HALLOWELL — Charlie Griebel wasn’t about to pass on an opportunity to go out on top.

The Camden Hills senior scored two goals and assisted on another Friday evening, leading the Windjammers to a runaway 8-1 win over Capital Region in the finals of the inaugural “Covid Cup” at the Camden National Bank Ice Vault. Camden scored seven times in the second half to turn a close game into a rout.

Griebel watched the final 15 minutes of Camden’s nervy divisional win over Kennebec on Wednesday from the bench. By Thursday night, Griebel said there was at best a 50/50 chance his injured knee would be healed in time for puck drop on Friday.

But by the time he woke up on game day, the centerman had decided a little discomfort wasn’t going to keep him out of the final game of his high school career.

“Before we got on the bus my coach asked me how I was feeling, and I told him I was completely fine,” Griebel said. “Not that I was ignoring (the knee), but I didn’t want to send a message that made the team feel like I wasn’t there completely. As a captain, it’s my responsibility to show that I’m there to lead the team and show that I’m willing to give up anything to do so.”

Griebel played his part perfectly.


After his first stroke tied the game at a goal apiece late in the first half, Gribel opened the second-half scoring with the first of three Windjammer goals in a span of 1:37 less than three minutes into the frame.

What had been a 1-1 game dictated by the Hawks’ defensive structure and 15 blocked shots in front of netminder Thomas Thornton (33 saves) quickly turned into the display that is the Camden Hills offensive juggernaut when tit is firing on all cylinders.

“We didn’t have a lot of gas, running two lines,” said Capital Region coach Richard Fortin. “A game at this tempo, at this pace, it was tough on them having to go every other shift and not get a break.

“We would have liked to have a couple guys that weren’t available for quarantine reasons, but we were happy and proud of the guys that we got this far. We didn’t expect to get this far.”

The message at halftime was a simple one from Camden Hills coach John Magri, whose team had beaten Capital Region 8-0 on senior night just a couple of weeks earlier.

The Camden Hills bench celebrates with Charlie Griebel after he scored a first-half goal against Capital Region during the central Maine hockey tournament championship game Friday at the Camden National Bank Ice Vault in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

“They got a little outside their game (in the first half) and overcomplicated things,” Magri said. “We just told them to simplify and play their game. Their game is to outskate teams.”


Like they did in a fast start to the win over Kennebec, the Windjammers raced out of the break with an extra gear a tired Hawks team couldn’t match.

“It’s a great plan when we do it,” Magri said.

Camdyn Powell also scored twice for Camden, which finished its season 10-1-0. Levi Guay had a goal and two assists. Guay finished as the tournament’s leading scorer with nine points in three games.

Evan Gourley scored the lone goal for the Hawks, on the power-play at 9:31 of the first. Of Capital Region’s eight shots on the night, five came off the stick of Gourley.

That singularly-focused attacking game was sharply contrasted by wave after wave of one Windjammer line after another at the opposite end of the barn.

For Griebel and company, it was a superb way to cap off a season in which the Windjammers had aspirations of holding a much different type of hardware — one representing a Class B state or regional championship.

“It was very interesting to feel like we didn’t have all the time in the world to bond as a team,” Griebel said. “But it actually worked the opposite way without realizing it. It was pretty amazing to see all of us come together, despite not having all the locker room time. Bringing it in after four years of my high school career and 14 years with some of these players was one of the most amazing feelings.

With a skate around the rink holding the trophy over their heads, the Windjammers were able to salvage something out of an upside-down season.

“I think this more than salvages it,” Magri said. “I know in talking to all  the coaches, they looked at as for this year, for these seniors, this is their championship. At all of these schools, whoever won was going to be able to say, ‘We won the championship that year.’”

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