WATERVILLE — Jake Trask, a three-sport athlete, has been a part of enough games between Winslow and Waterville Senior High Schools in his career to know it is always going to be highly contested when the two schools get together.

“No matter what it’s always tough because it’s always a close game,” Trask said.

How Monday’s contest between the two school’s hockey teams — a 4-4 draw — went depends on whom you ask. For the Black Raiders (4-2-2 Class B North), it was a step in the right direction — particularly after suffering a 6-2 loss to the Purple Panthers (5-0-1 Class B North) just two weeks ago.

“(There was) more discipline on our part, tighter defense and we took more advantage of our opportunities,” Winslow head coach Andy Dube said of the difference between the last time the two teams faced off.

Dube also noted it helped considerably to have senior Andrew Beals in goal, who was a big reason why Monday’s result felt more like settling for a tie for Waterville. Beals finished the game with 46 saves, including 12 in the overtime period.

“I thought we outplayed them for much of the game. We gave up a couple bad breaks, they capitalized and put them in the net,” Waterville head coach Dennis Martin said. “Their goaltender did a heck of a job. They took advantage of what they could with their chances.”

As it is with any draw, each side left feeling they had left a few chances late that could have tipped the scales in their team’s favor.

Trask, who had a hat trick in the contest, scored what would be the game’s final goal with 7:49 remaining in the third period. Moments after Waterville had come ever-so-close to scoring on a power play, Jacob Grenier chipped the puck out of the defensive zone off the boards to his right. Trask got to the loose puck first, skated in towards Waterville goaltender Nathan Pinnette (24 saves) and beat him to his stick side just inside the far post on a shot just inside the right circle.

Trask very nearly struck again four minutes later when freshman Tommy Tibbetts set him up for an open shot on goal, but Trask could not elevate the puck and swept it into the pads of Pinnette.

“There’s always room for improvement and I had a couple missed opportunities,” Trask said. “Tommy set me up really good at least two times and it just wasn’t meant to be.”

Winslow only got one more really promising chance when Pinnette couldn’t corral an initial shot from Jacob Grenier but Logan Denis just missed getting a stick on the rebound 1:25 into the extra period.

For Waterville, meanwhile, the chances were more frequent yet often less promising. A tripping penalty on Winslow’s Dameron Rodrigue with 2:20 to play in regulation gave the Purple Panthers a prime opportunity, but on a number of occasions the Winslow defense managed to force Waterville into some shots from difficult angles.

“We took the front of the net away and blocked a lot of shots,” Dube said. “We didn’t leave the man open in front of the zone, which we did last time so we’re tightening up on defense.”

Waterville sent 12 shots on goal in overtime but its best scoring opportunity came on one that was just inches off the mark.

Justin Wentworth — who had a pair of goals in the game — swooped into the attacking zone along the left boards with a Winslow defender on his hip as the clock ticked past the midway point of the extra period. As he made his move from left to right, he got Beals out of position but could not get a strong shot on net from point-blank range with one hand on his stick and the other warding off a defender. The shot hit the right post and the Black Raiders quickly swarmed to clear the puck away.

“He just got knocked off a bit, ended up hitting the post,” Martin said. “It’s one of those things where I thought a lot of the bounces went their way.”

As the final score indicated, the contest was close throughout on Monday.

Waterville wasted little time in jumping ahead after Wentworth intercepted a clear attempt just on the Winslow side of center, played the puck to himself off his skate and buried the puck in the goal just above Beals’ left shoulder 1:40 into the contest.

The Black Raiders tied the game before the end of the period, though, when Trask scored the first of his three goals with 2:13 remaining in the first. Winslow surged ahead midway through the period on a goal from Tibbetts, but the lead would not last as Michael Oliveira and Wentworth scored a pair of goals 54 seconds apart to put Waterville back on top.

The Purple Panthers pushed their lead to 4-2 on a goal from Matt Jolicoeur, but that advantage — the largest for either team in the contest — lasted just 10 seconds after Trask scored his second moments later to cut the deficit to 4-3 after two period.

“We played pretty well and I think we were on a roll,” Jolicoeur said. “We didn’t lose so we’re still looking up.

“A couple bad breaks, that’s all. We still played pretty well so I’m not too upset about that.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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