finishing off a two-on-one with Reid Cotnoir.

Clark spoiled the shutout at 12:55 by beating Poirier with the backhand.

The Tigers snapped a five-game losing streak Thursday with a 9-3 win over Leavitt. They hope to keep this winning streak going next week against Marshwood/Traip and Houlton/Hodgdon.

“We’re playing a lot better,” Peacock said. “At the beginning of the season, we were starting to build up as a team, then we kind of took a downturn. But now, we’re playing our best hockey so far. We’re playing as a team. We’re hustling, communicating, all of the little things adding up.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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