It will feel like deja vu all over again this week at the Camden National Bank Ice Vault.

For the second consecutive season, the Winslow/Gardiner girls hockey team will host Brunswick in a North regional quarterfinal. The Black Tigers and Dragons will drop the puck on the postseason at 6:10 p.m. Wednesday night.

Winslow/Gardiner (11-6-1) enters the postseason as the No. 4 seed in the six-team regional tournament, just as it did a year ago. Lewiston/Monmouth/Oak Hill (16-2-0) — which failed to qualify for the playoffs last winter — enters as the No. 1 seed and awaits the winner of the matchup between the Black Tigers and No. 5 Brunswick (7-11-0) in the semifinals.

Winslow/Gardiner has won four straight entering the postseason and the team feels as though it’s playing its best hockey at the right time of year.

“At the beginning of the season, we were really looking forward to this season,” said junior forward Anna Chadwick. “I think we’re right where we want to be. We’re going to keep working hard, but we’re excited for the playoffs.”

Winslow/Gardiner is led by 30-goal scorer Evelyn Hinkley, a senior, and the rest of its top line featuring Chadwick and Sarah Stevens. But the Black Tigers have seen secondary scoring in bunches this winter, in part due to its depth and the ability of some of the team’s defensemen — including senior Bailey Robbins and a trio of sophomores in Julia Hinkley, Gabrielle Hebert and Kathryn Bailey — to jump up and contribute offensively.

“We run three lines, and not too many teams do,” Winslow/Gardiner head coach Alan Veilleux said. “Our second and third lines are pretty equal. Obviously, our first line is pretty dominant, but we try and play as many kids as we can and still stay competitive.”

While the quarterfinal matchup is the same as it was a year ago, the Black Tigers are trying to make sure that it doesn’t feel too familiar. Brunswick handed Winslow/Gardiner a 5-3 loss in the Black Tigers’ first season as a co-op last season. Winslow/Gardiner swept the season series between the two teams last winter with a pair of one-goal wins; this season the Black Tigers again took both games against the Dragons, 5-2 and 6-1.

“We were a totally different team last season,” Evelyn Hinkley said. “We had a lot more upperclassmen. We lost a whole line of forwards, and a lot of our lines got mixed up so we’re playing with people we didn’t play with last year.

“Everybody was very important this year for us. I think we’re more together as a team and playing together.”

Wednesday’s other North quarterfinal will have No. 3 Greely/Gray-New Gloucester (15-3-0) hosting No. 6 Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland (4-13-1). The winner of that matchup travels to meet No. 2 St. Dominic (15-3-0) in the semis.

Most of the second half of the season appeared to have Winslow/Gardiner on track to host Edward Little in the quarterfinals, but the Red Eddies wilted down the stretch. Edward Little lost its final five games of the regular season — including a 3-0 loss at the hands of the Black Tigers in the finale on Saturday — and was outscored 29-3 over that stretch.

That collapse allowed Brunswick to win its final two contests of the campaign and sneak up to No. 5.

In the South, Cheverus/Kennebunk and Portland/Deering are the top two seeds. No. 3 Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland hosts No. 6 Falmouth and No. 4 Scarborough hosts No. 5 Biddeford/Thornton/Wells in the two quarterfinal round matches.

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One big fan of the Kennebec RiverHawks is one of the coaches whose team is chasing them in the Class B North standings.

After Hampden Academy stormed back with a three-goal third period to beat the RiverHawks 3-1 last Wednesday night in Brewer, Broncos head coach Eric MacDonald was incredibly complimentary of the first-year co-op.

“That’s a good hockey club over there, I want to make that very clear,” said MacDonald, whose team lost to Kennebec in overtime in early January. “They’re very well coached. It just came down to heart, but the game could have gone either way. That’s a very good hockey club.”

Despite the loss, Kennebec (9-6-0) still holds the No. 2 spot in the region as part of a logjam for playoff positioning behind unbeaten Old Town/Orono. Presque Isle and Hampden, a pair of 10-win teams, occupy the third and fourth spots, respectively.

Six of the nine teams in the region qualify for the tournament, with the top two seeds getting byes into the regional semifinals.

•••

It looks like the Gardiner boys won’t make the postseason this winter, one year after winning the regular-season title in Class B South.

The Tigers are 1-11-0, next-to-last in the nine-team region and more than 30 Heal points out of the sixth and final playoff spot. But that doesn’t mean Gardiner isn’t showing signs of life.

With a young team, victories are measured on a shift-by-shift basis, head coach Sam Moore said recently.

“Our schedule doesn’t do us any favors (in terms of wins and losses),” Moore said. “Who has a harder schedule than we do? But it’s only going to make these players better in the long run.”

The Tigers have played Lewiston, Edward Little and Bangor — currently the top three teams in Class A North — and still have games remaining against Greely, York and Yarmouth. All three of those teams were Class B regional finalists a season ago.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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