Black Hawks lose to top contenders

16 years ago

The Houlton-Hodgdon Black Hawks dropped three games last week to top contenders in Class B. They fell over the weekend to Western Maine B powers Cape Elizabeth and Greely, and on Monday, the Black Hawks traveled to KIA in Augusta and dropped a closely contested 2-1 match to Gardiner.
  On Monday, the team made the long trek to KIA for a match with the Gardiner Tigers. The Tigers have only lost two games this season and proved to be a tough opponent. The Black Hawks controlled the first period outshooting the Tigers by a 12-5 margin and taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by Taylor Martin, and assisted by Jake Peabody.
The second period saw Gardiner come out with more intensity, as they started the period on the power play. The Black Hawks killed off the power play, but never regained their intensity from the first period and the Tigers tied the score, 1-all.     The Black Hawks outshot the Tigers in the period, 11-9, but couldn’t find the net as the Gardiner net minder made several grade A saves to keep the locals off the scoreboard.
In the third, the Black Hawks regained their intensity, as they once again outshot the Tigers by a 6-2 margin. However, one of the two Gardiner shots directed at the net found its way in, as former Junior player Bass Chadwick hit for his second goal of the game. Once again the Tiger net minder made key saves to preserve the Gardiner lead and handed the Black Hawks a 2-1 loss.
Net minder Malik Abouleish made 17 saves in the game.
Over the weekend the local club hosted Cape Elizabeth and Greely, which made the long trip up from the Portland areas to play a weekend series in the County. The western Maine visitors played both Houlton-Hodgdon and Presque Isle and the County teams are making the return trip to play in southern Maine next season.
The Black Hawks dropped both contests as they suffered a 5-1 loss to Cape on Friday evening and dropped a 6-1 game on Saturday to Greely.
In the Cape Elizabeth game, the Black Hawks allowed five power play-goals, as they were handed 16 penalties in the game. The lone Houlton-Hodgdon goal came from the stick of Craig Buxton, with assists going to Zach Chase and Chris McGuire.
Net minder Abouleish had 28 saves on 33 shots in the game.
The Greely game saw the Black Hawks facing their most talented opponent to date in the Rangers, who played a solid game with crisp passing and hard skating to hand the Black Hawks a 6-1 defeat.
The Rangers outshot the Black Hawks 38-20 in the game and scored four power-play goals. Houlton-Hodgdon net minders M. Abouleish and Levi Ledger combined for 32 saves in the match and freshman Logan Holmes scored his first varsity goal with a great individual short-handed effort in the third period.
“The team went up against three of the top programs in the state and while we dropped all three games, the team learned a valuable lesson over the weekend and improved their play in the game against Gardiner,” said Black Hawks coach Joel Trickey.
“All three teams we faced this weekend are very even in talent, and the fact, that we outshot Gardiner and could play with them shows that the players have learned from their experience with the top level teams they lost to last weekend,” he added.
Trickey is hoping this will carry over into the rest of the season and the Black Hawks can make a strong push through the end of the season and the playoffs.
“We’re fighting for one of only five spots in the postseason,” he said. “If the team can maintain the level of play we found in the Gardiner game, it could take us back to the Alfond for another crack at the Eastern Maine final. The league is so even this season that if we can get into the playoffs anything can happen.”