WINSLOW — Fatigue is setting in for the Messalonskee boys hockey team.

The Eagles — who have one game left in a stretch of five games in seven nights — were not at their best Monday at Sukee Arena, but still had enough left in the tank to deal John Bapst (10-5-0 Eastern A) an 8-2 loss.

“Definitely exhausted, honestly,” sophomore Brandon Nale, who had four goals in Monday’s win, said. “It’s going to be good to get a little rest and a practice in.”

Nale did not waste any time in helping the Eagles (15-1-0) get off to a fast start against the Crusaders, as he scored just 20 seconds into the contest off a feed from Jake Dexter. Less than 1 minute later Nale struck again on an assist from Jared Cunningham, but from there John Bapst began to find its footing.

Tyler Wheeler’s goal with 1:22 remaining in the period allowed the Crusaders to cut the deficit in half heading into the first intermission.

“They also tightened up a little bit too,” Messalonskee coach Joe Hague said. “They were playing good position down low so it was making it a little bit tougher for us to open up and get the pace going.”

A 5-minute boarding penalty assessed to John Bapst’s Jack Powell at 11:06 of the second would prove to be too costly for the Crusaders to overcome though.

Nale completed his hat trick just 6 seconds into the penalty and he would score one more before it expired to give the Eagles a commanding 4-1 lead.

“That 5 minutes is just never ending sometimes. It’s a good way to really utilize the mistake that was made,” Hague said. “Try and capitalize on it and you can capitalize as many times as you can get it in the net.

“It’s definitely something we practice on. We work our power play a lot for these situations because they seem to be happening more often than not.”

Dexter added two more goals for Messalonskee, while Cunningham finished with five assists as the Eagles continued to get great production from its top line.

“It’s tough to stop a line with that much firepower,” Hague said. “They work together well. You saw the passing. Their setups were really good seam passes, getting everything to the far side, working their goalie side to side.”

Dustin Brown and Dylan Burton also had goals to round out the scoring for Messalonskee, while goaltender Elija Tuell finished with 18 saves.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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