One could tell from the way the Camden Hills players skated onto the ice Saturday night at the Midcoast Recreation Center that this was an important game. Perhaps even a pivotal game in the Windjammers’ quest to earn the young program’s first regional ice hockey playoff spot.

The Windjammers skated with passion for all of the first period and set the tone against visiting Leavitt of Turner early, earning a 2-0 lead after two periods and eventually holding on for a 2-1 victory. Camden Hills scored in the first 30 seconds to grab the momentum it would not easily relinquish.

The contest was important for a variety of reasons, perhaps the most important being that before the game Camden Hills had moved into the fourth and final playoff spot in Western Class B. Leavitt was breathing down the Windjammers’ neck in fifth. Thus, Saturday’s outcome was key for potential playoff position.

So important, in fact, that the outcome pushed Camden Hills all the way up to second (7-4, 24.3827 points) in the most recent Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for Western Class B. York (7-2, 39.6605 points) is first, Greely of Cumberland (5-4-1, 22.6466 points) third, Yarmouth (4-3, 21.9136 points) fourth and Leavitt (5-4, 18.5340 points) fifth. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs.

“Tonight was an important win against another Class B West team right in the thick of things in our [region],” said Windjammer coach Karl Enroth. “These are the games you have to win to keep moving up in rank with those ever-changing Heal Points.”

The game also was important because Camden Hills had beaten Leavitt 1-0 in overtime earlier in the season and the Hornets were looking to sting the Windjammers on their home ice.

However, Camden Hills would have none of it and hung on for the key 2-1 win. The Windjammers scored once in each of the first two periods, while Leavitt added a third-period goal to make things interesting.

The Windjammers wasted little time grabbing the momentum, scoring just 29 seconds into the game as Ben Dufour (Jeff Jordan assisting) gave the Windjammers a 1-0 lead. At the 10:49 mark of the second period, Will Orne (Zac Dufour, Josh Stanclift assisting) scored to give the hosts a 2-0 advantage.

Jacob Filderman (18 saves) again played well between the pipes for the Windjammers. Cody Violette made 25 saves in the Hornet net. Camden Hills outshot Leavitt 27-19, including 7-6, 12-6 and 8-7 during the first, second and third periods.

Camden Hills won despite again being hampered with penalties. The Windjammers had eight minor penalties and a major penalty for 26 minutes, while Leavitt was whistled for three penalties for six minutes.

Another key factor in the win was the Windjammers’ penalty killing. Leavitt scored on only 1-of-8 power-play chances, while Camden Hills converted 1-of-3 power-play opportunities.

“We knew tonight was going to be a tough game facing a Leavitt team with great goaltending and team discipline,” Enroth said. “We scored two nice goals in the beginning of the first and second periods and when it seemed like we were about to score again with the momentum we took penalties, which kind of deflated our momentum. We were able to survive the penalties with some good penalty killing and that is what got us the win tonight.”

Camden Hills jumped to a 1-0 lead 29 seconds into the game, taking advantage of a Leavitt turnover in the neutral zone created by Orne. Jordan and Ben Dufour skated in on a 2-on-1 rush and Dufour slid the puck past goalie Violette.

Camden Hills took several penalties toward the end of the period which resulted in a two-man advantage for Leavitt, but the trio of Stanclift, Zac Dufour and Orne did a solid job on the penalty-kill to limit Leavitt’s scoring chances.

In the second period, Camden Hills took advantage of a Leavitt penalty to score on a power play at 10:49. Stanclift and Zac Dufour rushed the puck into the Leavitt end and Dufour passed to Orne, who skating toward the high slot, Orne eluded a Leavitt defender with nifty stick work and fired the puck past Violette.

Camden Hills maintained pressure on the Leavitt net, but Violette kept the Windjammers from scoring. Once again, Camden Hills took penalties toward the end of the period which slowed the momentum it had maintained for most of the period.

Leavitt finally took advantage of the Camden Hills’ penalties by scoring a power-play goal at 11:25 of the third period to make it a one-goal game at 2-1. Leavitt tried to pull Violette in the final minute of the game in an attempt to tie the game, but Camden Hills did a strong job forechecking to keep the puck in the Leavitt end.

Camden Hills took a penalty with five seconds remaining to give Leavitt one last try to tie the game. On a faceoff in the Camden Hills end, Jordan did a solid job preventing Leavitt from winning the faceoff and Leavitt was unable to generate a shot before the game ended.

The scoring included:

First period — Ben Dufour, CH, 14:31 (Jordan assisting).

Second period — Orne, CH, 10:49 (Zac Dufour, Stanclift assisting). On the power play, Stanclift and Zac Dufour worked the puck into the Leavitt end and passed to Orne, who skated through the high slot area. Orne toe dragged the puck to elude a Leavitt defender and fired a well-placed wrist shot by Violette.

Third period — Cooper Legee, Leavitt, 11:25 (Josh Chouinard, Kevin Theiss assisting) On the power play. Chouinard passed to Theiss at the point. Theiss took a slap shot from the point and Legee, stationed in front of the Camden Hills’ crease, redirected the shot into the net by Filderman.

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

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

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