AUGUSTA – A forfeit reported Friday to the Maine Principals’ Association shook up the Eastern Class A boys’ hockey playoff field, leaving coaches scrambling to readjust travel schedules and game preparations.

As a result, Waterville (11-6-1) moved from third to second in Heal points and will host No. 7 Maranacook/Hall-Dale/Winthrop in a quarterfinal Tuesday.

The defending Class A state champion Purple Panthers were to play No. 6 Messalonskee (8-10). The Eagles, meanwhile, face Bangor (11-6-1), now the third seed, on Tuesday.

”We re-did the Heal points and it had an impact,” said Dick Durost, executive director of the Maine Principals’ Association.

In an odd twist to the shakeup, it was Houlton-Hodgdon of Eastern Class B that was responsible.

Houlton-Hodgdon assistant coach Mitch Holmes was ejected from a Feb. 12 game against Lawrence. It was the second ejection of the season for Holmes, which triggered an automatic two-game suspension.

He sat out a Feb. 13 game against Winslow, but returned to the bench in the regular-season finale against Hampden Academy on Feb. 16.

”The whole thing is my fault,” Houlton-Hodgdon Coach Joel Trickey said. ”I misread the MPA bulletin. I didn’t know it was two games.”

Durost said the school reported the infraction Friday to the MPA.

The forfeit altered the Eastern Class A Heal points because Bangor defeated Houlton-Hodgdon earlier this season. Thus, Waterville finished 0.1543 points ahead of Bangor.

”I’ve never seen anything like this,” Waterville Coach Dennis Martin said.

”Now we have to change our plans. We were preparing for Messalonskee.”

Added MHW Hawks Coach Jeff Fowler, whose team was in line to play Bangor:

”We originally planned for Waterville and then that was changed so we started talking Bangor. We looked at our Bangor notes and everything. Now we have to go back to Waterville.”


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