AUBURN — Local standout Matt Poulin gave the home fans something to cheer about, scoring a pair of goals in Central Maine Community College’s first men’s hockey win of the season Saturday, a 6-3 victory over the Dartmouth College club team in an ACHA contest at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

“It means a lot. No other group of guys I’d rather share it with,” Poulin said. “It’s just a piece of history for the community, so anybody being a part of that, it’s just an honor to be a part of that.”

The Lewiston native tied the game 1-1 late in the first period, burying a fortuitous deflection into an open net from the right post. Falmouth’s Josh Noyes and Poland’s Rob Berube assisted on the goal.

Poulin gave the Mustangs (1-1) the lead for the second time midway through the second period. Evan Sullivan earlier gave CMCC its initial lead, with an assist from Auburn native Cade Chapman, only for the Big Green (0-2) to tie the game with a Pat Harvey power-play goal. But Poulin responded 47 seconds later with an assist from South Portland’s Dylan Farrell-Reny to make it 3-2 Mustangs.

“They call those ‘back-breakers,'” CMCC coach Kevin Cady said. “Those are the ones that demoralize the other team.”

“When you score goals, it gains momentum for your team,” Poulin added. “So to take that away from them right away and carry that momentum for us, and keep it going for us, was big.”

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It took the Mustangs most of the first period to get their offensive wits about them. Emerson Mahoney gave the Big Green a 1-0 lead just 2:16 into the game, leaving CMCC fighting for an equalizer all period until Poulin finally provided it. The Mustangs put 13 shots on goal in the first, and passed up a bunch of others looking for more high-percentage shots that never materialized.

“I think that we’re tentative, based on just — it’s only our second game ever together, and it’s just trying to get guys to jel,” Cady said. “But I think that our conditioning and our practicing, we get stronger as the game gets on.”

Dartmouth came on strong to start the third period. The Big Green had the first seven shots on goal in the frame, including four on a power play, followed by Sam Fortsner’s tying goal seconds after the man-advantage had elapsed.

The Mustangs eventually righted their ship, and Sullivan gave them the lead back (and for good) just past the midway point of the period. Greene native Caleb LaBrie and Matt Henderson provided the assists.

Henderson put the game away with the game’s final two goals. The first came on the power play, with Henderson taking a feed from Keagan Crawley in his own defensive zone and taking it the rest of the way. The second included some fancy footwork and stick work near the right post for an unassisted goal.

“I’m amazed when I watch him in practice, I’m amazed when I watch him during games,” Cady said. “We are very, very fortunate to have a kid with his caliber, because when he gets going everybody gets going. He’s got some unbelievable skills.”

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Kenny Miller stopped 27 shots in net for the Mustangs, including 13 in the third period.

“Kenny Miller came back from the last game. He was really hurt that he let up those goals,” Cady said. “We brought him back this game because … we wanted him to come back and get him right back on the horse. It’s a lot of pressure for him, but he came through for us.”

Scott Bohn made 29 saves for the Big Green, which had just 10 players for the game.

The Big Green are now a footnote in history as the team on the losing end of the Mustangs’ first win in this iteration of the program. The school iced a team in the mid-90s, as well, but the team has been dormant for more than 15 years.

“A lot of work’s gone into this, getting to this point,” Cady said. “The kids have been working now since the end of August. We’ve built to this point, and the kids brought it today. They brought it last game (a 7-6 loss), but this game they finished it.”

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