High school ice hockey

Camden Hills puts clamps on high-scoring Presque Isle, avenges loss to Wildcats

Windjammers build strong early lead, hold off Aroostook County opponent late
By Ken Waltz | Feb 03, 2019
Courtesy of: Molly Cole Scene from Presque Isle at Camden Hills on Feb. 2 in high school ice hockey at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport.

Rockport — Finally, the Camden Hills ice hockey team got the puck — and a close game — to bounce its way and, in the meantime, avenged a season-opening loss to a high-scoring opponent.

The Windjammers found themselves back at the friendly home rink confines of the Midcoast Recreation Center on Saturday night, Feb. 2 where Camden Hills staved off Presque Isle for a 4-3 win.

Camden Hills had lost three straight games, all by one or two goals, and also had fell 8-3 to the Wildcats to open the campaign in Aroostook County.

On Saturday, Camden Hills took control early and led 2-0 after one quarter. Both teams notched two goals in the second to make it 4-2 before the visitors added a final goal in the third period.

For Camden Hills, Bryce Tyler scored two goals and Michael Blackwell and Nate Van Lonkhuyzen one. Van Lonkhuyzen added an assist.

Goalie Jackson Bernier made 27 saves in another strong effort between the pipes for the Windjammers. Andre Daigle had 18 saves for the visitors.

The Wildcats outshot the Windjammers 30-22, including 11-8, 10-8 and 9-6 in the periods.

Neither team was efficient on the power play, as Camden Hills finished 1-of-7 and Presque Isle 1-of-10.

Camden Hills finished with 10 penalties for 20 minutes and Presque Isle seven infractions for 14 minutes.

Camden Hills scored at 12:21 of the first period as Tyler tallied a short-handed goal. Blackwell made it 2-0 at 1:26 on the power play, off an assist from Van Lonkhuyzen.

In the second period, Presque Isle cut its deficit to 2-1 at 14:35 as Thomas Patenaude scored, on assists from Jake Stevens and Torey Levesque. The Windjammers pushed their lead back to 3-1 at the 11:07-mark when Tyler scored his second goal and the hosts made it 4-1 at 6:27 as Van Lonkhuyzen put the puck in the net with the Windjammers short-handed.

The Camden Hills lead was cut to 4-2 with 5:08 left when the Wildcats scored. Levesque converted on assists from Jonah Roy and Stevens.

Presque Isle added another goal in the third period at 3:56 as Patenaude scored on the power play, off another Stevens assist.

Camden Hills coach John Magri said the Windjammers knew Presque Isle possessed a high-scoring offense, as the Wildcats averaged seven goals. "We felt confident that we have been one of the toughest teams in the league to score against," he said. "So it was a task of cutting Presque Isle’s offensive production way down, but also, we would have to come out of our scoring drought and put some pucks in the net."

The hosts did that quickly as Tyler "used his speed and broke through the Presque Isle defense on a breakaway and methodically unfolded their goaltender to place a puck on the ice deep into the Presque Isle net to put [in] what would be the first of two short-handed goals for Camden Hills of the night."

The coach said with about a minute left in the first the line of Blackwell, Van Lonkhuyzen and Ben Wells "executed a perfect power-play breakout" as Blackwell received a pass on the fly from Van Lonkhuyzen, which put Blackwell on the move as he came into the Presque Isle zone wide of the defense.

"The puck was on a roll and Blackwell was moving fast," Magri said. "He never really had good control of the puck while maintaining a gap with the defensemen, but he shot the rolling puck at the Presque Isle goalie and it tumbled up and over his shoulder to rest in the net for the second Camden Hills goal."

The coach said his squad was outshot in the opening period and added that "Presque Isle owned two-thirds of the period as it relates to offensive zone time, but we found a way to finish the period up by two goals, certainly attributing a large portion of that success to Jackson Bernier’s play in the net."

Less than 30 seconds into the second period Presque Isle won the faceoff, marched into the Windjammer zone and ran a beautiful “tic-tac-toe” play that allowed the Wildcats to put the puck into an open net on the back door with no defense or goaltender in the vicinity to stop the play.

"This was a huge wake-up call," Magri said.

As a response, Camden Hills scored two unanswered goals. Tyler brought a puck out of the Presque Isle corner and began to weave and skate around both circles to bring the puck low and high. He caught Presque Isle flat-footed as not one player put a stick or body on him during his travels, the coach said.

The coach said rather than push for deep penetration or try to set up a complex play, Tyler simply took a wrist shot from the top of the circle and it flew to the back of the net at the 11-minute mark of the period.

"This was an important goal emotionally for the team," Magri said.

Five minutes later Van Lonkhuyzen applied zone pressure on a penalty kill and stripped the puck from the Presque Isle defense and again took another wrist shot from the top of the circle that found the net.

With five minutes to go in the second, Stevens and Roy worked the puck high to Levesque who launched a bomb from the point that ripped through traffic and into the net.

Magri said during a penalty kill in the second period, Windjammer defensemen Nolan Delehey was "put down hard" by a Presque Isle forechecker and Delehey suffered a fractured collar bone. Camden Hills finished the game as it pulled Nicholas Tausek from the stable of forwards and added him to the defense corps "while also having concern for Delehey hanging in the air," the coach said.

The third period was a "grind," the coach said, as Camden Hills was a player down for more than half of the period as it killed penalties with "pure determination."

Multiple Camden Hills players blocked hard shots from the point and the slot, the coach said.

Bernier, in his worked between the pipes, battled hard not only to stop pucks but worked "through the war going on in front of the net that did eventually result in a penalty for Presque Isle" when Bernier was cross-checked as he stopped a puck.

Coach Magri said "Presque Isle is one of the best coached teams offensively that we have seen the entire season [as] their forwards are disciplined in constantly moving, getting time and space, and placing themselves in scoring pockets out of the minds and view of the defenders."

With four minutes left in the third period during a man advantage for Presque Isle Stevens found Pattenaude open in the slot and fed him so he could rip one home to bring the game to a one-goal contest.

"This was desperation hockey as Camden Hills played a man down for two of the four remaining minutes in the period and Presque Isle pulled their goalie for the additional man advantage," Magri said. "We were playing a penalty kill against the most offensive team in the league with the game on the line and the gritty play of Quinn Brown, Jason Greenleaf and Andrew Orne on defense, along with Bernier in the net," bolstered by the penalty kill pairs of Tyler and Blackwell, as well as Van Lonkhuyzen and Wells.

The coach said Bernier played a stellar game and really stepped up for a freshman goalie "confronted with a very physical, high-pressure game in the crease."

Tyler again led the squad all over the ice and on the bench, but also put goals in the net, the coach said. Blackwell was a standout on the night, Magri added, as "his work ethic and physical play in an effort to limit Presque Isle’s offensive production during equal play and penalty kills was a key component to our victory, along with his power-play goal to close the first period."

Van Lonkhuyzen was another key factor in the win, the coach said. "The penalty kill of Van Lonkhuyzen and Wells is a formidable weapon in the Camden Hills arsenal resulting in his shorthanded game-winning goal combined with an assist on Blackwell’s power-play goal. It was a night for seniors to lead their team and deliver on the ice as Tyler, Blackwell and Van Lonkhuyzen were all over the game sheet in this game during the last season of their high school careers."

In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Class B North, Camden Hills (8-5, 55.0309 points) is third, while Old Town/Orono (11-2, 69.5062 points) is first in the nine-team region. The top six teams qualify for the playoffs.

Scene from Presque Isle at Camden Hills on Feb. 2 in high school ice hockey at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Presque Isle at Camden Hills on Feb. 2 in high school ice hockey at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Presque Isle at Camden Hills on Feb. 2 in high school ice hockey at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Presque Isle at Camden Hills on Feb. 2 in high school ice hockey at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Presque Isle at Camden Hills on Feb. 2 in high school ice hockey at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Presque Isle at Camden Hills on Feb. 2 in high school ice hockey at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Presque Isle at Camden Hills on Feb. 2 in high school ice hockey at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Presque Isle at Camden Hills on Feb. 2 in high school ice hockey at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Source: Molly Cole)
Scene from Presque Isle at Camden Hills on Feb. 2 in high school ice hockey at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Presque Isle at Camden Hills on Feb. 2 in high school ice hockey at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Presque Isle at Camden Hills on Feb. 2 in high school ice hockey at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Presque Isle at Camden Hills on Feb. 2 in high school ice hockey at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Presque Isle at Camden Hills on Feb. 2 in high school ice hockey at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Presque Isle at Camden Hills on Feb. 2 in high school ice hockey at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
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