WINSLOW — Power plays were poisonous for the Messalonskee High School hockey team’s opposition last season and the same was so for Winslow on Wednesday night at Sukee Arena.

The Eagles — who converted about half of their power play opportunities last season — scored a pair of goals during a five minute major penalty for boarding between the end of the second and start of the third periods to help them earn a 4-2 victory over the Black Raiders.

“We like to take advantage of our power plays,” Messalonskee senior Jared Cunningham said. “We have a pretty good power play and in five minutes you can get as many (shots) as you want. That was our goal and we got two.”

Cunningham scored two goals and assisted on two others for Messalonskee (3-0-0 Class B North), which got three of its four scores on the power play. Dustin Brown and Jack Moore also had goals for the Eagles, while Dylan Burton and Brandon Nale had three and two assists, respectively.

“Our whole plan this year is just to play pretty good D,” Cunningham said. “Our forwards need to get back, we need to backcheck and I think we’re playing pretty good D.”

Goaltender Andrew Beals had a standout game for Winslow (1-1-0 Class B North) despite the four goals. He finished with 47 saves. The Black Raiders got goals from Jake Trask and Jacob Grenier in the loss.

“Beals kept it within reason,” Winslow coach Andy Dube said. “They out-shot us, peppered us at times and he kept it close.”

Ultimately, it was the boarding penalty with 4:08 to play in the second that gave Messalonskee the opening it needed to take control of Wednesday night’s contest.

“That’s what the game came down to,” said Dube, who disagreed with the call. “You give them a five-minute power play and then they score two goals. Other than that, it’s probably a tie game and we’re in overtime.”

Brown scored a little more than 90 seconds into the power play off an assist from Cunningham to give the Eagles the lead for good. Cunningham then made sure the result held just 1:27 into the final period, finishing off a nice feed from Burton with just Beals between the Messalonskee duo and the goal.

The goal was the 232nd point of Cunningham’s career, which brought him to within just 24 of tying his older brother, Chase, for the school’s all-time scoring record.

“It’s getting close,” Cunningham said. “It’s something that you don’t come across everyday so it’s kind of a cool feeling to be a part of it.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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