ROCKPORT — After a long, but highly successful road trip to Aroostook County that produced two season-opening victories the previous weekend, the Camden Hills ice hockey returned to the familiar Midcoast Recreation Center rink with high expectations for its first home game on Saturday night, Dec. 16.
However, while the Windjammers rallied and had opportunities to grab a win, visiting Hampden Academy had other ideas, as the Broncos skated to a 2-0 lead and built on that in the third period en route to a 4-2 victory.
Cam Christie and Bryce Tyler scored for Camden Hills and Christie added an assist. Cooper Leland tallied two unassisted goals and Marcus Dunn two goals, one assisted by Sam Economy and Cooper Leland, for Hampden Academy.
The Windjammers (2-1) battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game 2-2, but saw the visitors tally two third-period goals, including an empty-netter for the victory.
Hampden Academy, which has started the campaign 3-0, led 2-0 after one period and 2-1 after two stanzas.
“We got out to a slow start with some sloppy turnovers hurting us in the first period,” said veteran Windjammer coach Karl Enroth. “Overall, we just did not execute well enough during the game. At times we were too static, not moving, and other times we were getting in our own way.”
The competitive affair saw Hampden Academy hold a 20-19 edge in shots, as the hosts led 8-4 in the first period and trailed 9-4 in the second. The opponents took seven shots in the third.
Matt Czuchra made 16 saves between the pipes for Camden Hills and Cooper Ryan 17 stops in goal for Hampden Academy.
The teams finished 1-of-3 on the power play and had three minor penalties for six minutes.
“Goalie Matt Czuchra kept us in the game and we had some really good chances with the extra attacker toward the end of the game,” Enroth said. “Credit their freshman goalie Cooper Ryan for making some key saves and their best players, Leland and Dunn, for leading the way offensively.”
The coach said Leland took advantage of Camden Hills turnovers to give the Broncos a 2-0 lead. Christie scored a power-play goal to cut the margin to 2-1. Czuchra played a strong second period in net to keep it a one-goal deficit heading into the third.
Tyler and Christie converted on a two-on-one attack to tie the game with 10:30 left in the third period.
However, the Broncos went on the power play shortly after and Dunn scored to give the visitors a 3-2 edge.
Camden Hills called timeout with 1:44 remaining and pulled Czuchra for the extra attacker. The Windjammers generated offensive chances with just over a minute to play, but Ryan made key saves to prevent Camden Hills from scoring.
Dunn converted an empty-net goal with 46 seconds remaining to seal the victory for the visitors.
The individual scoring included:
First period — HA, 1-0, 10:29, Leland (unassisted). Leland scored on a wrist shot from the top slot. HA, 2-0, 8:14, Leland (unassisted). Leland scored on a wrist shot from the right face-off dot
Second period — CH, 2-1, 8:22, Christie (power-play goal, unassisted). Christie skated the puck in from the low left-side corner toward the Bronco net and shot low far right side.
Third period — CH, 2-2, 10:36, Tyler (Christie assisting). Christie skated the puck down the right side and passed to Tyler, who skated hard to the far-side left post, where Tyler one-timed the puck into the net. HA, 3-2, 8:57, Dunn (power-play goal (Economy, Leland assisting). Dunn scored on a wrist shot from the low slot. HA, 4-2, 0:46, Dunn (unassisted). Dunn skated into a Camden Hills turnover and scored in the empty net.