ORONO — There was no shortage of pretty goals during Old Town’s 6-5 victory over Hampden Academy in their Eastern Maine Class B hockey game at Alfond Arena Saturday night.
But it was one of those grind-it-out goals that decided it.
Sophomore defenseman Trevor Francis’ goal from a goalmouth scramble with 1:30 remaining in regulation supplied the Coyotes with their second win against one loss.
Hampden Academy fell to 1-1.
Senior center Cody Cross set up the goal with a rush down the right wing and a centering pass that pinballed in front of the net.
“I just crashed the net looking for the puck. I was looking for the open guy but I wound up shooting it and it went in,” said Francis, a converted forward who scored just as a Bronco penalty elapsed.
“I thought I was over it and I had it but then I heard everybody cheering. I looked back and saw it in the net. I don’t know how it got put in,” said Broncos senior goalie Jacob Ward.
Francis’ goal enabled the Coyotes to overcome a hat trick by dynamic HA junior left winger Cooper Williams, who also had an assist.
Cross and linemate Wilcox each had a goal and three assists for the Coyotes.
Williams scored just 20 seconds into the game and set up Kalvin Costa Vogel’s goal 2:50 later.
Nick Nadeau answered with a fluke goal at the 4:33 mark and Alex Leithiser equalized at the 13:53 mark.
Cooper Antone supplied the Broncos with a 3-2 lead on the power play 5:40 into the second period but Old Town scored the next three to take a 5-3 lead into the third period with the latter two coming on the power play.
Ryan Dubay tied it 11 seconds after Antone’s goal; Cross provided Old Town with its first lead at the 11:02 mark and David Wilcox made it 5-3 1:47 later on a five-on-three.
But Williams tied it with goals 3:48 apart early in the third period.
Williams made it 5-4 at the 3:17 mark with a great individual effort.
He chipped the puck off the boards at the defensive blue line, skated past an Old Town defenseman, picked up the puck and broke in alone on goalie Nate Colannino before lifting the puck over his right pad.
He drew the Broncos level by taking a pass from Charles Rawcliffe, making a quick move from right to left in the middle of the slot and roofing a wrister while he was being hauled down on a delayed penalty.
“That was a beautiful goal. I’ve never seen a goal like that,” said Old Town coach Brett Hale. “He shot it from his back.”
Williams opened the scoring by maneuvering neatly out of the corner and snapping a wrister over Colannino’s blocker.
Williams’ pinpoint cross-ice pass set up Costa Vogel’s tap-in goal to make it 2-0.
Nadeau scored when he swatted the puck into an open net after the puck bounced crazily in front off an errant clearance and Leithiser tied it by knocking in a rebound.
Antone opened the second-period scoring by directing home a Nathan Baker pass but Dubay quickly knotted it up by roofing a short-side wrister from the left circle.
Francis fed Cross nicely for a simple sweep-in goal and Cross made the pass to Wilcox in the middle of the slot for a rising wrister past Ward.
“We came out so flat but we got better as the game went along and we executed when we needed to,” said Cross.
HA coach Phil Parsons said the loss was “disappointing because the guys worked so hard. We just came up a goal short. There were some questionable (penalty) calls and some strange bounces.”
“I was real happy with how we came back in the third period,” Ward said.
Old Town outshot Hampden 28-22.