READFIELD — A game that had been defined by power-play goals felt as if it would need another to decide the outcome in an extra period.

Garrett Card knew that — and about as soon as the Messalonskee boys hockey team got that man advantage in overtime, he fired the shot that put the Eagles over the edge.

Card’s goal at 4:30 of overtime Tuesday gave Messalonskee a 4-3 victory over Cony at Kents Hill School. The goal was the sixth on the power play in the contest, which saw the Rams come back from deficits twice before the Eagles prevailed in sudden death.

“We got a timeout after a penalty on them, and we said, ‘All right, this is our chance to score,’” Card said. “I just had that feeling that we were going to put one in — somebody was — and it just happened to be me. We had the adrenaline, and everybody was excited, and I felt that for the first time in a while.”

Messalonskee never trailed in the game but had let leads of 2-0 early in the second period and 3-2 with less than three minutes remaining in the contest slip away. The win gave the Eagles a much-needed result on the heels of three losses in four games after a 5-0 start to the season.

Although Messalonskee produced no shortage of scoring chances after Cony (6-4) had the game’s first shot on goal, Rams goaltender Landon Foster kept the game scoreless through the opening period. The senior made 14 saves in the frame for Cony, which overcame a tripping penalty to stay level through one.


Messalonskee’s Tyler Hansen, left, tries to get past Cony/Hall-Dale//Monmouth/Maranacook/Winthrop/Erskine/Richmond defenseman Luke Johnson during a boys hockey game Tuesday in Kents Hill. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“He’s a tough goaltender,” Messalonskee head coach Dennis Martin said of Foster. “If you don’t get traffic in front of him, he’s probably going to stop it, and that’s what he did there. … They played us tough and fought back; every time we got something going, they’d come right back at us.” 

Cony certainly would do that, but not before Messalonskee (7-3) finally found a way past Foster twice in quick succession early in the second period. First, Card scored his first of two goals on the power play at 1:17 to open the scoring; then, the Eagles doubled the lead at 2:32 on a goal from Tyler Hansen.

Yet the Eagles would get called for two penalties following the goals, and the Rams made them pay on both occasions. Cony halved the deficit at 5:23 as Alex Leet followed up a save by Hunter Hallee by trickling the puck just over the line following a tripping penalty. After a hooking call, Cooper Clark then scored at 10:12 to tie the game.

“We just settled down and got back to the fundamentals,” said Cony head coach Doug Dieuveuil. “We said, ‘Guys, this is the base system that we’re running,’ and we got back to the things that we’ve done over and over again. We fought back, and we competed. That’s what our kids do.”

With a Cony power play late in the second period carrying over to the third, Owen Kirk scored at 1:39 to put Messalonskee back in front. With 2:37 left to play, though, the Rams’ Ben Platt scored on an assist from Ray Dineen to tie the game once again and ultimately send it to overtime.



Cony/Hall-Dale//Monmouth/Maranacook/Winthrop/Erskine/Richmond’s Caiden Kelley, left, and Messalonskee’s Denny Martin go after the puck during a boys hockey game Tuesday in Kents Hill. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Just after the midway point of the extra period, a penalty on Cony gave Messalonskee the man advantage. It took Card just five seconds to fire the winning goal past Foster, prompting a jubilant celebration of white jerseys that meant a little bit more for the Eagles after the recent skid.

“This one really helped us and boosted our confidence,” Card said. “We lost those three (of four), and that put us down, but we weren’t out; we knew we could turn things around. We know we can skate, and we know we have really good players, and today, we capitalized. It felt really good.”

Messalonskee finished 3 of 7 on the power play, scoring the game’s only full-strength goal on Hansen’s tally in the second period, while Cony was an impressive 3 of 5. Foster made 30 saves on the evening for the Rams, while Hallee made 16 for the Eagles.

Both coaches attributed their teams’ exploits on the power play to strong puck movement. Having extra bodies near the net, Dieuveuil said, was key to Cony having 60 percent success with the man advantage, while Martin noted that screens in front of the net had set up his power-play goals.

“We did a great job moving the puck and trying to get guys in spots to get screens in front and move side to side,” Martin said. “They battled us, and we had to battle back, and we were able to get a few two-on-ones. It was a great win to get us back going and get us some momentum.”

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