The Bangor High School Rams struggled to a 2-4-1 start due, in large part, to poor first periods.
But Bangor has won five of its last six games to improve to 7-5-1 and move up the Heal Points standings in Eastern Maine Class A.
Bangor outshot Class B contender Lawrence of Fairfield 57-8 Wednesday night in a 5-0 win.
“We’ve worked on our conditioning a lot more,” said junior center Joey Seccareccia. “We’ll skate 10 or 15 more minutes at the end of practice. We’ve gotten to a point where we’re having a good forecheck and also doing a good job backchecking. We’re also getting more shots on net. We’ve been working more with [assistant] coach [Matt] Stairs. He has been working with us on one-timers and putting pucks on net.”
“We’ve been hustling more in practice,” said senior defenseman Nick George. “We’ve been doing a lot more skating and we’ve been focusing more on the defensive zone than the offensive zone. We’re playing an all-around solid game now.”
Bangor has allowed just two goals per game over its last six games after surrendering an average of 3.57 in its first seven.
“A lot of it was we had a tough schedule right off the bat and we didn’t have much chance to get going because people were coming off [extended] football and soccer seasons,” said senior right wing Jacob Turmel. “But we’re starting to click right now.”
Seccareccia said the Rams are doing a better job recognizing defensive zone situations.
“If one of our defensemen goes into the corner for the puck, the other one is going to be in front of our net. And we’ve been picking up guys on the back door [far post],” said Seccareccia.
“We’re playing with more confidence now,” said sophomore goalie Chris Howat. “We’ve got our lines figured out.”
Senior defenseman Devon Lyshon said they have been more unselfish lately.
“We’re a lot better at getting the puck into the [offensive] zone [instead of over-handling it in the neutral zone], ” said Lyshon. “And our defensive zone coverage has been better.”
Bangor has featured balanced scoring as nine Rams have at least seven points led by George’s 19 (2 goals, 17 assists).
The others are RW Phil Frost (11 goals, 5 assists), Seccareccia (7 & 7), Lyshon (5 & 5), LW Ryan King (9 & 0), LW Nic Cota (4 & 5), Turmel (2 & 5), C Nate Lewis (1 & 6) and winger Zach Papsadora (3 & 4).
Senior Zach Hamilton (4-3, record, 3.29 goals-against average, .855 save percentage) and Howat (3-2-1, 2.17, .877) have shared the goaltending.
Bangor hosts Waterville on Saturday at 4:40 p.m.