SAM ALEXANDER skates with the puck as a Lake Region/Fryeburg Academy/Oxford Hills skater and Eagles teammate Tyler Halls (7) look on. Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse took the boys high school hockey game at Watson arena, 4-3 in overtime on Thursday.

SAM ALEXANDER skates with the puck as a Lake Region/Fryeburg Academy/Oxford Hills skater and Eagles teammate Tyler Halls (7) look on. Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse took the boys high school hockey game at Watson arena, 4-3 in overtime on Thursday.

BRUNSWICK

The 51-20 shot advantage in Thursday night’s boys hockey game between Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon and Lake Region/Fryeburg/ Oxford Hills pointed to a comfortable win for the Eagles. The play on the ice was anything but.

EAGLES FORWARD NOAH AUSTIN skates with the puck during a boys high school hockey game at Watson Arena on Thursday. Austin tallied three assists in the 4-3 overtime win for the Eagles.

EAGLES FORWARD NOAH AUSTIN skates with the puck during a boys high school hockey game at Watson Arena on Thursday. Austin tallied three assists in the 4-3 overtime win for the Eagles.

Down a goal for the first 14 minutes of the third period, the Eagles were peppering Ice Cats netminder Trent Spaulding, throwing everything they had toward goal. With six skaters on the ice and 40 seconds left on the clock, Lisbon’s Tyler Halls gathered the puck from distance and fired a desperate slap shot into traffic at Spaulding. The puck cleanly found its way into the top left corner, sending the Eagles to overtime, where they eventually netted the winning goal in the final minute for the win at Sidney J. Watson Arena, 4-3.

“I didn’t see anything,” Halls said of the equalizing goal. “I just saw a lot of bodies out front and I knew if I could get a shot on net, there’s a chance of it going in because of all the traffic.”

After seven minutes of overtime and more peppering of Spaulding, Tyler Lacascio took aim and shot the puck high into the right corner of the net, completing the comeback for the Eagles and giving them a dramatic victory with just 25 seconds left to play.

“We just knew,” Eagles coach AJ Kavanaugh said. “We knew we had to get traffic in front. We said it from the get-go, but we really stressed it after the first period. We weren’t going to be able to score pretty goals. They were going to have to be ugly goals and it led to more shots on net, which I was happy about. They didn’t quit, and that’s why we were able to stay in it.”

The Eagles (6-4) controlled the puck from the start of the game, and quickly took a 4-0 shot advantage just a couple minutes into the opening period. But sandwiched inbetween seven straight shots from the home side was the Ice Cats’ (3-8) first goal on their first shot of the game. Huxley Lovering skated down the ice with numbers and shot the puck past Eagles goaltender Parker Lacey for the unlikely opening goal.

The hosts responded with more shots on Spaulding, whose heroic 47-save effort kept his team in the game. Then, at the 7:39 mark, Nick Austin positioned himself in front of the net and tapped in a rebound from an Austin Fournier shot for his first career goal, tying the game heading into the second frame.

Three straight Eagle shots started the period, but were again followed by a goal from the visitors. After a penalty apiece, Zeke Tocci was sent to the penalty box for a bench minor penalty, giving the Eagles a brief 4- on-3 advantage. But in the middle of a line change on the other side, Ice Cats junior Nick Lepage wristed one into the upper right corner, taking the lead back for the visitors.

“It was a very big deflating goal,” Kavanaugh said. “We had a 4-on-3 and I really liked our chances. We couldn’t get one in on that, and all of the sudden a bad line change turned into a goal on us. It was a killer, but I’ve got to give the boys credit.”

Mere seconds after a tripping penalty on Eagles defenseman Noah Buiniskas, the Ice Cats struck again when Kaleb Currier shot a rebound past Lacey for the 3- 1 advantage. Suddenly the wide Eagles shot margin wasn’t as wide as the twogoal deficit.

“ We told our D it was time to start pinching,” Kavanaugh said. “They all did a really good job of playing smart, taking chances and putting the puck deep in their zone. Of course, we start racking up the shots and I guess it was only a matter of time.”

After the Eagles went down, Halls said they made some adjustments offensively. He went back on defense and freshman Noah Austin up. Noah Austin assisted on three of his team’s four goals. The plan worked, and as they did in the game-tying and game- winning goals, the Eagles got one back with just 10.6 seconds left in the second period. Nick Austin’s second career goal was one of those three assists from Noah Austin and was another tap-in sparked by his positioning in front of net.

The Eagles skated into the locker room spirited and with all the momentum heading into the dominant third period. Spaulding was targeted and up for the challenge again at the 1: 06 mark when, following an Eagles timeout, he dove back into an open net to save a potential tying goal in traffic. Just before Lacascio’s winner in overtime, he made another acrobatic save in front of a seemingly open net, but was ultimately beaten soon after for just the fourth time all night.

Lacey finished with 17 saves on the other side, and Fournier assisted Noah Austin’s first goal of the game. In the end, it was the quantity of the Eagles offense that eventually overtook the opportunistic Ice Cats.

“Lake Region is a good team, but we felt that we were better,” Halls said. “We had to pick it up through the second and third period. We want to go to the playoffs, so that was it right there. If we didn’t win that, it would have been really tough.”

With the win, the Eagles kept their hot streak going and at least temporarily claimed the final playoff spot in Class A North from Bangor.

“The full Heal Points are huge,” Kavanaugh said. “Heal Points are going to be valuable to us. A tie would have been good, much better than a loss, but the win was huge. Couldn’t ask for a better outcome for us.”

“It’s big,” Lacascio said. “It keeps the momentum going. We’re on a three-game winning streak now. Just keep pushing for the playoffs.”

Eagles 4, Ice Cats 3

Thursday, at Watson Arena

Ice Cats 1 2 0 0 3
Eagles 1 1 1 1 4

First period — 1. (LRFOH) Huxley Lovering, 2:32; 2. (E) Nick Austin (Austin Fournier), 7:39. Penalty — (E) Sam Alexander, roughing, 8:33. Second period — 1. (LRFOH) Nick Lepage, 7:56; 2. (LRFOH) Kaleb Currier (Huxley Lovering), 11:43; 3. (E) Nick Austin (Noah Austin, Cam Grant), 14:50. Penalties — (E) Jason Magno, interference, 5:32; (LRFOH) Nick Lepage, holding, 5:45; (LRFOH) Zeke Tocci, bench minor, 6:00. Third period — (E) Tyler Halls (Noah Austin), 14:20. Penalties — (LRFOH) Bowen Greenleaf, hooking, 4:09. Overtime — (E) Tyler Lacascio (Noah Austin), 7:35. Shots on goal — (LRFOH) 20; (E) 51. Saves — (LRFOH) Trent Spaulding 47; (E) Parker Lacey 17. Power-play opportunities — (LRFOH) 2-for-3; (E) 0-for-4. Records — Eagles 6-4, Ice Cats 3-8. Up next for the Eagles — On the road against Windham/Westbrook Saturday, 6:10 p.m.


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