YARMOUTH — The Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse boys hockey team received a nice pre-Christmas gift on Thursday afternoon.

Thanks to a power-play goal by Bryce Poulin with three minutes remaining in the third period, the Eagles were able to skate away with a 4-3 win over Capital Region in a Class A/B crossover game at the Travis Roy Ice Arena. Freshman forward Dylan Richards scored two goals to lead the Eagles. Poulin, a junior forward, had two assists to go along with his goal.

“After a tough loss to Brunswick last weekend, and only getting one practice in since then, the boys basically had to work out the kinks in the game,” Eagles head coach A.J. Kavanaugh said. “We had some growing pains. But they knew going down 3-2 going into the third (period), we had to play our best hockey down the stretch, and they did that. I’m proud of the way they finished the game, for sure.”

With the win, the Eagles continue to climb the Class A standings, and enter the holiday weekend with a 3-1 record, already better than last year’s 2-8-2 mark.

“We’ve battled a ton of adversity,” said Poulin, who celebrated the victory by wearing a stars-and-stripes adorned cowboy hat. “We’ve won most of the games that we’ve been down (this season). It’s a good thing to be 3-1.”

“It’s a good start to be 3-1,” Kavanaugh said. “They’re battling for each other and staying positive on the bench. A bunch of them have been together for a few years now, and it’s starting to show. The team chemistry and getting along has gone a long way so far. We’ve got a couple of freshmen; Dylan Richards is leading our team in goals and had a couple today. That’s kind of been the fire that’s gone from losing some of those close games to winning those close games, just adding that scoring power.”


Capital Region — which includes Maranacook, Winthrop, Hall-Dale, Lawrence and Spruce Mountain — falls to 0-2.

Capital Region’s Wyatt Lyons takes a back check from Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse’s Jameson Fowler as tender Sean Moore makes a save during a hockey game Thursday in Yarmouth. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

“We talked a lot after (the season opener) about getting more pucks and bodies to the net,” Capital Region head coach Richard Fortin said. “I know that sounds simplified, but in our scrimmage and first game, we weren’t getting pucks and bodies to the net, so that was our focus. We outshot them in stretches, so that felt good. Ultimately, a couple weird bounces is the difference in that game. But that felt like it was good game. It was tight. (Mt. Ararat) played really well.”

Both teams went scoreless in the first period, but the scoring floodgates opened in the second. The Hawks took a 1-0 lead within the first minute of the period, when Bennett Ross managed to knock a rebound past Eagles goalie Sean Moore. Isaac Parker and Nick Keezer were credited with assists on the play.

The Eagles responded mere seconds later, when Richards nailed a shot past Capital Region goalie Adrian O’Connell to tie the game 1-1. Mt. Ararat took the lead three minutes later, when a Jameson Fowler slap shot found its way into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead.

Capital Region tied the game 2-2 with seven minutes left in the period, when Wyatt Lyons knocked a rebound into the net. Cam Dostie was credited with the assist. Parker would have the same success for the Hawks late in the second, as he too retrieved a rebound in front of the net and knocked it home for a 3-2 lead.

“We’re trying to have a shoot-first mentality,” Fortin said. “I don’t think we had that enough in the first game, I don’t think we had that enough last year. So that’s been a big focus, having that shoot-first mentality. I felt like they were getting pucks on net and getting that second body to jam it in. We did good, we had the lead for a little bit. Unfortunately, we did take our foot off the gas in the third period and that’s what sunk us.”

The third period was all in the Eagles favor. Richards scored his second goal of the game on a rebound in front of the Capital Region net to tie the game 3-3 with six minutes remaining. Three minutes later, it was Poulin who managed to find the puck out front and nail it into the net for the final 4-3 score.

“It was just a good defensive play by the defenseman (in front of the net),” Poulin said. “I got the rebound and just put it away.”

Mt. Ararat had a 32-20 shot advantage in the contest. O’Connell finished with 28 saves for the Hawks, while Moore had 17 saves for the Eagles.

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