Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mixed results for Windham ice hockey - By Scott Beard

The Windham hockey team split a pair of contests at the end of January, dropping a 4-3 decision to Gardiner before bouncing back with a 3-2 win over rival Westbrook.

Gardiner 4 – Windham 3
January 27 at USM, Gardiner jumped out 2-0 lead in the first period and never trailed as Windham struggled to find their footing for much of the game. 

Gage Chenard pulled the Eagles within one early in the second period when he forced a turnover and fired a shot into the top corner. Gardiner answered right back. Down 3-1, Windham cut the lead to one again as Tyler Johnson worked the puck to Zack Callahan, who fed it back to Johnson for a one-time shot that beat Gardiner goaltender Brad Moore top shelf. 

Leading by a goal heading into the third, Gardiner once again extended their lead with a hat-trick. Johnson would answer again for Windham, beating Moore with a wrist shot that found the far side of the net. The Eagles had a couple of other good opportunities to tie things late, Moore was equal to the task. Moore finished with 11 saves on 14 shots in the win, while Windham goaltender Clayton Owens stopped 25 of 29.
Windham 3 – Westbrook 2

On Wednesday, January 29, Windham staged a late comeback to pick up their third win of the season. Trailing 2-1 late in the game, Freshman Jack Gresh knocked in a rebound with 2:53 remaining to knot the game at two, setting the stage for Zack Callahan’s game winner with 34 seconds left in regulation.
Westbrook controlled the play in the first period, however, Windham struck first when Gage Chenard knocked down a Westbrook clearing attempt and flicked a shot at the net. The puck deflected off a defender and tumbled past Westbrook goaltender Alex LeBlanc at 8:14. The lead, however, was short lived, as Jacob Webster responded six seconds later with a wrist shot that beat Clayton Owens over the shoulder.

Darien Doucette, pushed Westbrook in front a little over a minute later as he beat Owens short-side.

Windham, outshot 13-7 in the first period, clamped defensively for the remainder of the game, while generating numerous scoring opportunities throughout the second and third period but were stymied by LeBlanc time and time again. Late in the third, Windham finally got the break they needed. While on a power-play, Zack Callahan won a face-off to Travis Grant who slid the puck to Alec Whalen. Whalen fired a shot on net that LeBlanc could not control, and Gresh was the right guy in the right spot to put home the equalizer. 

Windham would find themselves back on the power-play moments later. Chris Lekousi played the puck from his own defensive end up to Gage Chenard who fought through a check and got a shot on LeBlanc. The rebound went to the corner where Tyler Johnson collected the puck, drew a defender to him before making a tape to tape pass to Callahan. Callahan blistered a one-time slapshot past LeBlanc’s glove and into the net for the game winner. 

Clayton Owens finished with 20 saves on 22 shots to pick up the win. LeBlanc stopped 27 of 30 for Westbrook.

The win completed a season sweep of Westbrook for Windham, pushing the Eagle’s record to 3-7-1.

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