Skowhegan hockey improves to 8-0 with victory over Hampden

Posted Jan. 09, 2013, at 8:34 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 09, 2013, at 9:18 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — Skowhegan junior goalie Sam Edmondson stands 6-foot-6 and he needed all of his size Wednesday night.

Edmondson made 29 saves and sophomore left wing Trey Michonski broke a 1-1 tie with 7:03 left in regulation as Skowhegan High School improved to 8-0 with a 2-1 high school hockey victory over Hampden Academy at Penobscot Ice Arena.

Hampden, which outshot Skowhegan 30-19, fell to 2-3.

The Broncos had a decisive edge in play over the first two periods but couldn’t transform that dominance into a comfortable lead due to the top-notch goaltending of Edmondson.

“[Edmondson] played very well. He stood on his head,” said Hampden Academy senior center and captain Cooper Antone.

Dylan Cray’s unassisted goal did stake the Class B Broncos to a 1-0 lead just 3:14 into the game, but Jake Johnson equalized 33 seconds later for the Class A Indians.

After being outshot 23-11 through two periods, Skowhegan played much better in the third period, and Michonski finally broke the tie by converting his own rebound.

Kyle Demchak assisted on the game-winner.

“I took a shot from the outside and it wound up going behind the net,” said Michonski. “[Demchak] got the puck and came around and got it to me. My shot got deflected, but I got it back. I had it on my backhand and put it top shelf.”

Michonski beat helpless Hampden goalie Ryan Manning to the short side.

The Indians did a nice job protecting the lead and Manning was forced to come up with some good saves to keep his team within one.

“We came out more focused in the third period,” said Skowhegan senior center and co-captain Camden DesPres. “We knew what we had to do. The third period has been our period [this season].”

“We’ve been a very good third-period team all season long,” said Skowhegan coach Jeff Fowler, whose team outshot the Broncos 8-7 in the final period.

Cray opened the scoring by carrying the puck behind the net and beating Edmondson with a wraparound between the goalie’s right skate and the post.

But the Indians answered immediately as Michonski corralled the puck behind the Hampden net and passed it to Johnson in the right circle.
Johnson didn’t get a lot on his one-timer, but it deflected off Manning’s arm into the far corner.

Five minutes later, Cray spotted an unattended Matt Closson in the middle of the slot but Edmondson made a superb right pad save.

Edmondson also made a couple of nice stops off Antone and Cray while the Broncos were shorthanded late in the period.

Edmondson opened the second period with a sharp-reaction save off Luther Vom Eigen, who tipped Sam Ward’s point shot.

Edmondson made a pair of saves off Michael Ward on the same shift later in the period.

Hampden Academy coach Bill Schwarz was pleased with his team’s performance.

“The kids played well. I can’t complain,” said Schwarz. “We just couldn’t put the puck in the net. And I thought their defensemen did a real good job in front of their goalie. We had guys there, but we couldn’t get the puck on our sticks.”

“They didn’t get many second shots,” agreed Edmondson. “I thought I had a strong game, but my defense did a good job.”

“We’re always looking for our man because we have man-on-man coverage and we want to prevent second shots,” said senior defenseman and co-captain Kam Nelson.

Anne-Marie Provencal, Anthony Paul and Tyler Savage were the other defensemen, although Paul moved up to forward in the third period and Sam Haver moved back to defense.

“They clogged the middle pretty well and were quick to clear the puck to the sides,” said Antone. “And I don’t think we crashed the net hard enough.”

Skowhegan also exhibited terrific discipline as the Indians didn’t take a penalty.

The Indians felt they played a good opponent.

“That’s a very good Hampden team. They kept the puck in our zone a lot,” said Michonski.

“They’re quicker than most of the teams we had played and we had to get used to it,” said Fowler.

Manning finished with 17 saves in a solid performance.

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