The Cony/Monmouth boys hockey team has not been eliminated from playoff contention just yet, but if the Rams are going to get in they are going to have to win each of their final two games.

“I think there’s an outside chance,” Cony/Monmouth coach Chad Foye said. “We’re six points out of the seventh-place position and we’ve got two games left.”

It has been a tough year for the Rams (5-11-0 Eastern A), who have played well in stretches but have not always got the breaks. Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Poland/Gray-New Gloucester/Oak Hill (8-9-0) — who is also chasing Windham (5-8-2) for the seventh and final playoff spot — was more evidence to that point.

“They had two goals that went off people’s skates and it’s just kind of the way it’s gone for us this year — we haven’t gotten any luck,” Foye said. “At the same token you make you’re own luck when you work hard.

“A lot of it’s just work. When we’ve worked hard we’ve played pretty well. We played Bangor — which is one of the top teams in the state — we worked hard and battled and made some breaks for ourselves.”

The Rams close with games against Lawrence/Skowhegan (10-5-1) and Brunswick (10-7-0) so there will be points available, but they will not be easy to get.

Like the Rams, Gardiner (7-10-0) is also locked in a tight battle with Greely (2-13-1) for the final playoff spot in Western B. The Tigers close the regular season Tuesday against Kennebunk, while Greely finishes against Camden Hills and Maranacook/Winthrop.

• • •

Lawrence/Skowhegan still has two games remaining on its schedule yet it is unlikely that the Bandits will change their position in the Eastern A playoff standings.

The Bandits are currently the No. 4 seed, but have a sizable amount of distance between the three teams ahead of them — St. Dominic (14-2-1), Bangor (12-4-0) and Lewiston (11-5-1) — and three teams behind them — Brunswick (10-7-0), Edward Little (8-9-0) and Windham.

Regardless of where Lawrence/Skowhegan finishes, the most important thing to coach Ted Fabian is that his team continues to play well heading into the postseason. The Bandits have won their last nine games.

“All year long we’ve told the kids it’s a horse race is not a sprint,” Fabian said. “As long as we’re coming down the final stretch playing the best hockey that we’ve played, come playoff time we should be good to go.”

Players like Cody Martin, Adam Littlefield, Trey Michonski and Andrew Carpenter — among others — have played key roles for the Bandits during their long winning streak, but they have also gotten strong play out of sophomore goaltender Curtis Martin.

“He’s stepped up huge. He’s completely into the game and he’s very vocal in his defensive zone,” Fabian said. “He’s playing a lot bigger than a sophomore, I’ll tell you that.”

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While most teams will continue to play makeup games this week, Messalonskee (17-1-0 Eastern B) will get some much-needed rest after finishing up the regular season with a 6-2 win over Old Town/Orono Saturday.

The victory came four days after the Eagles wrapped up a stretch of six games in eight days.

“The rest is definitely welcomed,” Messalonskee coach Joe Hague said. “You get what you get, we’re going to work with it. We’re just going to prepare the best we can for who we think we’re going to get and go from there.”

The Eagles will have a first-round bye when the Eastern B playoffs begin next week but they will not go the entire time without playing. Messalonskee will play in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship Friday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“It scares you a little bit,” Hague said of playing in the game. “You don’t want anyone to get hurt or get into a physical altercation. Those things definitely come into the back of your mind.”

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The race for the second bye in the Eastern B playoffs seemingly is Waterville’s to lose following Winslow’s overtime loss to Old Town/Orono Monday.

The Black Raiders (12-6-0) trailed the Purple Panthers (11-4-1) by a little more than one Heal Point as of Monday evening, but Waterville still has games remaining against Presque Isle (4-12-1) and Old/Town Orono (7-8-1).

While the Purple Panthers have talent, their quick ascension has been a little bit of a surprise to some given their youth. Waterville does not play a senior on its three lines.

“A lot of our freshmen played a lot of minutes last year,” Waterville coach Dennis Martin said. “They take pride in what they do, they work hard and we’re doing the things we need to do to win hockey games. We’re trying to get better with every game.”

As for Winslow, coach Andy Dube is still confident his team can be successful in the postseason even without the opening round bye.

“It will be either Hampden or John Bapst and it’s going to be a huge challenge,” Dube said. “We’ll have to really focus and concentrate on who we’re playing, and at that point that’s the biggest game that we have so far.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley


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