Hawks no match as Windjammers sail on to Western B semifinalsCamden Hills to play Greely at Androscoggin Bank Colisee Feb. 28 in Lewiston
Rockport — Camden Hills senior Grayson Szumilas said this year's Windjammer ice hockey team was “back with a vengeance” after falling in last season's Western Class B championship game.
Back with a vengeance may sound like a movie sequel, but Szumilas hopes this year's reboot has a happier, more positive, ending for both he and his teammates.
The No. 2 Windjammers got off on the right foot Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 25 in the regional quarterfinals against No. 7 Maranacook/Winthrop, an opponent the higher seed had little trouble with in two regular-seasons ice contests.
In fact, the hosts shut out the Hawks in the first period as the game was never really in doubt as the Windjammers sailed to a convincing 8-3 victory at the Midcoast Recreation Center.
Camden Hills (15-4-1, including the team's Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship win over Messalonskee of Oakland on Feb. 22) moves onto the semifinals, where the Windjammers will face No. 3 Greely of Cumberland (9-7-3) on Friday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.
The Rangers defeated No. 6 Cape Elizabeth (7-11-1) 5-2 in another quarterfinal Tuesday night.
Also Friday in Lewiston, No. 1 Gorham (15-3) will face No. 5 Kennebunk (11-7-1) at 8 p.m. at the same venue.
The semifinal survivors will meet on Wednesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. back at the Colisee for the regional title and the state Class B championship game will be on Saturday, March 8 at 1 p.m. again at the Colisee.
During the regular season, Camden Hills beat Cape Elizabeth in a 7-6 overtime thriller, while the Windjammers lost to Greely 7-2. The Windjammers also beat Kennebunk 3-2.
The Windjammers swept the Hawks (7-12) during the regular season — 8-0 and 5-1. Thus, Camden Hills outscored Maranacook/Winthrop 21-4 in three games this year.
The Windjammers have outscored opponents 122-52 in 20 games this winter.
“Well, at the beginning we knew we had gotten a better draw for us with Maranacook,” said Szumilas. “We knew that since we'd beat them twice in the season so we'd have a good chance today. But we knew we had to come out and play them like they were a Gorham or Greely or someone really competitive.
“The whole mindset for the game was, 'Play hard and hopefully we'll come out of here with a win.' And we did.”
The Windjammers were 3-of-5 (60 percent) on power play opportunities, while the Hawks were 0-of-5. The first two goals for the hosts were off the power play.
“Despite the score this was not a easy game," said Camden Hills coach Karl Enroth. "Maranacook/Winthrop played a very physical game and there was a fair amount of stick work going on at times during the game. They play hard with an edge and can get under your skin, so we had to play through it and not let it take away from what we intended to accomplish in this game.”
Simon Lydon netted a hat trick for Camden Hills, while Jack Orne added two goals and four assists and Szumilas assisted on three scores. Also contributing to the 'Jammer attack were James Annis (goal), Kieran Lydon (goal), Josiah Simko (goal), Parker Lawson (assist) and Jonah Cameron (assist).
Bailey Clark scored twice for Maranacook/Winthrop, while Parker Prescott added one. Denver Cram added three assists, while Zack Godbout added two; and Zack Glazier, one.
The Windjammers took a 3-0 lead in the first period and led 6-2 after two periods.
Despite jumping to a substantial lead, Orne said he thought the Windjammers “started out a little bit slow, but we picked it up.”
“We were pretty confident, but it's playoff hockey,” he said. “Anything can happen. On any given day a team can come out and play [hard] so we had to make sure we didn't overlook them. They battled hard right to the end [and] they're a physical team and they can get under your skin, so there was big emphasis on staying out of the penalty box, try to stay even strength and just keep our feet moving.”
Camden Hills outshot Maranacook/Winthrop 30-17. Zach Hand made 14 saves in goal for the Windjammers, while Josh Ehiarobo made 22 saves between the pipes for the Hawks.
The hosts committed seven penalties for 14 minutes, while the visitors committed six penalties for 22 minutes, including a 10-minute game misconduct by Cram with less than 10 minutes to play in the third period.
Kieran Lydon, Orne and Simon Lydon all found the net in the first period for the hosts, while Prescott got the Hawks on the board with 12:04 remaining in the second period and seemed to have a golden opportunity to cut his team' deficit to one goal when the visitors found themselves with a 5-on-3 advantage after a pair of Windjammer penalties.
However, Orne changed all that with one swipe of his stick as he made a steal at center ice and surged down the ice, beating Ehiarobo glove side 1-on-1 for the shorthanded goal with 9:19 left in the period.
“Obviously on the 5-on-3 you're going to try and stay back and protect the net first, but the defenseman was having a hard time with the puck and it looked like he bobbled it,” said Orne. “So I figured I'd take a swipe at it and I got a piece of it with my stick. It bounced behind him and it was off to the races.”
Enroth said Orne's goal was "sensational" and changed the complexion of the game for the hosts.
"If they score there it is only a one-goal game and they have the momentum,” said the veteran coach.
Annis added another goal on a slap shot from straight away with 6:50 left to put Camden Hills up 5-1 and, for all intents and purposes, to put the game out of reach for the Hawks.
The Windjammers played in the first regional championship in school history last year, but were knocked out in convincing fashion by the Rangers 8-1 after besting York 8-4 in the semifinals.
However, the mindset of the Camden Hills players is this year's team is different.
“We had a big game against York last year and we might have tired ourselves out a little bit,” said Orne. “We'd never been in that position before. And it left a bitter taste in our mouths losing to Greely [in the regional final] like that. But we have a little bit of experience now and we know what to expect. They're aren't going to be any easy games. It's just going to get harder from here on out.”
The individual scoring included:
CH 1-0 at 10:46, power-play goal — Kieran Lydon (assists Lawson, Orne). Lawson and Orne exchanged passes on the flanks, then Orne found Lydon at the net front.
CH 2-0 at 3:18, power-play goal — Orne (assists Szumilas, Lawson). Szumilas and Lawson moved the puck from center point to right flank, and the puck moved to Orne on the left flank and his wrist shot beat Ehiarobo.
CH 3-0 at 2:50, goal — Simon Lydon (assists Orne, Szumilas). Lydon knocked in a rebound in the net front.
MW 3-1 at 12:04, goal — Prescott (assists Glazier, Hanson). Prescott slap shot from the left blue line point.
CH 4-1 at 9:17, shorthanded goal — Orne (unassisted). Orne created a turnover and outraced the defender to the net, skated across the slot and slid the puck past the outstretched arm of Ehiarobo.
CH 5-1 at 6:50, goal — Annis (assist Cameron). Cameron and Annis created a turnover on their forecheck along the right half boards. Annis gathered the puck and skated to the mid slot and fired a hard wrist shot high glove side into the net.
MW 5-2 at 6:02, goal — Clark (assists Cram, Godbout). Clark backhanded the puck into the net from the low slot.
CH 6-2 at 1:50, power play goal — Simon Lydon (assists Orne, Szumilas). Lydon one-timed a shot from the mid slot.
MW 6-3 at 12:25, goal — Clark (assists Cram, Godbout). Cram made a center pass from behind the net to Clark in the mid slot, and Clark's wrist shot past Hand.
CH 7-3 at 6:13, goal — Simon Lydon (assist Orne). Lydon wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle went off the glove of Ehiarobo.
CH 8-3 at 3:14, goal — Simko (unassisted). Simko unloaded a hard slap shot from center point.