HALLOWELL — The Cony/Hall-Dale/Monmouth hockey team has lost six straight games against Bangor dating to the 2014-15 regular season, but the Rams are focused only on the two most recent meetings as the teams prepare to play a Class A North quarterfinal game Tuesday night inside Bangor’s Sawyer Arena.

“It’s really tough to beat a team three times in a row,” Cony defenseman Logan Leadbetter said Monday. “It’s a whole different mindset in playoffs. Anything can happen. Making it to the playoffs is good, but now we need to keep it rolling. It will be different this time against Bangor, I hope.”

After sitting as high as second in the Heal point standings this winter, No. 5 Cony (8-8-2) went just 1-4-1 over its final six games of the regular season. No. 4 Bangor, by contrast, won its final two games of the season to finish 11-7-0.

Tuesday’s winner gets No. 1 Lewiston, the two-time defending state champion, in Saturday’s regional semifinals at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“We played tough teams (down the stretch), so I think we’re ready for the task at hand,” said senior Cole Lockhart, Cony’s leading scorer. “Playing Bangor twice, games we easily could have won but just didn’t go our way, I think it’s time for us to win a big game.”

This marks the second straight season Cony and Bangor have met in the playoffs. Last winter, Bangor bounced Cony in the regional semifinals. Despite Cony grabbing the early lead in the first minute of that game, Bangor stormed back to advance to the regional finals.

It was the beginning of an unfortunate trend for Cony that carried over into this season.

In a pair of losses to Bangor within a 13-day span this month, Cony saw leads evaporate against Bangor. A 2-0 first-period Cony lead turned into a 3-2 overtime loss on Feb. 3; on Feb. 16, four Bangor third-period goals resulted in a 4-2 Cony loss.

“We should have some confidence that we can play and compete with them,” Cony coach Chad Foye said. “We know what they’re going to do. We made a couple of adjustments, but nothing major. We just have to go out and execute and play hard.”

If history — recent or otherwise — suggests anything, it’s that Tuesday’s quarterfinal should be tight. Each of the last five games between the two teams has been decided by two goals or less.

Among goaltenders who have played at least half of their teams’ games this season, Bangor’s Jacob Henry (2.36) and Cony’s Dalton Bowie (2.50) rank third and fourth, respectively, in goals against average. Both have save percentages over .900.

“It’s really just grinding in the third period,” said Leadbetter, who believes the first goal Tuesday will be crucial. “We’ve just got to focus on playing hard through the third period.”

For a Cony team that averaged just 2.25 goals per game against playoff-bound Class A teams, it’s especially important the Rams try to simplify their game against Bangor. Cony will be without forwards Michael Boivin and Sam McFarlane, both of whom are injured.

“We just have to put pucks on net,” said Lockhart, who has 16 goals and 24 points, tying him for sixth in the league in overall scoring. “Putting pucks on net gets you rebounds and creates opportunities. It just goes from there.”

“We’ve got to go to the net a little bit harder, we’ve got to have some depth as we go in the zone, and we’ve got to get shots,” Foye said. “That’s probably the biggest thing. (Henry) is tough and he plays really well. We’ve got to do a lot of little things.”

Bangor relies heavily on its top line, which has accounted for 36 of the Rams’ 59 goals this season. Nick Boudreau’s 15 goals and 24 points lead Bangor, while David Brown and Reid Higgs each have 21 points on the year.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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