The Kings’ Austin Taylor can’t move the puck past the Hawks’ Will Hays during a game Monday in Readfield. Staff photo by Andy Molloy

READFIELD — Joe Hutchinson doesn’t want fancy. He doesn’t want touchdown passes or end-to-end, Bobby Orr-style rushes. The Poland/Gray-New Gloucester/Oak Hill/Leavitt hockey head coach just wants simple.

When he gets that, his team looks as good as any.

The Kings regrouped after a slow first period, erupted for three second-period goals and pulled away to a 5-1 win over Maranacook/Winthrop/Madison/Spruce Mountain in a Class B South game Monday night at Bonnefond Ice Arena. Defenseman Nate Marcotte had a goal and two assists in the win, one of five different goal-scorers for the Kings who overcame a 35-save effort from Hawk senior netminder Will Hays.

“We just had to simplify things,” Hutchinson said of his team’s second-period focus. “It’s like a quarterback in football. You don’t always have to go for the deep pass if the check-downs are there. We were looking for stretch passes and trying to spring guys, but we just had to play the game we wanted to play.”

Austin Taylor snapped a 1-1 tie at the 5:37 mark of the second period, creeping in at the far post to punch home the rebound of a Marcotte shot from the right circle for the Kings’ first lead of the night.

“We started talking about getting our feet off the ice off the breakout and stop standing still and getting some speed getting in the offensive zone,” said Marcotte, a junior at Oak Hill. “We had to start picking off mistakes and winning the little battles.”

The Kings lead extended with a pair of goals inside the final five minutes of the middle stanza.

With 4:22 remaining until the break, Aidan Gonzales beat Hays with a wrister off the rush to build a 3-1 lead, and then Dylan Sellinger added another score with just six seconds showing on the clock to send the visitors to the dressing room with a three-goal cushion.

The Kings’ Cole Gagne collects a penalty while connecting with the Hawks’ Max Thamert during a game Monday in Readfield. Staff photo by Andy Molloy

It was too much for a young Hawks team that was outshot by a 40-19 count to chase down.

“We went into the locker room (after the first period) feeling pretty good about ourselves, but that (Taylor goal) took the wind out of our sails and we never recovered,” Hawks coach Jack Rioux said. “When you have a young team, you don’t have the composure to keep it together. If you’re not on top, you’re struggling to get back on top.”

Marcotte sealed the game with a beautiful goal at the 10:30 mark of the final period, scoring off the rush with the Kings killing a 5-on-3 Hawk power play — beating Hays with a snap shot glove-side just under the crossbar.

“I like skating up the ice,” Marcotte said. “I used to play forward, but I switched to defense five or six years ago. I still have that touch, I guess.”

“We’ve got a couple of guys like (Marcotte),” Hutchinson said. “It’s huge. When things are breaking down, he can get us out of the zone all by himself. When those (defensemen) come below the puck and get some speed going, they can get us out of the zone pretty quickly.”

Maranacook/Winthrop actually had the early 1-0 lead, getting Coleman Watson’s power-play goal at 9:57 of the opening period. His low slapper along the ice beat King goalie Dakota Soucy (18 saves) to cap a start for the Hawks which saw them play a patient, disciplined game.

The visitors answered less than two minutes later when Hays mishandled Reese Collins’ soft wrister from the high slot to tie the score.

The Kings’ Cole Gagne can’t stop the Hawks’ Coleman Watson from crossing the blue line during a game Monday in Readfield. Staff photo by Andy Molloy

From there, the Kings went out and beat the Hawks at their own game — by pressuring the puck in all three zones and keeping numbers in deep on the forecheck to create turnovers.

“Between periods, Joe must have told them that they needed to play the game we were playing,” Rioux said. “They did that to us for two periods.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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