BANGOR — The Bangor High School hockey team didn’t waste much time taking advantage of a Messalonskee High School team that had 11 freshmen and sophomores among its 17 available players and was without standout junior goalie Nate DelGiudice due to a knee injury.
Twelve Rams registered at least a point in the first period as Bangor built a 7-0 lead en route to an 8-1 Eastern Maine Class A triumph at Sawyer Arena.
Bangor improved to 2-0 while Oakland-based Messalonskee fell to 1-1.
“We really moved the puck well,” said senior defenseman Adam King, who posted his first career four-point game with two goals and two assists, all in the first period. “Our (offensive) zone entry was going great for us. They were collapsing (in front of their net) so we were getting the puck to the defense and we were taking shots (from the points). That worked for us.”
King opened the scoring 3:15 into the game with a shot from the left point off a pass from Connor Griffin, who tracked down a puck in the corner and fed it back to him.
“There was a nice screen set up in front and I threw it about knee-high. It bounced into the short side off the goalie’s pads,” said King.
Griffin set up the next goal by senior left wing Phil Frost 2:49 later.
Frost had snuck behind the Eagle defense and Griffin sent him in alone with a nice feed.
“We like to connect with cross-ice passes on the breakout. He made a great pass,” said Frost, who busted down the left wing and beat freshman goalie Benjamin Weeks with a wrister into the top, glove-side corner.
Senior defenseman Tom Bearor made it 3-0 at the 8:06 mark with a screened wrister from the midpoint that squeezed between Weeks’ pads.
Cody Chapman extended the lead with an angled wrister after he skated out of the corner, Wyatt Frost tipped home a King point shot, King scored with a screened wrister off a Nic Cota feed, and Cain Corkum swept home a rebound off an Adam Toth-Javor shot.
Bangor made it 8-0 3:35 into the second period when an unattended Zeb Tuell tapped home a pinpoint cross-ice pass from Cota.
“Every line moved the puck well. Every line is a threat to score right now,” said Frost.
Junior left wing Sam Dexter, who was a constant threat with his speed and puck skills, ruined Bangor’s shutout bid by converting a James Varney pass with a wrister from the slot in the third period.
Freshman center Chase Cunningham also stood out and Weeks, making his varsity debut, settled down nicely after the first period and finished with 35 saves.
Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse said, “our kids didn’t show up in the first period. But I was pretty happy with the last two periods. We have a young team and our players stepped up. They didn’t quit. A game like this builds character.”
He added that he was impressed with Bangor.
“They’ve got some speed and size. They’re a very good all-around team,” said Latendresse.
Besides King’s four-point night, Bangor also received multiple-point games from Tuell (1 goal, 2 assists), Corkum (1 & 1), Griffin (2 assists) and Cota (2 assists). Chris Howat made three saves in the first period and Bobby Winchell made nine in the second and third periods.