BANGOR, Maine — Bangor High School junior goalie Zach Hamilton bailed out his teammates in the first period Saturday.
And they rewarded him.
Hamilton made 14 of his 32 saves in the first period, when his team was outshot 14-3, and Bangor received a late second-period goal from sophomore center Joey Seccareccia and an early third-period goal from his linemate, Phil Frost, to beat Lewiston 2-0 at Sawyer Arena.
It was a fast-paced and entertaining hockey game between two evenly matched teams. It featured a terrific goaltending duel between Hamilton and Lewiston sophomore Cam Poussard (23 saves) and a lot of tantalizing pucks that were cleared out of both creases.
Bangor’s ninth win in its last 10 games improved its record to 10-3. Lewiston is 8-5-1 including shutout losses to Eastern Maine Class A rivals Brewer, Waterville and Bangor.
“This is a huge win,” said Hamilton, who posted his second shutout of the season. “I got a lot of shots but my defense did a good job collapsing in and clearing the rebounds out. I just had to make the first save. That’s my job. I felt good from the start.”
“Hamilton played a great game,” said Poussard.
“[Hamilton] saved us the whole game,” said Ram senior center Johnny Warren.
“He left a lot of rebounds but we just couldn’t pick them up,” said Lewiston senior center Robbie Leeman.
“They beat us to the puck [on rebounds],” said Devils sophomore center Sam Cloutier.
Lewiston had several chances to strike first but Hamilton thwarted them.
He flashed out his left pad to kick out a Zac Racine one-timer through traffic with five minutes left in the initial period; he gloved a challenging wrister from Ben McDonough moments later and closed out the period with rapid-fire stops off Cloutier, who knifed across the top of the crease.
Early in the second period, a sweep check by a diving Nick George prevented a Ben Wigant breakaway for the Blue Devils.
Bangor played much better in the middle period but Poussard was stellar and kept the Rams off the board until the 13:52 mark when Seccareccia scored his sixth of the season from the top of the left circle off a faceoff win by Reese.
“I was going to take a slap shot but I knew I didn’t have enough time to do it so I took a snap shot,” said Seccareccia.
“I didn’t see either of their goals,” said Poussard. “The first one went between a kid’s legs. I felt it hit me and it rolled down my leg. I laid back [to cover it] but the ref said it went in.”
Frost scored 2:05 into the third period.
“Reese took a hit and coughed up the puck to [Seccareccia]. Joey dished it to me and he screened the goalie. I put it to the glove side somewhere,” said Frost whose goal was his fourth of the year.
“That went through two kids’ legs. I got a piece of it but it skimmed off my glove and went top shelf,” said Poussard.
Frost said he and linemates Seccareccia and Reese “worked real well [together] tonight. We’ve been playing together all year and it’s starting to work pretty good. It’s good to be able to capitalize on the whole team’s hard work.”
“This was a nice win,” said Bangor coach Ted Taylor. “We always pressured them and Hamilton was big. Every line did their job.”