The Camden Hills ice hockey squad, in its never-ending quest to secure the program’s first postseason berth, faced another stiff test Saturday night and, when the exam’s time was up, the Windjammers had scored well, but were unable to achieve the grade they had hoped for.

The Windjammers realize to be considered among the best — and a potential playoff contender — they have to consistently compete against and defeat the region’s best opponents. Another in those tests came Saturday night against visiting York at the Midcoast Recreation Center.

When the final horn sounded, York had skated out of town with a 4-2 win. Camden Hills led 1-0 early and played with considerable passion throughout much of the 36-minute game. In fact, it appeared, early on, Camden Hills might be able to pull off the upset and give their playoff chances a giant shot in the arm.

Alas, penalties and York’s overall talent conspired to hamper the Windjammers, who watched the visiting Wildcats outscore the hosts 4-1 over the final 24 minutes for the win.

Currently, York (6-2, 24.8457 Heal Points) is first and Camden Hills (4-4, 8.0247 points) sixth in the eight-team Western Class B region. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs. At this point, Camden Hills is 2.3302 points behind fourth-place Leavitt of Turner (4-3, 10.3549 points), an opponent the Windjammers defeated earlier this season.

In the regional playoffs, the No. 1 squad will host the fourth-place team and the No. 2 team will host the third qualifier in semifinal contests.

On Saturday night, play was spirit and fast-paced for most of the game, with both teams showing moments of brilliance, strong skating, puck movement and teamwork.

However, in the end, York had a little more talent as Anthony Figlioli and Paddy Murphy each scored twice and Craig Decato added three assists to lead the Wildcats.

Murphy scored to break a 2-2 tie at 12:26 of the second period and York goalie Alex Ahrikenchikh stopped 10 shots in the third period to cement the win.

Will Orne and Jeffrey Jordan scored for Camden Hills, while Zac Dufour added two assists.

Penalties again hurt the Windjammers, as did power play scoring efficiency. York scored on 3-of-7 power play opportunities and Camden Hills converted only 1-of-7 power play chances.

Ahrikenchikh stopped 28-of-31 Camden Hills shots, while Jacob Filderman, who worked between the piples for the Windjammers, stoned 30-of-34 York shots.

Camden Hills scored goals in both the first and second periods, while York tallied three second-period goals and added an insurance score in the third period.

Camden Hills took 11 shots on goal in the first period and 10 each in the second and third periods. York took five shots in the first period and a whopping 22 in the second when the Wildcats picked up the pace and scored three goals. The visitors added seven shots in the third period.

The scoring included:

First period — Orne, CH, 10:39, power play (Henry Haselton, Z. Dufour assisting).

Second period — A. Figlioli, York, 2:08, power play (Decato assisting); Murphy, York, 4:26, power play (D. Figlioli assisting); Jordan, CH, 12:07 (B. Dufour, Z. Dufour assisting); and Murphy, York, 12:26, power play (A. Figlioli, Decato assisting).

Third period — A. Figlioli, York, 10:11 (Decato, Maran assisting).

Also of note, before Saturday’s game the Windjammers were presented with their 2008-09 Maine Principals’ Association’s Western Class B Good Sportsmanship banner. Last year’s two seniors Asa Peats and Alden Poole were on hand at MRC to be part of the brief ceremony.

Click for more photos from the York at Camden Hills game.

Village NetMedia Regional Editor/Sports Director Ken Waltz can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at kwaltz@villagesoup.com.