With just under two minutes left, Hampden Academy was set to take a faceoff in Messalonskee’s end after an icing call. Coach Zach Wilson decided not to pull goalie Aaron Donovan to try and close the gap. Thirty seconds later Garrett Card got free on a breakaway to put in the insurance goal for a 3-1 Messalonskee win and Class B region championship.
The Eagles were hot out of the gates, getting a shot on goal just a few seconds after winning the opening faceoff on their way to 15 first-period shots. While Messo was held off the scoreboard in the opening period it took only 41 seconds into the second frame for Bryce Crowell to crack the goose egg. Messo put 36 shots on goal on the night and were stellar on their forecheck to dominate possession most of the game. Their depth was on display as they seemed to wear down the defense of the Broncos.
Hampden Academy knocked off one-seeded John Bapst, to get to the region finals as the four seed behind the stellar play of Donovan. Donovan was excellent again against Messo but faced pressure throughout the game, including several highlight stops.
The Broncos had several opportunities in the first period but Hunter Hallee was good for the Eagles, stopping 20 of the 21 shots on goal. Ten of the shots on goal came in the final period. Hampden did avoid the shutout after Lucas Cousins was able to put in a rebound with just over a minute left in the game, but it was too little too late.
Hampden Academy had an advantage on the power play but went 0-4. Messo was able to generate several good shorthanded attempts but were stymied by Donovan. The Eagles went 1-2 on their power play with Will Durkee putting in the second goal just over five minutes into the second period. Durkee had an assist on the other two goals as well and was the only player to finish with more than a point on the night.
Messalonskee will play Cape Elizabeth for the Class B state title Saturday at 10:30 am in Portland.