HALLOWELL — The Cony and Gardiner boys hockey teams engaged in yet another intense and physical affair when they renewed their rivalry Tuesday afternoon at the Camden Bank Ice Vault.

And  in the end, the Rams pulled away with a 4-1 victory. Cony — which includes players from Erskine Academy, Mt. Blue, Monmouth Academy and Richmond — improved to 4-5-0. Gardiner fell to 2-6-0.

“It feels great, it always feels great to beat (Gardiner),” said Cony goaltender Matty Shea, who finished with 17 saves.

Jacob Godbout and Jacob Varney each had a goal and assist for the Rams, while Casey Paul scored the lone goal for the Tigers. But the game was a physical battle, with both squads doing their best to out-check one another on the ice and into the boards.

“There are many years where Gardiner is way better than we are, there are years where we’re better than Gardiner. Every time we play each other, it doesn’t seem to matter because (intensity and physicality) seem to come out of it,” said Cony head coach Shawn Johnson. “Of course, (Gardiner head coach Tyler Wing) doesn’t promote that, I don’t promote that. But sometimes the intensity of the rivalry can take over.”

The win breaks a two-game skid for Cony, which is trying to get back into a rhythm after going two weeks without games due to cancellations.


“I really like our team, the way they’ve been working the puck together,” Johnson said. “They’re looking for open men, they’re looking for a pass instead of going one-on-one against everybody. They’re working as a team much better, that’s what I’ve really noticed.”

Cony teammates congratulate Nick Levesque after he scored the Rams third goal during a boys hockey game Tuesday at the Camden National Bank Ice Vault in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Up 1-0 thanks to a Godbout goal in the first period, Cony did its biggest damage in the second period, as it got goals from Varney, Nick Levesque and Cale Harrington to grab a 4-0 lead.

Gardiner fought back in the third period, outshooting the Rams  9-5, with Paul picking up his goal right in front of Shea to cut the deficit to 4-1. The Tigers had a chance to cut further into the lead, particularly with a 5-on-3 situation with six minutes remaining, but Shea turned away each Gardiner shot. Cony managed to kill both penalties to get back to even strength.

“It’s always a good battle with Cony when we play them,” Gardiner head coach Tyler Wing said. “I think it just came down to the players not being prepared. We didn’t have practice (Monday), so we weren’t on our A-game at that moment. It showed in the first two periods, and they came out and found an answer to what we were throwing at them.”

“You stay calm and confident (while down two players on the ice),” Shea added. “When you’ve got it, you’ve got it.”

Gardiner goalie Sean Doyle had a strong game in net, turning away multiple scoring opportunities from Cony, including on a breakaway shot from Jack Morrill in the third period.


“He’s a strong goalie,” Wing said. “He’s faced a lot of shots the last few games and working hard every game. We’ve just got to find a way to clear the puck out, so it doesn’t find the back of the net.”


Dave Dyer – 621-5640


Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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