WATERVILLE — The Bangor High School Rams and Waterville Purple Panthers were trying to get back on track Monday night at Colby College’s Alfond Arena. Bangor had lost five of its last seven hockey games and Waterville had dropped five of six.
Bangor spotted Waterville a 2-0 lead before roaring back with six unanswered goals to upend the Panthers 6-2.
Hungarian exchange student Adam Toth-Javor, a junior center, had a hat trick and junior defenseman Nic Cota scored the game-winner with a rare five-on-three shorthanded goal.
Carl Farnham and Phil Frost had the other goals for the 7-6 Rams, while J.T. Whitten and Matt Lee scored for 7-7 Waterville.
Whitten’s first-period goal and Lee’s goal 1:46 into the second period supplied the Purple Panthers with their 2-0 lead, but goals 2:08 apart by Toth-Javor tied it before Cota broke the tie at the 9:54 mark and Farnham extended the lead with 11 seconds left in the middle period.
Frost and Toth-Javor added insurance tallies in the third period.
“This is my first hat trick in America,” grinned Toth-Javor. “I’m happy.”
Twenty-seven seconds after Lee tapped in the rebound of a Lance LeFebvre shot that bounced off the chest of Bangor goalie Chris Howat, Toth-Javor cut the lead in half off an Anthony Capuano wrister from the point.
“I stopped the puck and put it between the goalie’s (Cody Thibodeau) legs,” said Toth-Javor.
Toth-Javor notched the equalizer off the rebound of an Adam King point shot while the Rams were on the power play.
“(The rebound) hit Phil Frost’s legs and deflected to me,” said Toth-Javor.
Cota scored on a breakaway after blocking Lee’s point shot and outracing Lee and David Cook to the puck in center ice.
“I went low blocker,” said Cota.
“That goal was a big momentum shifter,” said Farnham, who provided the Rams with another huge momentum boost by driving to the net and tipping King’s point shot over Thibodeau’s glove.
“I just tipped it up,” said Farnham.
“The shorthanded goal was the key goal but that one at the end of the period hurt us, too,” said Waterville coach Dennis Martin.
Frost gave the Rams some valuable breathing room when he snuck behind the defense, accepted a pass from Zach Papsadora and beat Thibodeau through the pads.
Toth-Javor capped his hat trick on the power play as he jammed home the rebound of a Papsadora shot during a wild flurry in front.
The Purple Panthers took just 21 seconds to open the scoring.
Cook made a point-to-point pass to Matt Lee and Lee’s snap shot was deflected inside the far post by Whitten.
Waterville had the better of the chances in the first period but Howat came up with some important stops to keep his team within one.
“We won this game with heart and grit,” said Cota. “We moved the puck well.”
“The second and the third periods were the best we’ve played all year,” said Toth-Javor.
“They outworked us in the second and third periods,” said Martin.
“We took them too lightly (after scoring the first two goals) and Bangor is a good team. They capitalized on their chances,” said junior defenseman Lee.
Howat was also a big part of the story as he finished with 35 saves in an impressive performance.
“I didn’t control my rebounds well in the first period but the guys helped me out. I did a better job controlling them in the second and third periods,” said Howat.
Thibodeau finished with 18 stops.