BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor High School Rams needed a lift in their Eastern Maine Class A schoolboy hockey quarterfinal against Cony High of Augusta and senior right wing Darren Casey-Covell provided it.
After allowing two late second-period goals that sliced the lead to 3-2 and swung the momentum over to Cony, Orono High transfer Casey-Covell hustled to win a loose puck and scored a shorthanded goal 4:46 into the third period to lead fourth-seeded Bangor to a 7-2 triumph over fifth-seeded Cony.
Bangor, 14-5, will face top seed Waterville, 18-1, in Saturday’s noon semifinal at The Colisee in Lewiston before No. 2 seed Brewer, 15-3-1, and third seed Lewiston, 12-6-1, follow.
Cony finished at 10-9.
Casey-Covell set up Nic Cota’s insurance goal 6:04 later and also assisted on Adam King’s goal as Bangor scored three times in a span of 2:21 to sew it up. Joey Seccareccia’s second goal of the game capped the flurry.
Second-period goals by Nate Lewis, Seccareccia and Chad Kelley staked Bangor to a 3-0 lead before Luke Duncklee and Josh Zayac rallied Cony with goals 1:54 apart in the final 2:14 of the middle period.
Casey-Covell’s decisive goal came about when he raced down the ice and bumped a Cony defenseman off the puck behind the net before wheeling in front and scoring off his own rebound.
“I tried to put it five-hole but [Cony goalie Jon Dale] had it covered. I got it back and his own guy screened him. I put it short side,” said Casey-Covell, whose goal was his 16th.
“That was so important,” said his linemate Cota. “It brought our whole team up and gave us an extra boost.”
“Those are the things that hurt you. They swing the momentum and change the outcome,” said Cony coach Bruce Dostie.
“We knew we needed to hustle and beat them to the puck [in the third period],” said Casey-Covell.
The goal’s importance was magnified when Bangor took another penalty 12 seconds later that put them two men down for 1:33.
But they killed them off.
Cota scored at the 10:50 mark when he finished off a pretty passing sequence involving Casey-Covell and Nick George.
“I was trying to put it to the left side but I took it on my backhand and slipped it five-hole. It was a nice pass from Darren,” said Cota.
Cota and Casey-Covell set up King’s goal 25 seconds later before Seccareccia capped the scoring.
“I think they wore us down near the end,” said Dostie. “They have a deeper squad. They’re a great team. They’re fast and physical and they work hard. They deserved to win.”
Zach Hamilton made 11 saves while Dale finished with 15.
Lewis opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal. He chased down a loose puck, skated in alone and pulled the puck around Dale.
Seccareccia made it 2-0 on the power play when he swatted his own point-blank rebound through Dale’s pads.
Kelley scored off a rebound from a difficult angle.
Duncklee cut it to 3-1 on a four-on-three power play with a wrister off Hamilton’s glove.
Then Duncklee fed Zayac off a two-man break-in and Zayac sailed his wrister over Hamilton’s blocker.