The recent news on all fronts has been positive for the Camden Hills ice hockey squad, which has made a strong push to put itself in regional playoff position and even had one of its first-year players honored.

The Windjammers (6-4) won two recent games to move into the fourth and final playoff spot in Western Class B. Of course, much can happen in the coming days to change the Windjammers’ postseason fortunes, but, for now, Camden Hills is in playoff contention.

Camden Hills, which has never qualified for the regional playoffs in its brief varsity history, secured a key 5-3 win over host Greely of Cumberland Thursday night, just three days after beating host Old Town 5-3 Monday in comeback fashion in Orono.

In the most recent Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for Western Class B, Camden Hills (18.0556 points) is fourth. The top four teams qualify the playoffs. However, the top five spots are close, with the top spot solidified by York (7-2, 37.9630 points). Yarmouth (4-3, 19.5988 points) is second, Greely (5-4, 18.5185 points) third and Leavitt of Turner (5-3, 17.2994 points) fifth.

On Thursday night in Cumberland, Jeff Jordan, who recently was recognized as the region’s top rookie in December, scored twice in the third period as the Windjammers rallied past the Rangers at Family Ice Center. It was Camden Hills second straight 5-3 victory.

Greely broke a 2-2 tie when Justin Murphy scored on a power play at 6:30 of the third period. However, Jordan tied it again with an unassisted goal at 8:53, then scored the winner with 1:46 left. Ben Dufour added an empty net goal with 45 seconds remaining for the Windjammers.

Jordan finished with three goals and an assist, and Dufour had two goals. Nick Barnes and Devyn Rogers also scored for Greely.

Camden Hills scored two goals in the second period and three in the third, while Greely tallied two in the second period and one in the third.

Camden Hills held a 26-23 edge in shots. The Windjammers had eight shots in the first period, 10 in the second and eight in the third. The Rangers mustered nine shots in the first period, five in the second and nine in the third.

The Windjammers were 0-of-5 in power-play opportunities, while Greely converted on 1-of-3 power-play chances.

Jacob Filderman made 20 saves on 23 shots in goal for Camden Hills and Matt Labbe had 21 saves on 26 shots for Greely.

The scoring included:

Second period — Barnes, Greely, 2:44 (Demick, Storey assisting); Dufour, CH, 3:16 (Jordan assisting); Rogers, Greely, 4:08 (unassisted); and CH, Jordan, CH, 14:59 (Ben Dufour, Will Orne assisting) 14:59.

Third period — Murphy, Greely, 6:30 (Downey assisting); Jordan, CH, 8:53 (unassisted); Jordan, CH, 13:14 (Orne assisting); and Dufour, CH, 14:15 (unassisted).

Windjammers top Coyotes

On Monday at the Alfond Arena on the University of Maine campus, Camden Hills forged to a 5-3 win over host Old Town.

Jordan and Ben Dufour both tallied two goals and Orne one. Ben Dufour added three assists and Kyle Koskinen and Zach Dufour both one.

Camden Hills held a 42-25 edge in shots, including 12-5 in the first period, 17-9 in the second and 12-11 in the third.

Filderman made 22 saves between the pipes for Camden Hills, while Patrick Spaulding had 37 stops for Old Town.

Camden Hills, which converted 1-of-2 power-play chances, was whistled for four penalties for eight minutes. Old Town, which did not convert any of its four power-play chances, had two penalties for four minutes.

Despite numerous chances to score during the first period Camden Hills could not find the back of the net. Then Old Town’s Tyler Valdez converted a Camden Hills’ turnover into a goal near the end of the period to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

In the second period, Camden Hills quickly took advantage of an Old Town
delay-of-game penalty to score on Orne’s power-play goal to knot the game 1-1. Camden Hills took two penalties at 9:36 and went down two players for a full two minutes. The penalty kill unit of Josh Stanclift, Zac Dufour and Wayne Neiman did a solid job of killing Old Town’s 5-on-3 power play advantage with Filderman making key saves during the penalty kill, said Windjammer coach Karl Enroth.

Old Town took a 2-1 lead at 4:28 on Cody Cross’ breakaway goal. Camden Hills applied heavy pressure on the Old Town net at the end of the second period, but Spaulding “seemed to have a force field around his net,” Enroth said, and made several standout saves to prevent Camden Hills from scoring.

In the final stanza, Old Town took a two-goal lead at 7:26 when David Wilcox’s passing attempt from the corner went off Filderman into the net. Camden Hills faced a two-goal  deficit and was in full “desperation hockey mode,” the coach said, and immediately responded when Jordan scored 34 seconds after Old Town’s goal to reduce the margin to one goal.

Camden Hills maintained pressure and tied the game 3-3 at 2:48 when Jordan scored in front of the Old Town net. Ben Dufour scored the game-winner at 1:06 by picking up a loose puck and showed patience in front of a crowded Old Town net by skating around everyone and shooting the puck into the net. Old Town pulled Spauding from their net to get the extra attacker but Ben Dufour completed the Camden Hills comeback with a goal with 27 seconds left after picking off an Old Town passing attempt near the Camden Hills blue line.

“Tonight was and could be a huge character builder for us going forward,” Enroth said. “For most of this game the puck just seemed like it was not going to bounce our way and Old Town goalie Patrick Spaulding was certainly not going to make anything easy for us tonight. We made some mistakes and Old Town did what your supposed to do when your opponent makes mistakes which is to capitalize on those miscues into goals scored. Being down two goals late in the game we needed some players to step up and make some big plays. The combination of Jeff Jordan and Ben Dufour were the players who did that. Jordan scoring two goals with the help of line mates Ben Dufour and Kyle Koskinen to tie the game and then Ben Dufour [had] two unassisted goals to complete the late comeback.”

“Old Town was an extremely determined team tonight and it took everything we had to pull off this game. Despite their overall record (only one win) they have been in a lot of close games with quality teams and they have some younger, hard-working, pesky players who are getting their first taste of varsity high school hockey. “

The scoring included:

First period — Tyler Vandez, OT, 0:58 (assist David Wilcox assisting).

Second period — Orne, CH, 13:16 (Ben Dufour, Zach Dufour assisting). On the power play, Zac Dufour shot from the point, Ben Dufour put a rebound shot on net, and Will Orne tapped in the rebound. Cody Cross, OT, 4:28 (unassisted). Cross scored on a breakaway “resulting from a bad change and misread of the forecheck by the Camden Hills defensemen in the neutral zone,” said coach Enroth.

Third period — David Wilcox, OT, 7:26 (Trevor Francis assisting). Jordan, CH, 6:54 (Ben Dufour assisting). Camden Hills cycled the puck low in the Old Town end and Ben Dufour fed Jordan in front for the goal. Jordan, CH, 2:48 (Kyle Koskinen, Ben Dufour assisting). Camden Hills applied heavy pressure in the Old Town end which resulted in Jordan roofing the puck in close over the shoulder of Spaulding. Ben Dufour, CH, 1:06 (unassisted). Ben Dufour pressured Old Town’s defensemen near the Coyote net. He picked up a loose puck, skated into the slot, held his shot, drew the goalie down and extended out and around Spaulding and the crowd in front before putting the the puck in the net. Ben Dufour, CH, 0:27 (unassisted). Ben Dufour intercepted an Old Town pass near the Windjammer blue line and skated in all alone to put the puck in the empty net.

Jordan honored

Windjammer Jordan was voted by coaches as the Class B West rookie of the month for December. “Even though he is a senior, class rank does not matter, the criteria for rookie is first year of varsity high school hockey,” coach Enroth said.

Prior to this season, Jordan played high school hockey with the Midcoast Ice Cats, a local cooperative club team that plays a junior varsity schedule. As a first-year varsity player for Camden Hills, he was considered eligible for top rookie status.

In December, Jordan played in six games with five goals and six assists for 11 points. In three Class B West games, he had a goal and three assists for four points. “Jeff plays on the power play and penalty kill units and has a 64 percent winning faceoff percentage as a center,” Enroth said.

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.