High school ice hockey

Cool overtime thriller: Windjammers sail back from two-goal deficit to ice Broncos in epic playoff battle

Tyler, Van Lonkhuysen score twice to lead No. 4 Camden Hills past No. 5 Hampden Academy
By Mark Haskell | Feb 27, 2019
Photo by: Zack Miller Camden Hills' Quinn Brown skates on Feb. 26 in a high school ice hockey game against Hampden Academy. The host Windjammers beat the Broncos 5-4 in overtime in a Class B North quarterfinal playoff game at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport.

Rockport — If the high school ice hockey quarterfinal playoff showdown between fourth-ranked and host Camden Hills and No. 5 Hampden Academy was any indication, the rest of the postseason could be a wild ride in Class B North.

The Windjammers fell to the Broncos twice in the regular season and looked to be well on their way to an early playoff exit on Tuesday night, Feb. 26 as Hampden Academy scored three straight second-period goals and led by two goals at various points of the second and third periods.

But, an acrobatic goal by senior sniper Bryce Tyler ultimately forced overtime for Camden Hills and a long-range wrist shot by senior Nate Van Lonkhuysen that found the back of the net with 2:35 left in the extra period sealed the deal as the Windjammers emerged victorious with a thrilling, 5-4 victory at the rocking, jam-packed Midcoast Recreation Center.

Watch video and see more photos below.

“That’s what they have,” said Windjammer coach John Magri. “They find a way. They’re the junkyard dogs of the league. Almost every game we’ve won has been by one goal.”

“We stuck with it,” said Tyler. “We didn’t keep our heads down. We changed our goalie, we got him in the game and the momentum after we kept scoring goals, we just never gave up. All positivity on the bench. The positivity brought everyone up.”

Tyler and Van Lonkhuysen scored twice, while Tyler added two assists and Van Lonkhuysen one for Camden Hills. Dylan Hastings also had a goal and an assist, while Andrew Orne, Charlie Griebel and Quinn Brown had one assist for the hosts.

Connor Leland finished with two goals and an assist to lead Hampden Academy, while Logan Christian (goal), Khaleb Hale (goal, assist), Owen Cross (2 assists) and Alex Briggs (assist) also helped the visitors.

Jackson Bernier minded the net for the first two periods for Camden Hills and made eight saves on 12 shots before giving way to Will Gardner for the third period and overtime. Gardner stopped all four shots he faced between the pipes for the Windjammers.

Coach Magri said he does not have a true starting goalie, but rather has simply ridden “the hot hand” throughout the season.

“I have a great goalie tandem,” said Magri of his freshman/sophomore duo in Bernier and Gardner. “If you combine their stats, they’re the best in Class B North.”

Evan Thomas made 31 saves on 36 shots in goal for the Broncos.

Camden Hills committed four penalties and Hampden Academy two, all two-minute minors.

With the win, Camden Hills (12-7) advances to the semifinals, where it will face No. 1 Old Town/Orono (13-5) on Saturday, March 2 at 5 p.m. at Colby College in Waterville.

Old Town/Orono beat Camden Hills twice this season — 3-1 on Jan. 18 in Orono and 5-2 on Feb. 6 in Rockport.

Hampden Academy, which also beat Camden Hills 4-1 on Dec. 26 and 3-2 on Jan. 23, saw its season wrap at 10-8-1.

After a back-and-forth first period, it was the Windjammers who got on the board first when Tyler raced up the left side and put his defender on his back, glided across the mouth of the goal and beat Thomas glove side with 7:53 to go.

The Windjammers maintained that one-goal edge into the second period before the Broncos went on the offensive — in a big way — to the tune of three straight goals.

Camden Hills drew a charging penalty with 13:24 to go, which set up the power play for Hampden Academy.

Six seconds later, the Broncos found the net after a faceoff in their own end as Christian batted a briefly loose puck upwards and past Bernier with 13:18 to play.

Then, exactly a minute later, the visitors took a 2-1 advantage on a goal by Hale, and added a third with 8:01 to go in the period after Leland fired a slap shot — and tumbled to the ice while doing so — to give Hampden Academy a two-goal edge.

After giving up the early power-play goal, the Camden Hills penalty kill rose to the challenge and did not allow a goal to Hampden Academy after being challenged twice more in the second period and again in the third.

The Windjammers stole momentum after killing off the second Bronco power play of the second period as they almost immediately scored as Tyler and Hastings found themselves on a two-on-one breakaway.

Tyler’s shot missed its mark, but Hastings was there for the rebound as Camden Hills cut its deficit to 3-2 with 2:05 to play.

But, the Broncos retook a two-goal lead after a brief defensive lapse by the Windjammers as Leland found the net with 6.1 seconds to go to give the visitors a 4-2 lead.

“They weren’t down [after the second period],” said Magri. “We’ve got some great captains and that was probably the only moment in the game we let up. Hampden [Academy] capitalized. One of our captains, Mike Blackwell, came in and said, ‘Guys we’ve gotta play all 15 minutes. We can’t even let up for nine seconds.’ They’re just resilient and that’s the message they got from him. We’ve got 15 more minutes of work to do.”

“We knew if we hung our heads, we would have lost the game,” said Tyler. “No one hung their heads [and] we stuck with it. We said we have to grind each shift and if we score each shift we’re going to come back and win this game.”

Camden Hills came out in the third period throwing everything they could on the net — which paid dividends — as the Windjammers got a goal by Van Lonkhuysen, who collected a rebound off a miss by Orne and buried it with 13:14 to go.

Then, with 10:15 to go in regulation, Tyler came through with the equalizer to make it 4-4.

Griebel fired a shot on goal from a few feet outside the faceoff circle before Tyler slid across the crease and fired a shot from one knee that beat the Bronco goalie glove side to tie the game.

“I just saw the puck go straight to the net,” said Tyler. “No matter what I was going to get to that puck and put the puck in the net. It was crazy. And the fans were amazing. We haven’t had fans like that in three years. It was great for all of us and it brought our tempo up.”

“He can skate, he can shoot, he can backcheck [and] he can hit,” said Magri of Tyler. “He’s legit. He’s a captain, he led by example and he wanted this more than anything in his life. He’s a senior, and he went out and did it.”

The teams battled back and forth throughout the rest of regulation and well into the eight-minute overtime period, before Van Lonkhuysen forced a turnover in the neutral zone and fired a wrister from just inside the blue line for the game-winner.

“It was exhilarating,” said Van Lonkhuyzen. “I missed practice yesterday because I was sick for a few days, so I didn’t play as much as I wanted to today. But I still got a couple goals. The last one was something special I guess. I picked up the puck, took it in, saw an opening and shot. The crowd was crazy.”

Hampden Academy at Camden Hills ice hockey
Camden Hills hosts Hampden Academy on Feb. 26 in high school ice hockey at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Video by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Nate Van Lonkhuyzen. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Nate Van Lonkhuyzen. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Nate Van Lonkhuyzen. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Michael Blackwell. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Michael Blackwell, top, and Nate Van Lonkhuyzen. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Charlie Griebel, front, and Bryce Tyler. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Charlie Griebel. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Dylan Hastings. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Jason Greenleaf. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Dylan Hastings. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Michael Blackwell. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Dylan Hastings, right, and a Hampden Academy player. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler, bottom, and Jason Greenleaf. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Charlie Griebel, front, and Jason Greenleaf. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Dylan Hastings, front, and Hampden Academy's Cooper Leland. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Dylan Hastings. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Quinn Brown, left, and a Hampden Academy player. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Ben Wells, among others. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Nicholas Tausek. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Nicholas Tausek. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Nicholas Tausek. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Nicholas Tausek. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Ben Wells, front, and Nicholas Tausek, left, among others. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Andrew Orne. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Andrew Orne, left, and Hampden Academy's Peyton Chahley. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Andrew Orne, left, and Hampden Academy's Peyton Chahley. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Andrew Orne, left, and Ben Wells. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Ben Wells. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Dylan Hastings. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler, middle, and Quinn Brown, right, and Hampden Academy's Khaleb Hale. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Hayden Thibeault, front, and Ben Wells, left, among others. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Hayden Thibeault, front, and Ben Wells, left, as well as Hampden Academy's Michael Delahanty. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Hayden Thibeault, front, and Ben Wells. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Andrew Orne, right, and Hampden Academy's Michael Delahanty. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler, front, and Hampden Academy's Cooper Leland. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Dylan Hastings, right, and Hampden Academy's Parker Shawley. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Jason Greenleaf, right, and Hampden Academy's Trevor Reed. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Ben Wells. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Ben Wells, right, and Hampden Academy's Noah Dancoes. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Ben Wells, right, and Hampden Academy's Noah Dancoes. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Ben Wells, right, and Hampden Academy's Noah Dancoes. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler, middle, among Hampden Academy players. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler, left, among Hampden Academy players. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler, middle, and Hampden Academy's Cameron Henderson, left, and Logan Christian. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler, middle, and Dylan Hastings, back, as well as Hampden Academy's Cameron Henderson. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Dylan Hastings. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' players celebrate. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Jason Greenleaf. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Charlie Griebel. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Charlie Griebel. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Nate Van Lonkhuyzen, right, as well as Hampden Academy's Adam Thompson, middle, and Cooper Leland, right. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Ben Wells. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
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