May 21, 2018
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Jared Cunningham’s hat trick leads Messalonskee to come-from-behind win over Broncos

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

BREWER, Maine — Between the second and third periods, Messalonskee High School of Oakland hockey coach Mike Latendresse challenged his team to get at least 15 shots on goal in the third period of Wednesday night’s game against Hampden Academy.

The Eagles generated 16 shots and three found the net, including freshman center Jared Cunningham’s two power-play goals, as they posted a come-from-behind 6-5 triumph at the Penobscot Ice Arena.

Messalonskee of Oakland improved to 10-1 while Hampden, playing its second game in three nights, fell to 3-5.

Cunningham had a hat trick and junior left wing Josh Towle, Cunningham’s linemate, had two goals and an assist. The third member of the line, junior right wing Chase Cunningham, assisted on each of his brother’s third-period goals. Kalib Bernatchez had a goal and an assist and Dylan Burton collected two assists.

Luther Vom Eigen had a goal and two assists and linemate Cooper Antone had a goal and an assist for Hampden Academy. Dylan Cray, Michael Ward and Will Manning had the other goals.

“I was proud of the guys, they really bounced back in the third period. They dominated the period,” said Latendresse, whose Eagles outshot HA 16-4 in the third period thanks to four power plays.

“We came out better in the third period and we got more pucks to the net,” said Chase Cunningham.

Hampden had a pair of two-goal leads and took a 4-3 lead into the third period.

But Cunningham tied it 2:07 into the period when he one-timed a long diagonal pass from Dylan Burton between the pads of HA goalie Ryan Manning from the left circle.

“[Burton] was at the top [of the right circle] and came down. I slid to the back door, he saw me and fed it to me and I buried it,” said Jared Cunningham.

He gave the Eagles their first lead of the game with just 4:49 left when he finished off a beautiful passing sequence with a one-timer from the left circle off a pass from his brother, who was behind the net and took a pass from the point from Burton.

“I knew everyone was focused on that side of the ice, so I slipped back door and called for it,” said Jared Cunningham. “I beat [Manning] to the short side before he got over.”

HA coach Bill Schwarz thought his team played “pretty well” overall but also said, “We have to learn to cover the back post. The penalties killed us.”

“They had a good power play and they capitalized,” said Hampden senior center Antone. “They stepped it up in the third period and we didn’t play our best.”

Bernatchez extended the lead 15 seconds later when he intercepted a clearing attempt and snapped a wrister past Manning.

Cray made things interesting by racing down the right wing and scoring with a snap shot from the right circle while the Broncos were shorthanded.

That came with 1:46 remaining.

But the Broncos couldn’t get the equalizer.

Ward and Antone staked the Broncos to a 2-0 lead with goals 1:42 apart early in the first period as Ward fired a loose puck past Ben Weeks from the top of the circle and Antone tapped the puck behind Weeks after Vom Eigen redirected Josh Kocik’s point shot.

Towle cut the lead in half late in the period with a wrister over Manning’s glove.

Vom Eigen regained the two-goal lead by flipping home a Riley Eastman rebound 8:52 into the second period, Towle answered 2:09 later with another glove-side wrister and Jared Cunningham tied it just 50 seconds after that with a short wrister.

But Manning restored the lead for HA with 1:32 left in the period.

Ben Weeks finished with 12 saves for the Eagles while Ryan Manning wound up with 26 for the Broncos.

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