KENTS HILL — Two teams were building toward very different things at Bonnefond Ice Arena.

Anchored by seven players producing multi-point games en route to becoming less top heavy than they’ve been in recent seasons, Messalonskee handed Maranacook/Winthrop an 11-1 loss in Class B boys hockey on Wednesday night. Freshman winger Dylan Cunningham registered his first career hat trick, while Dylan Brown and Dustin Brown each added a pair of goals. Tyler Lewis had a five-point night as the Eagles improved to 4-2-0 on the season.

“It felt good. Just going out there and putting the puck in the net, it felt nice,” said Cunningham, the younger brother of Jared Cunningham, the all-time leading scorer in program history. “You just go out there and do your job, put the puck on net and keep putting in the work.”

Messalonskee is hoping that outings like Wednesday’s — with three forward lines and three different defensive pairs in front of sophomore goalie Amber Kochaver (15 saves) producing points — can carry them to a deep playoff run. Where the Eagles relied heavily on one or two players in years past, including their Class B title teams in 2014 and 2015, this current squad seems to understand that depth and balance are each more important than having gaudy offensive statistics restricted to just one or two names on the scoresheet.

“We don’t have the same powerhouse players we had in the past,” said Jack Moore, the second-line center who had a goal and two assists. “It’s definitely different, but I think we’re meshing really well. We’ve just got to keep putting the puck in the net and creating offense.”

Messalonskee coach Kevin Castner cautions that 11-goal games won’t be the norm for a team he hopes will be responsible from its own goal line out. He was pleased at the balanced output against Maranacook/Winthrop.

“We’ve got to play good defensive hockey, be disciplined and stay out of the penalty box,” Castner said. “All these boys work really hard. I can go down the whole roster, but when we make the most of our opportunities, it’s a good thing.”

For Maranacook/Winthrop, it’s been baby steps from the beginning of the winter. Injuries and a subsequent lack of depth have left the winless Hawks (0-8-0) looking for the situational positives from shift to shift.

“I don’t think they outplayed us all that much, we outplayed ourselves,” Maranacook/Winthrop coach Chip Jones said. “It’s hard when you’re going down that hard to find something to fight for.”

The Hawks did try and remain in the game, at least physically, until the final buzzer sounded. They were still attempting to play the body and engage themselves in the game, but a team with only four seniors found itself short on the execution side of the ledger.

The Hawks got an infusion of energy in the form of Dan Shea’s power play goal midway through the first period, cutting a 2-0 deficit in half. Shea collected the puck low in the left circle and then followed up on his own rebound chance for the goal.

That momentum, though, was short-lived, as Cunningham answered for Messalonskee just a minute and a half later to make it 3-1. In the final minute of the period, Ben Hellen added another to send the Eagles into the first intermission with a comfortable cushion.

Moore and Dustin Brown scored goals 80 seconds apart early in the second period as the lead mushroomed to 6-1, and then Dylan Brown, Lewis and Cunningham — who wrapped up his hat trick at the 7:19 mark of the final period — scored in the first half of the third period to put the game far out of reach for Maranacook/Winthrop.

Hawks goalie Will Hayes finished the night with 32 saves.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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