Messalonskee’s Ben Hellen celebrates a goal during a Class B North quarterfinal game agaimst Camden Hills on Tuesday night in Rockport. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

ROCKPORT — The Messalonskee boys hockey team’s turnaround continues.

Powered by a hat trick from Bryce Crowell, two goals from Ben Hellen, and a four-point night from Dylan Cunningham, the No. 6 Eagles beat No. 3 Camden Hills in a Class B North quarterfinal game Tuesday night at the Mid-Coast Recreation Center.

Messalonskee senior Dylan Cunningham tries to get away from Camden Hills’ Andrew Orne during a Class B North quarterfinal game Tuesday night in Rockport. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Messalonskee (11-6-2) will face No. 2 Old Town/Orono — which beat Brewer 3-0 on Tuesday night — in the semifinals. The Windjammers finished 11-5-3. It continues a flip in fortune for the Eagles, who finished 1-17-0 last season.

“I’m so happy that we’ve done something this year, it was rough last year not making it to playoffs,” Crowell said. “Just to make it to playoffs this year — let alone win a game — it’s unbelievable.”

“It’s a team effort, it’s a team win,” Messalonskee coach Kevin Castner added. “The kids played really well. I’m really happy with how they showed up tonight. They stayed focus and stuck with the game plan and I’m really happy with how they did.”

The Eagles took advantage of Camden Hills’ penalties, going 4 of 6 on the power play ,including two in the first period from Hellen and Crowell.


Messalonskee led 2-0 after the first period.

“We just needed to play our game plan, stay focused, stay with our mentality,” Castner said. “I knew it was going to be challenging. (Camden Hills) is a really tough team to play. They’re aggressive, so we knew we needed to move the puck.”

The Windjammers crashed the net early in the second period, scoring their lone goal from Levi Guay 15 seconds in to cut the lead to 2-1. But Messalonskee answered three minutes later, when Cunningham took the puck from behind the Camden Hills net, dished a pass off to Crowell in front.

With a flick of his wrist, Crowell buried a shot past goaltender Jackson Bernier for the 3-1 lead. Hellen lengthened the lead to 4-1 before the end of the period, deflecting a Sean Rodrigue shot into the net.

“It’s so nice to score so many goals, I’m lucky to be out there,” Crowell said. “We just work the puck around very well.”

Messalonskee senior Dylan Cunningham, right, and teammate Sean Rodrigue keep Camden Hills’ Levi Guay in check during a Class B North quarterfinal game Tuesday night in Rockport. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Crowell notched his final goal of the game with four minutes remaining in the game, off an assist from Evan Hurtubise. Cunningham had the final score of the game with a slapshot on a power play just two minutes later for the final goal. Messalonskee goaltender Mitchell Grant did an excellent job fending off a desperate Camden Hills attack, making 11 saves in the third period alone to keep the Windjammers to its lone goal.

It was the second meeting of the season between the teams, with the Eagles winning both. Messalonskee also topped Camden Hills 4-1 in a regular season meeting Dec. 14 in Rockport.

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