Rangers eliminate Windjammers, claim Western Class B crownTwo Greely players net hat tricks, Camden Hills reaches first regional title game
Lewiston — Experience is one of the most important factors a team can possess once the playoffs roll around.
That statement rung true for the Camden Hills ice hockey team March 6 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, where the Windjammers, competing in the team's first regional championship game, squared off against the defending state champion and top-seeded Greely Rangers.
The 'Jammers proved to be one of the top teams in the region all season long, but in the end, lost their third match of the year to the Rangers who scored early and often, defeating No. 2 Camden Hills 7-1 to claim the Western Class B title.
The Rangers (16-4) will now move on to face Eastern Class B champion Messalonskee of Oakland (18-2) for the state Class B title Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee — a rematch of last year's state final.
The Windjammers (15-5) started the season 13-0 but cooled down the stretch, dropping four of its final five games of the regular season, two of which came against Greely.
Ted Hart and Reid Howland each had hat tricks and one assist to lead the Rangers Wednesday, while Joe Saffian also scored and added two assists for Greely. Mitchel Donovan added three assists in the win and Matt Ames, Kyle Megathlin and Jarod Lavallee, each one assist.
Grayson Szumilas lit the lamp for Camden Hills' lone score on assists from Jack Orne and Calvin Robbins in the third period.
Windjammer coach Karl Enroth credited Greely's first line, led by Hart, which put them in a sizable hole early in the game.
"[He] dominated the first half of the hockey game and gave his team a big boost scoring scoring the first two goals of the game," said Enroth. "The game started with good tempo and we were actually out shooting them at times during the first period. Hart is such a explosive player that you give him just a little room and he is gone getting separation quickly and he certainly takes advantage of his scoring chances."
Freshman goalie Jet Magri made 21 saves on 28 shots for Camden Hills, while Kyle Kramlich made 17 saves on 18 shots for Greely.
Greely led 3-0 after the first period and 4-0 after two periods. Hart tallied the game's first two goals, while Donovan assisted on the game's first three scores.
The Rangers were 0-2 on the power play and did not commit a penalty in the win.
Camden Hills won the KVAC Class B championship 5-4 in double overtime over Messalonskee Feb. 23 at Sukee Ice Arena in Winslow. They also won this season's Maine Principals' Association Western Class B sportsmanship award.
Wednesday's game marks the first regional final appearance in the eight-year history of the program, a stat that despite the loss, Enroth was pleased with.
"Really proud of our players," he said. "This particular group of Windjammer hockey players accomplished a lot this season and went about it the right way. Certainly sets a new benchmark for future teams."
Individual scoring from Wednesday's game included:
First period — Hart, Greely, 6:56 (Donovan assisting). Hart gained possession of the puck through the neutral zone and cut to the middle entering the offensive zone and fired a hard wrist shot. Hart, Greely, 9:42 (Donovan and Lavalle assisting). Donovan and Ames transition the puck skating wide through the neutral zone and Hart drove mid lane for the goal. Howland, Greely, 13:50 (Donovan and Megathlin assisting). Donovan came out of the left corner with the puck and passed across ice to Howland on the back door side of the net for a one time shot into the net.
Second period — Hart, Greely, 7:58 (Howland assisting). Howland generates a shot and Hart drove to the Camden Hills net and deflected the puck in off his stick.
Third period — Saffin, Greely, 1:26 (Ames and Black assisting). Saffin wrist shot. Szumilas, CH, 3:36 (Robbins and Orne assisting). Szumilas knocked in a rebound in front of the Greely net. Howland, Greely, 5:03 (Saffin assisting). Howland skates on to a loose puck in the low slot and poked the puck into the net. Howland, Greely, 9:10 (Saffin assisting). Howland positioned himself in front of the Camden Hills net, received a Saffin pass and quickly shot the puck into the net.
Courier Publications Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.