HALLOWELL — For stretches Saturday night, the Gardiner hockey team was the superior one at even strength.

The problem for the Tigers was the path they wore to the penalty box.

Camden Hills scored four power-play goals, two of them 80 seconds apart from sophomore Charlie Griebel as part of his hat trick, and used the power surge to ride to a 6-2 win over Gardiner in a Class B crossover matchup at Camden National Bank Ice Vault. Griebel had a hand in all four of the man-advantage goals as part of his five-point night.

“Special teams has been the engine for us,” Camden coach John Magri said. “We’ve got a couple of kids that can really kill a penalty… We tend to kill a lot of penalties and the power play was something we’ve been working on this week. I was glad to see that.”

Nate Vanlonkhuyzen also scored twice for Camden Hills, which improved to 2-1-0, while Levi Guay added another.

All-in-all, the Windjammers scored five times during special teams play, including a 4 for 7 night on the power play.

“We talked about it after the first period, we talked about the power play because it wasn’t that strong early in the game,” Griebel said. “We all got pumped up, got out there and turned things around. I think we capitalized on the power plays in the end.”

Gardiner (1-2-0) took seven minor penalties in all — for hooking, cross-checking, tripping, kneeing and the all-encompassing roughing. Tied 1-1 after one period with Tiger Alex Grover and Vanlonkhuyzen trading goals, four second-period minors gave Camden Hills control of the game.

Both Magri and Griebel credited unlikely heroes in the power play’s success against the Tigers: the Windjammers’ third line. That trio drew three of the power plays on which Camden Hills scored.

Griebel scored at 2:48 and again at 4:08 to make it a 3-1 Windjammer lead, and Guay extended it some more a little over two minutes after that.

“Penalties killed us,” Gardiner coach Tyler Wing said. “It was detrimental to the team. Every penalty we took, they found a way to take the opportunity to make us pay for it. … We did well early in the game to keep them from scoring, but then it fell apart as we got tired.”

Gardiner tried to answer with Gabe Poirier’s shorthanded goal with six minutes until the break, cutting the lead to two, and the Tigers used that momentum to carry the play for the remainder of the frame.

Poirier, Cam Bourassa and Cam Rizzo buzzed the Camden Hills net but could not produce another goal.

“If we had been able to answer back, I think we would have had a turning point where the team could have turned it on,” Wing said.

Griebel put things to bed with his shorthanded goal midway through the third, before Vanlonkhuyzen added insurance with 75 seconds remaining.

Griebel broke his arm following a seven-point debut in the season opener as a freshman last year, and his health is key to Camden’s hopes for a run at the Class B North title this winter.

“He was kind of hidden last year, but he’s back,” Magri said. “He’s a talented, smart hockey player.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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