Was it or was it not a goal?

After a trial run during last season’s high school hockey playoffs, the Maine Principals’ Association will once again utilize replay for certain situations during the postseason this winter where it is available — namely Alfond Arena in Orono and the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

“What we did last year was we made the decision if there’s replay at these venues why not use it,” said Mike Burnham, an MPA director. “Then what became painfully obvious after we used it was we needed to state what the guidelines are for using it.”

According to the 2015-16 MPA’s ice hockey bulletin, referees — and, specifically, not coaches — can initiate a review on certain goal scoring situations such as whether the puck crossed the line before time expired or the goal became dislodged. It can also be used to determine if a player was illegally in the crease or to ensure the game clock is showing the correct time.

Messalonskee played in the regional and state finals at Alfond and the Colisee, respectively, last season, but did not have an instance arise where replay was necessary. Second-year coach Joe Hague said Monday, though, that he sees the benefits.

“At this level the kids just want to know what’s going on and whether it went in or not and move on,” Hague said. “It’s as important as a goal in college or the NHL but it’s not to the point where these kids aren’t getting paid thousands and thousands of dollars. It’s one of those things where this is an athletic event for high school kids.

“For getting the call right in a championship game and regional final absolutely. For a game (at Sukee Arena), you’re never going to get it in every rink in the state. It won’t ever be a feasible thing for a lot of people so I think it will be good to just keep the game going the way it is.”

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Cony/Monmouth/Hall-Dale head coach Chad Foye has a good problem amongst his forward group this winter, as the Rams have the most depth up front in his five seasons at the helm.

“We’re just trying to keep everyone involved, keep everyone playing,” Foye said.

Through three games each of the Rams’ four lines have generated at least one goal. In Saturday’s 5-1 win over Massabesic/Old Orchard Beach/Bonny Eagle the scoring was spread out amongst the first, third and fourth lines with Riley Dowe, Riley Boivin, Reed Hopkins, Avery Pomerleau and sophomore defenseman Logan Ledbetter each getting a goal.

Boivin and Pomerleau are skating on the Rams’ first line along with Connor Perry, who returned this season after sitting out his junior year due to complications from concussions. The line of Drew Keithley, Tyler and Bret Sproul did not get on the scoreboard Saturday but have been productive so far this season.

Dowe, a sophomore, has been skating with Cole Lockhart and Anthony Brunelle, while Hopkins has been paired with fellow freshman Michael Boivin and senior Cody Pelletier.

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After rolling over Hampden 11-0 in its season opener, Waterville got its first test late Saturday night and passed it with a 6-2 win over Winslow.

Through the first two games the team’s balance is what has stood out most to head coach Dennis Martin.

“We’ve got a lot of speed on our team and that helps with the experience,” Martin said. “These guys have been going at it for three years most of the guys. We’re veterans now and I think that really triggers with the depth that we have.

The Purple Panthers were talented last season yet still somewhat inexperienced with the core of the team consisting of sophomores and then-juniors Nick Denis and Michael Oliveira. That experience is paying off for Waterville now, though, with juniors and seniors leading the way.

“I’ve seen it with the confidence and composure that they’re playing with,” said Martin of his team’s development since last season.

Denis and Oliveira once again are anchoring the first line for Waterville this season and are paired with sophomore center Cody Pellerin. Junior Justin Wentworth centers the second line with classmates Michael Bolduc and Jackson Aldrich — who leads the team in goals with six — while freshmen Cooper Hart and John Evans have also joined the mix.

Juniors Matt Jolicoeur and Andrew Roderigue anchor the defense along with junior Zach Smith, sophomore Chase Wheeler and senior Ben Hatch. Junior Nathan Pinnette returns in goal.

“This is their third year paired together,” Martin said of Jolicoeur and Roderigue. “They play really well. They’re both really, really solid defenseman.”

• • •

Penalties and difficulties putting the puck in the net plagued Gardiner in its first two games this season, but the Tigers broke through Saturday night with a 4-2 decision over South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete at Portland Ice Arena. It was the first victory for the Tigers (1-2-0 Class B South) under first-year head coach Sam Moore.

“I felt pretty good for the kids,” Moore said. “They worked hard in the other games and we were in them, but they couldn’t buy a goal.”

Moore said he has already seen improvement from his relatively inexperienced team since the first game. The Tigers skate just two seniors in forwards Reid Cotnoir and Logan Peacock, with the bulk of the team comprised of juniors and sophomores.

“They’re coming along and I’ve got some juniors that are really stepping up and being some leaders and leading by example,” Moore said. “They’re starting to come around to my way of thinking.”

Cotnoir has been joined on the first line this season by juniors Tristan Hebert and Jacob Folsom, while Peacock is playing alongside junior Ryan Kelley and sophomore Connor Manter. Junior center Kyle Coombs is flanked by sophomores Cam Bigelow and Alic Shorey on the third line, which has not given up a goal this season.

Juniors Hunter Russell and Alex Porter are the first defensive pairing, while sophomore Sloan Berthieume and freshman Warren Karlberg are the second. Junior Donovan Farris has seen ice time with each group. Junior Michael Poirier is a returning starter in goal.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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