WINSLOW – The game itself certainly lived up to the buildup to it.

The Winslow boys hockey team (10-5-0 Eastern B) jumped out to an early lead but could not hang on, as Waterville (10-4-1) rode third-period goals from Matt Joliceour, Gunnar Hann and Michael Bolduc to a 7-5 win Wednesday at Sukee Arena. The two teams have been locked in a tight battle for the No. 2 seed in Eastern B throughout the season.

“They just decided that we had to pick up the intensity and start skating,” Waterville coach Dennis Martin said. “Once we started skating and got that first goal and broke the ice we just picked up our intensity.”

Jimmy Fowler and Jacob Trask goals allowed the Black Raiders to take a 2-0 lead after the first period, but from there it was clear Winslow was in for a fight the rest of the way. Waterville got two goals from Justin Wentworth and one each from Jolicoeur and Cody Pellerin in the second, while Jake Larsen and Jacob Grenier each scored for Winslow to make it 4-4 heading into the third.

The final period was all Purple Panthers, however, as they dictated play for the better part of the period.

Joliceour opened Waterville’s scoring push 4 minutes, 13 seconds into the period when he got the edge on a Winslow defender, skated in on goaltender Andrew Beals and tucked the puck underneath him.

Exactly 1 minute later Hann faked with the forehand just inside the right circle, put the puck on his backhand and lifted it in off the crossbar.

Hann then played a key role in what would prove to be the clinching goal for Waterville, as he, a Winslow defender and Beals each raced towards a loose puck in transition. Hann got to it first and tipped it between Beals’ legs, but his ensuing shot caromed off the right post.

Fortunately for Waterville, Bolduc followed up the play and drove the rebound into the back of the open net with 4:35 to go. Keegan Cain’s goal a little less than 2 minutes later gave Winslow hope, but unfortunately for the Black Raiders they could not draw any closer than the final deficit.

“They took over in the second and I could see it coming,” Winslow coach Andy Dube said. “They were winning one-on-one battles, they were beating us to the puck, they were showing more effort (and) they came at us.

“…Give (Waterville) credit, they took it from us. They played hard, they outplayed us.”

Evan Crawley – 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley


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