BREWER — The Hampden Academy boys hockey team only needed one good period Wednesday night. In fact, it really only needed one good shift.

The Broncos scored three third-period goals, erasing an early deficit and holding on to beat Kennebec 3-1 in a Class B North game at Penobscot Ice Arena. Sam Economy and Alex Briggs scored goals just 82 seconds apart in the infancy stages of the final period for Hampden (10-3-0), which won for the fourth time in its last five games.

Kennebec, which saw its three-game winning streak snapped, got an early power-play goal from Tom Tibbetts. Sophomore goalie Bryce Gunzinger made 21 saves.

TURNING POINT: After being outplayed for nearly the entirety of the second period, Hampden came out and scored twice in the first 1:29 of the third to both get on the scoreboard and take the lead.

The sophomore Economy walked through the Kennebec defense off the opening draw of the period to tie the score just seven seconds after the teams returned from the dressing room to tie the game at 1-1.

“Getting a goal seven seconds in definitely sets the tone for the whole period,” Economy said. “We just go hard every play. Hard work is our thing — beat teams to pucks, win the races, and good things will happen.”

Junior Alex Briggs took a RiverHawk turnover at their own blue line and roofed a backhander over Kennebec goalie Bryce Gunzinger at 1:29. The goal proved to be the game-winner.

“We just talked about playing with heart. It all came down to heart, it’s no secret,” Hampden coach Eric MacDonald said of his speech prior to the third period. “I challenged them. I said, ‘Hey, heart.’ That’s all it came down to.”

INJURY REPORT: The RiverHawks played the final two periods without Tibbetts. Tibbetts, a junior left wing, was removed from the game after the first period with concussion symptoms.

“It was precautionary,” Kennebec coach Jon Hart said.

Tibbetts went down hard in the right wing corner early in the first period after a collision with Hampden’s Parker Shawley. He later scored on the power play to put Kennebec up 1-0.

Freshman Brandon Mason took Tibbetts’ place on the RiverHawks top line with Cody Pellerin and Cooper Hart.

“Losing Tommy hurt,” Hart said. “That’s a guy that’s going to make big plays, and he’s proven that.”

DIFFERENT FEEL: The game bore no resemblance to a Jan. 6 meeting between the two teams. In that game, Hampden carried a lead into the third period before Kennebec stormed back to force overtime and win the game.

The first period Wednesday night looked a lot like a playoff game, with the teams feeling each other out in a battle for puck possession in the neutral zone. The second period was nearly as tight, though the RiverHawks enjoyed a territorial edge they could not turn into an insurance goal.

“When you play an entire second period and outplay them,” Hart said, “it came down to small little moments. That’s about growing up. We didn’t have that extra gear when we needed it.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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