WATERVILLE — The honest assessment from the Messalonskee boys hockey team Saturday afternoon?

“We kind of got in our heads that we had the game locked up in the second period,” said senior Ben Hellen, who finished with a four-point night as the Eagles dispatched of John Bapst 6-3 in a Class B North game Saturday at Colby College’s Alfond Rink.

Hellen had a goal and three assists for Messalonskee, Dylan Cunningham scored twice and Sean Rodrigue, Bryce Crowell and Evan Hurtubise added goals in the win. Sophomore Mitchell Grant made 28 saves to backstop the victory.

Messalonskee (6-2-1) raced out to a 4-1 lead early in the second period, with the defenseman Rodrigue finishing off an end-to-end rush for the three-goal advantage just 6:53 into the middle frame.

The funny part was this: Rodrigue’s goal came on the very first shot of the second period for Messalonskee, a frame in which the Eagles only tested Crusader goalie Matthew Bryan five times in total. Bryan entered the game just 2:10 after the initial puck drop, with John Bapst starter Loukas Collatos having surrendered two goals on the first three shots of the contest.

John Bapst (2-5-1) was far from done, and it turned its momentum into goals from Colby Brown and Jack Lalime (two goals) less than two minutes apart to cut the Crusader deficit to 4-3 for the start of the final period.

“We worked good as a team and the finish went our way,” Rodrigue said. “We just had to tell each other to get moving more, work a a team and stay positive.”

Cunningham netted his second of the day less than three minutes into the third to provide a boost and some much-needed breathing room for Messalonskee. Hellen finished it off with an empty-netter in the final minute of regulation.

“We knew we had to make something happen,” Hellen said. “We didn’t want to let them come back in the second, obviously, so we had to up the intensity for the third.”

Grant stopped all 16 shots he faced in the third period.

“We knew they were going to come out and be hungry (in the second period), and we needed to be ready for that,” said Messalonskee coach Kevin Castner. “Testament to our team, they stepped up in the third. John Bapst is a good team that works hard, but our team kept our heads, kept with the game plan and we came back and played a strong third period.”

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