Thanks to our special correspondent Adrian Ellingwood for the recap of the game!

Photo Angela Ellingwood
Photo Angela Ellingwood

Saturday afternoon the Houlton/Hodgdon Blackhawks hosted the Hampden Academy Broncos at Millar Arena. Despite the absence of Lucas Dunn for the 4th straight game, the Broncos were able to fight through and snap a 4-game winless streak, winning 5-1.

Hampden Academy dominated the first 3 minutes of play, similar to the previous encounter with the Blackhawks this season. However, a turnover in the defensive zone left Konnor Lynds with a chance to shoot and score. The goal was assisted by Kanyun McNinch with 11:50 left to play in the first period.

With 8:50 to play in the period, Keith Brooks picked up the puck in the defensive zone, and found Boston Merrow, who was in on a breakaway. Merrow faked out the Blackhawks goaltender and put the puck into the net to tie up the game. That was his 4th goal of the season and Brooks’ team-leading 13th assist on the year.

The Broncos power play unit took to the ice with Zachary Hoops in the box, and with Hampden Academy applying pressure it was only a matter of time before Matt Shayne found the back of the net once again, assisted by Evan Veves at 5:33.

The score would remain 2-1 at the end of the period, but the Broncos would start the period with a full 2 minute power play after Gavyn Drew’s end-of-period penalty. Hampden Academy dominated the shots on goal category, outshooting Houlton/Hodgdon 19-6 in the first period.

The second period was no different from the first. Hampden Academy played well for 3 minutes, but this time they opened the scoring. Matt Shayne used his outstanding speed to fly past the Blackhawk defender, and fired a shot past goaltender Dawson Cole to make it 3-1. He was assisted by Boston Merrow and Keith Brooks at 12:09.

With 2:29 remaining in the period, Houlton/Hodgdon thought they had added a second goal to their total, but it was waved off by the referee. As a Blackhawks player was attempting a wrap-around, he played it in front of the net where Houlton thought they had scored. The referee signaled no goal, and that decision did not settle well with the Blackhawks’ fans.

The period ended with Hampden Academy still up 3-1, outshooting the Blackhawks 20-5 in the second period.

In the third period, things started to heat up. First, Tucker Leland’s goal with 6:20 left to play in the period gave the Broncos a 3-goal lead, and it also gave Gunnar Weil an assist. Just under a minute later, Colin McKay got shoved to the ice by a Blackhawk, but McKay got sent to the box, along with a Houlton/Hodgdon player. Matching minors at 5:36. Just seconds later, with 5:15 left to play in the game, Boston Merrow got tripped up resulting in another penalty, this time against Garrett Fitzpatrick. Merrow would end up scoring on the resulting power play assisted by Keith Brooks with 4:02 to play.

Hampden Academy would improve to 4-5-1 (4-2-1 in Class B North) while the Blackhawks fall to 1-8. The Broncos will host rivals Old Town/Orono on Tuesday while Houlton/Hodgdon will travel to Brewer on Wednesday.

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