May 25, 2018
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Presque Isle hockey hopes to capitalize on playoff experience

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

Presque Isle High School has won six playoff games (6-4) over the previous four seasons and sixth-year head coach Carl Flynn said he will be counting on that experience Tuesday when his fifth-seeded Wildcats (8-10) visit Winslow’s Sukee Arena to play No. 4 Lawrence of Fairfield (7-9-2) in an Eastern Maine Class B hockey quarterfinal. Game time is 5 p.m.

The winner will play top seed and undefeated defending state Brewer (17-0-1) on Saturday in a semifinal at Sukee with  No. 2 Houlton-Hodgdon (15-3) and No. 3 Old Town (11-6-1) facing off in the other semi.

In the Eastern Maine Class A quarterfinals, No. 6 Bangor (10-8) plays No. 3 Gray-New Gloucester/Poland (13-4-1) at Auburn’s Ingersoll Arena at 7:30.

“We’ve played in three Eastern Maine title games and a state championship game in the last four years and they (Lawrence’s Bulldogs) haven’t,” said Flynn. “They beat us in our second game of the season (7-3) so they may take us lightly.”

Flynn said he intends to shorten his bench, especially on defense, because “we have to play better defense.”

Presque Isle, which has won three of its last four, has allowed five or more goals in nine of its games.

“We have to prevent (defenseman) Mat Woodbury from carrying the puck up the ice and we have to have someone on Devon Belanger,” said Flynn.

Belanger scored the first four goals in the Lawrence win over Presque Isle.

The Wildcats have been led by their top line of junior center Isaac Lajoie (27 goals, 14 assists) between junior left wing Connor Shaw (16 & 19) and sophomore right wing Adam Flynn (8 & 22) along with senior defensemen Jacob Buck (3 & 12) and Jordan Hallett (2 & 3). Senior Josh MacFarline (4.48 goals-against average, .875 save percentage) will start in goal.

Lawrence, 2-1-1 in its last four, has been led by Belanger, Woodbury and Connor Walsh along with goalie Brad MacKenzie.

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