BANGOR, Maine — Presque Isle High School senior center Tyler Seeley reached the 100-point mark for his career in dramatic fashion Saturday night.
Seeley had a hat trick and the Wildcats also received two goals and two assists from his junior linemate, Alex Michaud, and a stellar 19-save performance from sophomore goalie Jillian Flynn en route to a 6-2 Eastern Maine Class B hockey victory over John Bapst of Bangor at Sawyer Arena.
Presque Isle improved to 4-2-1 while John Bapst fell to 2-4.
The score was misleading as the Crusaders had just as many high-percentage scoring chances as the Wildcats.
But the Wildcats were more opportunistic thanks to its top line of Seeley, left wing Michaud and junior right wing Joseph Patenaude. They scored three times on the power play.
Andrew Michaud added an empty-net goal.
The JB goals by Tyler Wheeler and Nate Reese came on the power play.
Seeley said reaching the 100-point plateau was a relief.
“It felt good to get it off my shoulders. I couldn’t have done it without my linemates,” said the 6-foot-4 Seeley.
Alex Michaud’s highlight-reel goal gave the Wildcats a lead they would never relinquish just 2:20 into the game as he picked up the puck in the neutral zone, accelerated around a Bapst defenseman and sliced swiftly across the net front before tucking the puck inside the far post.
“Coach [Carl Flynn] said we needed to score first. We hadn’t scored first in this building in a couple of years,” said Michaud. “So I got the puck, saw some open ice and I didn’t waste it. I saw the defenseman cross over the wrong way so I powered through and then I saw the goalie go down so I figured I’d walk right around him.”
John Bapst goalie Sam Lander said he tried to pokecheck the puck “but he made me look foolish. He’s a quick guy and a good goal scorer.”
Seeley’s two second-period goals expanded the lead to 3-0.
Patenaude set up the first one 1:43 into the middle period with a cross-ice pass that deflected fortuitously off a Crusader stick and landed on Seeley’s backhand side in front of a half-empty net.
“Right place at the right time,” said Seeley.
Lander had to come out of the game with an eye irritation moments later and he was replaced by freshman Tom Carmack. Lander returned midway through the third period.
Seeley made it 3-0 at the 7:55 mark when he deflected Andrew Michaud’s point shot over Carmack’s glove.
Alex Michaud’s tally 2:11 into the third period expanded the lead to 4-0 as he busted down the right wing and roofed a 15-foot wrist shot over Carmack’s glove.
“He was pretty small goalie and I saw that little space above his glove so I roofed it as hard as I could,” said Michaud.
Tyler Wheeler ruined Flynn’s shutout bid at the 4:23 mark by beating her blocker side with a snap shot from the inside of the right circle.
Seeley capped his hat trick with 6:01 remaining by backhanding home his own rebound before Reese and Andrew Michaud closed out the scoring.
Flynn, meanwhile, moved swiftly across her crease and squared her body to the shooters while making several point-blank saves.
“This was one of my better games,” said Flynn. “ And my defense helped out a lot. They cleared the puck out. And we got lucky on a few of them.”
“This was an important win for us. It lets us know where we stand among everybody else,” said PI coach Carl Flynn, Jillian’s father.
“They definitely have a good team,” said JB senior defenseman Ray Hummels. “They outplayed us. And we didn’t finish our chances.”
PI outshot John Bapst 22-21.