High school ice hockey

Spell-bound: Top-ranked Camden Hills puts overtime hex on Witches

Delehey tallies decisive goal in extra time, as Blackwell assists
By Ken Waltz | Jan 13, 2019
Courtesy of: Molly Cole Scene from Camden Hills at Brewer on Jan. 12 in high school ice hockey at the Penobscot Ice Arena. The visiting Windjammers beat the Witches 3-2 in overtime.

Brewere — Top-ranked teams — in fact, potential championship groups — find ways to carve out wins against hard-working, desperate opponents, even if it takes extra effort and, in the case of the Camden Hills ice hockey squad, overtime.

The Windjammers, who continue to be the highest-seeded team in Class B North thus far this winter, put another significant high school rink victory on ice Saturday afternoon, Jan. 12 with a 3-2 overtime win over host Brewer at the Penobscot Ice Arena.

Nolan Delehey notched the game-winning goal, on an assist from Michael Blackwell, at 2:29 of overtime to give the visitors a solid victory.

Blackwell and Charlie Griebel also scored for Camden Hills, while Griebel added an assist.

Kevin Moreau and Liam Spaulding netted goals for Brewer, as Zach Steiger and Jordan Parkhurst added assists.

Camden Hills scored goals in the first and third periods, as well as overtime. The Witches tallied goals in the first and second periods.

Windjammer goalie Will Gardner "kept his team in the fight," said coach John Magri, with 24 saves on 26 shots.

The Windjammers held a 34-26 edge in shots on goal, including 9-8, 12-8 and 10-8 in the first three periods and 3-2 in the extra time.

Camden Hills was whistled for eighth penalties for 19 minutes and Brewer three infractions for six minutes. In fact, strong penalty kill was a key factor in the Windjammers' victory.

Tyler St. Lawrence played in goal for the Witches and made 31 saves.

In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Class B North, Camden Hills (7-2, 30.1852 points) is first in the nine-team region. The top six teams in the region qualify for the playoffs.

"Although we were perched in first place and Brewer was in second-to-last-place in Class B North, we did not take this game lightly," Magri said. "Brewer has not found the win column very often this season, but they have played most of the teams in Class B North to very tight, hard-fought, one- and two-goal losses. Combine this with the propensity or history of Brewer focusing predominantly on the physical aspects of the game and the large size of a majority of their players, we knew this was going to be a hard-fought win we were going to have to earn."

The coach said the Windjammers got from the Witches what they expected in the first period. "Brewer was playing hungry and physical. We were on our heels lacking fire in our forwards and our defense was playing timid. Once again, we were not playing 'our game' in the first period."

Still, the Windjammers scored first as Blackwell converted a feed from Griebel, but 90 seconds later Brewer tied the game on a power-play goal by Moreau, assisted by Steiger.

"I felt fortunate to get out of the first period with a tie as once again we struggled to find our mental space in the first period on the road," Magri said.

The coach said the second period began "with a lot of frustration with perceived imbalance of infractions putting Camden Hills at a man-disadvantage for multiple minutes, the least of which was a five-minute major penalty on Dylan Hastings."

Brewer scored seconds into the penalty, but Camden Hills did not get a player back, as is the case for minor penalties, due to the penalty being a major.

Shortly after that goal, Camden Hills picked up another penalty, which, at that point, resulted in a two-man disadvantage.

"This adversity and physical nature of the game manifested itself in Camden Hills senior captain Bryce Tyler becoming a tornado of speed, grit, physicality and productive play that not only killed off these penalties, but put Brewer on their heels," the coach said. "His play and refusal to lose the game became infectious and he was the electrical current on and off the ice that elevated the rest of the team to grind and leave everything on the ice. Moments like that are the intangibles that a great captain can bring to a team and Bryce had one of those moments and an incredible game."

In the third period, Camden Hills continued to grind out penalty kills in order to keep the game close and the team's energy and work ethic was pivotal, the coach said.

Six minutes into the period, Griebel scored to tie the game 2-2. Brewer coaches and captains protested the goal with the officials, Magri said, but the goal call stood.

"Camden Hills continued to be scrutinized by the officials culminating in a holding call with 14 seconds left in the game," Magri said. The call "would provide a great opportunity for Brewer as we would now enter into a sudden-death overtime period with a man-disadvantage for the first 1:44 of overtime play."

Again, the visitors ground out a penalty kill and finally were in a position to play five-on-five hockey and set the offense in motion later in the OT.

Two minutes and 30 seconds into OT the Windjammers set up "methodically" in the Brewer end.

Blackwell was first to the puck in the deep right corner and fed to Delehey at the point. Meanwhile, Griebel positioned himself in front of the net to screen the goalie and Tyler cycled from high-to-low on a path to crash the net for a potential rebound.

"There was no rebound to be had as Delehey rifled a rocket from the point right between Griebel and Tyler over the goalie’s shoulder to end the game," the coach said.

The highlights of the contest, Magri said, certainly was Delehey’s game-winning goal and the gritty play and leadership Tyler invested. Blackwell, another captain, also was a "big force on the ice and real playmaker in this game tallying a goal, an assist and originating the game-winning play."

The individual scoring included:

First period — Brew, 5:30, Kevin Moreau (Zach Steiger assisting), power play; and CH, 4:11, Michael Blackwell (Charlie Griebel assisting).

Second period — Brew, 4:51, Liam Spaulding (Jordan Parkhurst assisting), power play; and CH, 6:16, Charlie Griebel.

OT — CH, 2:29, Nolan Delehey (Michael Blackwell assisting).

Scene from Camden Hills at Brewer on Jan. 12 in high school ice hockey. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Camden Hills at Brewer on Jan. 12 in high school ice hockey. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Camden Hills at Brewer on Jan. 12 in high school ice hockey. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Camden Hills at Brewer on Jan. 12 in high school ice hockey. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Camden Hills at Brewer on Jan. 12 in high school ice hockey. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Camden Hills at Brewer on Jan. 12 in high school ice hockey. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Camden Hills at Brewer on Jan. 12 in high school ice hockey. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Camden Hills at Brewer on Jan. 12 in high school ice hockey. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Camden Hills at Brewer on Jan. 12 in high school ice hockey. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
Scene from Camden Hills at Brewer on Jan. 12 in high school ice hockey. (Courtesy of: Molly Cole)
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