Presque Isle captain Connor DeMerchant, center, is congratulated by teammates after the Wildcats scored in second period of a Class B North semifinal game against Hampden Academy on Friday at Colby College in Waterville. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan Buy this Photo

WATERVILLE — It’s amazing what can happen in two minutes in a hockey game.

Two minutes made all the difference Friday night for the fourth-seeded Presque Isle boys hockey team, which upset No. 1 Hampden Academy 4-1 in a Class B North semifinal game at Alfond Rink.

Presque Isle (14-5-1) advanced to the regional final, for the second time in three seasons. The Wildcats dropped a 6-1 decision to Old Town/Orono in the 2018 regional final.
Hampden finished 14-2-4.

Hampden Academy’s Samuel Economy, left, and Presque Isle’s Caleb Levesque fight for position to get to the puck during a Class B North semifinal game against Hampden Academy on Friday at Colby College in Waterville. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan Buy this Photo

Neither team gained much ground in the first period, though Hampden held a 9-5 shot advantage. But just five seconds into the second period, Connor DeMerchant ripped a shot near the right face-off circle that sailed past Broncos goalie Cooper Ryan for the 1-0 lead. Just 49 seconds later, DeMerchant added his second goal to extend the Wildcats’ lead to 2-0.

Colby Carlisle rounded out the scoring surge for Presque Isle two minutes later to make it a 3-0 game.

“(The first period) was intense for 15 minutes,” Presque Isle coach Carl Flynn said. “Whoever could carry the intensity into the second period was probably going to win the game.”

The Wildcats outshot the Broncos 14-5 in the period alone.

The Broncos fought back in the third period, notching its lone goal on a wrist shot by Khaleb Hale three minutes into the period. But Hampden could never gain any more ground on Presque Isle. Jonah Roy added an empty net goal with 37 seconds left to seal the game.

“I told the boys between the second and third period, I have walked across this sheet of ice, in this game, thinking at this point in the game thinking we had the game,” Flynn said. “Only for the other team to tie it up and fight for our lives in overtime. I said, please don’t let that happen again. They didn’t.”

Presque Isle outshot Hampden 25-17. Presque Isle goalie Brandon Poitras had 16 saves.


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