HALLOWELL — Games like Saturday night’s do not come along very often for Gardiner Area High School goaltender Michael Poirier.

A junior, Poirier has played a key role in the Tigers’ strong start to the season but against Maranacook/Winthrop on Saturday he had a rare light workload as Gardiner (6-2-0 Class B South) picked up an 8-2 win over the Hawks at Camden National Bank Ice Vault.

Logan Peacock scored a pair of first-period goals to give the Tigers an early advantage, while Tristan Hebert finished with a hat trick. Jake Folsom added a goal and two assists, Cam Bigelow notched three assists and Poirier needed to make just 10 saves to pick up his sixth win of the season in goal.

“The gameplan — like it has been all year — was to be a fast, hard, physical team and dump the puck and chase it,” Peacock said. “Things were starting to click. We beat them to every puck, we made good passes in front of the net and capitalized.”

Poirier entered Saturday night’s contest after a very impressive performance last month. He was voted the Class B South Goalie of the Month for December by the division’s head coaches and finished the month with a 4-2-0 record, .937 save percentage and 1.83 goals against average playing every minute of all six games.

“It was a pretty good month,” Poirier said. “The team played pretty well in front of me and the defense stepped it up toward the middle of the month. They did pretty good and helped me out a bit.”

While Poirier may not have been very busy Saturday, his counterpart, Brandon Baxter, had his hands full as the Hawks goalie was under constant duress.

The puck spent the majority of the opening minutes in the Hawks’ defensive zone but Baxter was up to the task each time despite facing a number of shots.

The Tigers finally broke through with 7:03 remaining in the period when Peacock was the beneficiary of a rebound off a Bigelow shot that popped out right in front of the goal.

Maranacook/Winthrop (0-9-0 Class B South) responded, though, after Zack Godbout attempted the Hawks’ first shot of the game with just under six minutes remaining in the period. The puck caromed off a Gardiner player’s leg on its way to the net but Poirier managed to get his right leg out for the save. The rebound came right to the right post to Nick Bowie, who put the puck home for the easy goal.

“We’re young, we’re very inexperienced with low numbers but one thing they do is they group together and they fight back hard together,” Hawks head coach Chip Jones said. “No matter what happens, they’re working hard.”

The tie game lasted all of 14 seconds, though, as Peacock sniped the top, right corner of the net with 5:22 to play in the first to put Gardiner ahead for good.

“It woke them up,” Gardiner head coach Sam Moore said of the goal. “…Things started to click. Overall I can’t complain with what it was. I thought Brandon played a pretty good game for them.”

Baxter finished the contest with 44 saves for Maranacook/Winthrop, which tacked on its other goal with 2:36 remaining in the third period when Sam Johnson scored off assists from Bailey Baxter and Bowie.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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