READFIELD — Landon Foster can be forgiven for waking up a little tired and stiff Wednesday morning.

The junior netminder for the Cony/Hall-Dale/Erskine/Winthrop/Monmouth co-op made a career-high 70 saves to hold undefeated Messalonskee to a 4-1 margin of victory Tuesday night in a Class B North boys hockey game at Bonnefond Arena. Foster’s play served the starring role in the third straight defeat for his team, and it was the the only thing anybody was talking about by night’s end.

“He was a hot goalie,” said Messalonskee senior Jack Hammond, whose first-period goal snapped a 1-1 tie. “It seemed like were doing everything according to plan, but that was the one stop in our plan. A hot goalie can really throw your night off.”

Reprimanded by head coach Dennis Martin following a lackluster start over the weekend on the road at Brewer, the Eagles (6-0-0) needed no such urging against the Rams. Instead, Martin focused squarely on the work done by Foster to keep Messalonskee from churning out a laugher.

“We were moving him, he was phenomenal. That’s all you can say,” Martin said of Foster. “Our guys were plugging and plugging, trying, moving the puck across and he’d come and make a sliding save. We were doing all the little things.”

Owen Kirk put the Eagles on the board at 9:13 of the first period, but Ben Platt evened things up for Cony (1-4-0) on a rare Ram odd-man rush at the 10:51 mark.


Hammond needed less than half a shift — 27 seconds, to be exact — to put Messalonskee on top to stay.

“He’s going to crack eventually. He’s human,” said Hammond, who swatted home a third-chance rebound in front of Foster. “I wanted to go out there and score right away. I thought it was a really big momentum swinger.”

From there, it was nearly all Foster.

The junior stopped all eight shots he faced during a 1:42 5-on-3 Messalonskee power play to begin the second period.

Cony/Hall-Dale/Erskine/Winthrop/Monmouth junior goalie Landon Foster, left, defends the net as Messalonskee sophomore forward Owen Kirk looks to get his stick on the puck during a game Tuesday night at Bonnefond Ice Arena at Kents Hill School in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Foster stopped 21 of 22 Messalonskee power-play shots. Two of the four goals Foster surrendered were on rebounds — including Denny Martin’s man-advantage tally late in the second to make it 3-1 — and perhaps Foster’s most impressive stop of the game came at 9:10 of the third when he went post-to-post to stop Kirk’s drive from the bottom of the left circle.

Of course, that’s not counting stops he made on Martin’s breakaway and Kirk’s net-front drive off the wall just 45 seconds apart in the first period.


“He was absolutely awesome, and we’re so lucky to have him,” Cony coach Shawn Johnson said. “When he’s in that groove and he’s on it, I’m almost not even paying attention to the shots. I know Landon’s going to get to it. How lucky are we?”

The final goal with six seconds remaining in the third came when Messalonskee center Bryce Crowell initially misplayed his pass attempt across the slot.

“If that was midway through the game, I wouldn’t have cheated (off my post),” Foster said. “But I thought there was no way he was going to shoot that puck.”

It was about the only second-guessing Foster allowed himself, admitting he’s never been has physically worn out following a game as he was Tuesday.

“I don’t think I’ve ever faced that many shots, honestly,” Foster said. “It feels good that I made all those saves, but at the same time it’s hard to see the boys lose. That’s a good team over there.

“If we start to play like that and get a little momentum, I think we’re going to be fine. I know we’ve got a couple of games coming up that we can definitely win.”

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