Gardiner Area High School’s offense tangles with Maranacook/Winthrop/Madison’s defense in front of the Hawks’ net during a hockey game Monday in Readfield. (Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal)

KENTS HILL — The hockey season in Gardiner simply can’t get going.

On Monday night at Kents Hill School’s Bonnefond Ice Arena, the Tigers were once again slowed to a complete stop. The lights inside the rink shut off with just under five and a half minutes remaining in the second period of Gardiner’s Class B South game against Maranacook/Winthrop/Madison. The Tigers were leading 3-0 at the time.

The game was suspended and will be completed from the point where it was halted — with 5:24 left in the second period — at a date and time to be determined.

“We only need about an hour to finish it, so we can probably do it during a practice (slot),” Maranacook/Winthrop/Madison coach Jack Rioux said.

The power outage was caused by a car accident on Main Street in Readfield, according to Maranacook athletic director Al MacGregor. He was told that it would be at least 30 minutes to restore power to the area, at which time the coaches and on-ice officials decided to postpone the game’s conclusion.

As the visiting coach, Gardiner’s Sam Moore was allowed to decide whether he wanted to wait out the outage or resume the game later. He chose not to have his players sit idle for the better part of an hour — citing concerns over injuries to players after sitting so long.

The Tigers, who finished last winter as the top seed in the region, have struggled their way to an 0-3-0 start. After opening the season with a loss to rival Cony on Dec. 9, they were scheduled to have two full weeks off before playing again. That game, scheduled for Dec. 23, was snowed out. They were on their way to a win Monday, having scored twice in the game’s first 1:27, before the power outage.

“I wouldn’t say we’re ‘snakebitten,’ but things aren’t progressing quite as quickly as I would have hoped for,” Moore said of his team’s start to the season. “We just can’t get a game in.”

Sean Michaud, Jakeb Weston and Cam Bourassa each scored goals for Gardiner. Senior captain Sloan Berthiaume had rushed through the neutral zone and cut off the right wing toward goal when the building went completely dark at the 6:30 mark of the middle period.

The lights came back on shortly thereafter, and the game resumed.

Less than five minutes later — 66 seconds of game time — the lights flickered on and off mid-play four times before going out again for good. Floodlights, powered by a generator, provided the only lighting in the rink at that point.

The teams were first sent to their benches, and a few minutes later to their respective locker rooms to await more information.

According to rules utilized by the Maine Principals’ Association, had the game made it to the conclusion of the second period, it would have been considered completed. Instead, the game was to be restarted from the point where it left off — unless the two head coaches agreed to a different arrangement.

Moore, understandably, did not want to restart the game from the beginning. Rioux didn’t want to restart it in the face of a three-goal deficit.

“I don’t know why (Moore) doesn’t see it my way,” Rioux joked.

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