Tyler Johnson capped an impressive Eagles comeback versus the Scots late in the third period Monday evening, scoring on an assist by Zach Callahan to tie the tally at 3-3. Despite some OT fireworks on both sides of the puck, that’s where the game would conclude.

The draw – an away game for Windham, but played on both teams’ home ice at USM Gorham – bumps Windham, 10th place in A East, to 2-4-1 on the year, and Bonny Eagle, 11th in A West, to 1-6-1.

“We upped our intensity on the forecheck, and started taking the body,” said Windham head coach Greg Leclair of the changes his team made that allowed them to soar back as the game wore on.

Play bounced up and down the ice through the first, both teams generating chances, but neither team converting. At any moment, either team’s offense seemed capable of cutting in and around and through the opposition defense to pull the trigger on a close-in wrister. Eagles’ goalie Clayton Owens and Scots’ goalie Mat Bridges stood solid, however.

Just 31 seconds into the second, however, Bonny Eagle freshman Tanner McClure broke the deadlock with a quick rebound past Owens for 1-0.

Five minutes later, Windham’s Josh Merrill stopped off at the penalty box for a two-minute cross-checking call, and a minute after that, teammate Tyler Johnson joined him on a holding infraction, giving the Scots a two-man advantage and, soon enough, their second notch of the night. Justin Miles picked up a puck that rebounded off Owens and shunted it home. 2-0.

That goal eliminated Merrill’s penalty, which had rendered the Eagles shorthanded in the first place, but left Johnson still in his cell awaiting execution. The axe fell 50 seconds later, when Scot Kyle Whitman scored another power-play goal on another rebound off Owens and made the tally 3-0.

LeClair called time-out then, gathered his boys around the bench, and gave them what should perhaps be described simply as a firm talking-to. When play resumed, Windham showed a renewed intensity that foreshadowed the events to come.

“The gist of our discussion was that we needed to stay out of the box and be the first to the puck all over the ice, two things that had led to the 3-0 deficit,” Leclair said. “We were not playing our best and it was purely because of a lack of effort, and failure to finish plays.”

Bonny Eagle drew a minor of their own with 4:46 to play in the second, and Windham finally found the offensive footing they needed. When Chris Lekousi’s puck from the point rebounded into the open off Bridges, freshman Jack Gresh banged it home to make the score 3-1 and give his team a crucial boost.

“[That goal] was huge,” Leclair said. “In the locker room, I challenged the kids to up their intensity, win every battle, and keep away from all of the extra-curricular stuff after the whistle. To their credit, they came out and did exactly that.”

Just 10 seconds into the third and on the power-play once more, the Eagles cut their remaining, two-goal disadvantage in half. Gresh fed the puck to Callahan, Callahan put it away and suddenly Windham found themselves very much back in the hunt.

The second half of the game unfolded almost as the reverse of the first half. While the Scots steered largely clear of the sin-bin early on and Windham kept tumbling in, later the Eagles cleaned up their act and the Scots began running afoul of the rules. Windham ultimately logged five penalties, and Bonny Eagle accrued nine, including a major-plus-game-misconduct.

Directly following a Scots time-out late in the third, Windham’s Johnson snagged the puck from a face-off and flung it at Bridges’s far post; it clanged into the net and the scoreboard ticked upward to 3-3.

Neither team could put together the W in overtime, though. Miles’s attempt on a penalty shot for the Scots flew wide of the net, and despite generating further chances for themselves, the Eagles couldn’t capitalize.

“We had numerous opportunities to win the game in regulation and overtime,” Leclair said, “and just couldn’t finish the job.”

Bonny Eagle’s Cam Brown cuts into the offensive zone against Windham Monday afternoon. The Scots took a 3-0 lead in the first period-and-a-half, but couldn’t hold off a resurgent Windham offense, and the game ended in a 3-3 tie.Bonny Eagle senior defenseman Paul Emmons tracks the action in the neutral zone.Windham freshman Chris Lekousi charges toward the boards.Bonny Eagle freshman Tanner McClure carries the puck through center-ice. McClure scored the Scots’ first goal, and assisted on their second.Windham’s Tyler Johnson curves through the corner.


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