Forty-eight hours after the Messalonskee High School ice hockey team won its second consecutive Class B state championship, coach Joe Hague was still letting the good feeling settle in.

“We’re just trying to get back to normal, I guess,” Hague, the Eagles’ first-year head coach, said.

The Eagles defeated Gorham 7-2 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston on Saturday to win the title. Messalonskee went 20-1-0 this season, but when asked to name a few of the key points of the season, the first thing Hague did was point to the only loss.

On Dec. 17, Messalonskee lost to Class A Bangor, 6-1. The loss came in Messalonskee’s third game, and Hague feels like it set the tone for the rest of the season.

“That shook us all a little bit, and that’s what started our big run,” Hague said.

After that loss, the Eagles closed the season with 18 consecutive wins. It was in the wake of that loss that the top line of Jake Dexter, Jared Cunningham and Brandon Nale began to gel, and goalie Elija Tuell started a hot streak that ran the rest of the season.

Despite the ease with which Messalonskee won so many games, the season was full of games with big moments, and it started on opening night, when the Eagles defeated rival Winslow, 6-5. The Black Raiders opened the game strong, and led 3-0 barely six minutes in before Messalonskee rallied for the win.

“That showed me the kids were willing to work hard,” Hague said. “They were big-game players.”

On Dec. 22, Messalonskee faced a Waterville team that at the time, was the hottest team in Class B East. The Panthers were 3-0-0, and had not been scored on yet in the regular season, outscoring their first three opponents 18-0. Messalonskee won the game 7-2.

Hague also noted Messalonskee’s 12-1 win over Brewer in the regional semifinals as a key game. The Eagles took the ice on Feb. 28 following a two week break since the regular season finale, a 6-2 win over Old Town/Orono. Any concerns that the Eagles would be flat after the long break disappeared early. Messalonskee scored four goals in the first 10 minutes.

After going 41-1-0 over the last two seasons, Messalonskee expects to be a contender again next season. The Eagles lose just two players — Dexter and Tuell — to graduation.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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