Sunday, January 5, 2014

Windham Eagles Ice Hockey roundup - By Scott Beard

The Windham Eagles Ice Hockey has been busy the last two weeks, picking up one win against three losses after their opening night victory over Massabesic/OOB.

South Portland 5 – Windham 4
Windham came up a little short in their second game of the season, as South Portland scored the final two goals, sealing victory for the Red Riots. South Portland raced out to a 2-0 first period lead on goals from Kyle Halvorsen and Andrew Whipple. The Eagles came roaring back late in the period as Zack Callahan and Gage Chenard each found the back of the net while shorthanded to send the teams into the locker room tied at 2. Caleb Klowas put the Eagles ahead 3-2 with his first career goal only to have Halvorsen answer back a minute later. Klowas would get another before the period was over to push Windham ahead 4-3 with fifteen minutes remaining. 

South Portland evened things up on the power play and got the eventual game winner from Halvorsen midway through the third period. Clayton Owens stopped 30 of 35 shots for Windham in the loss.

Mt. Ararat 2 – Windham 1
Windham opened up their home schedule with a tough 2-1 loss to Mt. Ararat high school on December 14th. Mt. Ararat got a pair of goals from Kyle Lussier, en route to the win. Windham, trailing 2-0 late made things interesting, scoring a goal with 1:50 remaining, and hit the post moments later as they couldn’t quite come up with the equalizer. Gage Chenard picked Windham’s goal and Clayton Owens stopped 37 shots in the loss.

Gray-New Gloucester/Poland 5 – Windham 1
Gray-New Gloucester/Poland jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead over the Eagles and never looked back as they picked up the win at USM Ice Arena. Deryk Belanger had a pair of goals for GNG/P, while Matt Futch, David Despins and Kaleb Bridgham each added a goal apiece. Tyler Johnson got the lone goal for Windham.

Windham 3 – Westbrook 0
In a battle between cross-town rivals, Windham skated away with a hard fought 3-0 victory to improve its record to 2-3. Clayton Owens was superb in goal for the Eagles, turning aside 40 shots as he posted his second shutout of the season. “Clayton was a difference maker tonight for us” said Windham coach Greg Leclair. “He covered up a lot of mistakes tonight and was really focused. He was disappointed in his performance against Gray-New Gloucester earlier this week, and really came through tonight. He made the saves he should, and frankly, a few he probably shouldn’t have.” The Eagles got on the board late in the first period as Tyler Johnson won the battle for a puck along the boards before passing to Zack Callahan. Callahan’s shot was stopped by Westbrook goaltender Alex Leblanc, but Caleb Klowas was there to bang home the rebound for his third goal of the season. 

Windham extended its lead in the second period when Johnson fought through a check in the neutral zone, outraced a defender and buried a shot underneath the crossbar. Johnson was a force all evening as his physical presence created a lot of opportunities for the Eagles. Windham picked up an insurance goal mid-way through the third period when Travis Grant scored his first goal of the season. Grant took a pass from Gage Chenard and fired a wrist shot from the point that found its way through traffic and between Leblanc’s legs. Leclair said, “This is a game we needed to win and the kids pulled through. 

Westbrook played well and at times took it to us, particularly in the second period. We’ve got some work to do, but the kids are starting to figure things out. If they play the way they’re capable of, we’ll have some success as the season progresses.”

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