Black Hawks sweep road trip

16 years ago

The Houlton-Hodgdon Black Hawks took to the road last weekend for a two-day trip to central Maine. The team left Friday afternoon for a date with the Camden Hills Windjammers at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Camden and stayed in Waterville Friday night to take on the number-one ranked Winslow Black Raiders on Saturday afternoon.

The game Friday night found the Black Hawks jumping to a 3-0 lead after one period of play. The first Houlton-Hodgdon goal came off the stick of Taylor Martin, with the assist going to Jake Peabody. Craig Buxton hit the twine for the second Black Hawks’ goal, assisted by Mike Epley. The third marker came off the stick of Ashir Abouleish, assisted by Elliot Mooers. The Black Hawks ended the period with a slight shot advantage, as they had 14 shots and Black Hawk net minder Levi Ledger stopped nine Windjammer shots.
The second period saw the Black Hawks hit for one more goal, as Lowell Matthews redirected a Peabody shot past the Camden goalie. The Windjammers hit for two goals in the third, but the Black Hawks tallied two of their own to make the final score 6-2 in favor of Houlton-Hodgdon. Ben Ward and Buxton each picked up a goal and an assist in the period. Ledger finished with 20 saves on the night in a solid performance in net.
On Saturday, the Black Hawks found themselves in the now familiar confines of Sukee Arena in Winslow. Over the past few years, the locals have played more than a few big games at Sukee and Saturday’s contest proved to be one more.
The top-ranked Black Raiders are always a tough opponent and never more so when than when a team faces them at home. The Raiders jumped out to a 2-0 lead after only two minutes of play, and it looked like a long afternoon was shaping up for the Black Hawks.
The Black Hawks pulled themselves together and finished the first period with no more damage done and found themselves on the short end of a 2-0 score.
The second period turned out to be all Black Hawks, as the adjustments made during the break paid off with three unanswered goals and a 3-2 Black Hawk lead going into the third period. Martin hit for his second goal of the weekend to start the Houlton-Hodgdon scoring at the 1:40 mark of the period on a power play goal. Assists went to Buxton and Peabody. The Black Hawks tied the game three minutes later, as Buxton hit the net, assisted by Ward.
The Houlton-Hodgdon team took the lead on an Epley breakaway from a sharp outlet pass by Zach Chase. The Black Hawks outworked the Black Raiders the entire period, said Black Hawks coach Joel Trickey.
The third period saw a determined Winslow team give their best shot at tying the game. The Black Hawks seemed to have tired the home team and ended up outshooting the Raiders by a 7-4 margin in the period.
The Houlton-Hodgdon club hit for another goal and a 4-2 lead at the 8:56 mark, as Cody Briggs found the puck in a scramble in front of the Black Raiders net and put it away, with assists going to Buxton and Ward.
The Raiders scored another goal with 4:48 left in the game to make for an exciting finish. Clinging to a 4-3 lead netminder Malik Abouleish made a couple of key saves and the entire Black Hawk team played solid defense in front of him to preserve the victory. Abouleish finished the game with 17 saves on 20 shots, as the Black Hawks outshot their host by a 22-20 margin.
“The team seemed to come into their own on the road trip last weekend,” said Trickey. “It’s the first time since I’ve been here we’ve had an overnight and things went very well. Not only did we play solid hockey, but the kids had time to come together as a team.”
Trickey said the team came into the weekend in somewhat of a “slump” having dropped three games to three of the top teams in Class B.
“Our coaching staff decided to make some line changes that have worked out well,” Trickey said. “We think the kids have learned something about how hard they have to work the rest of the year to make it to the playoffs. In our league this year, no one is assured of winning any game so we have to be ready whenever the team hits the ice.”
The Black Hawks’ next game will be at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday night against Hampden at the Millar Civic Center.
“The game should be very entertaining,” Trickey said, “And, we hope to have a large group of fans supporting the kids.”

Editor’s note:
Last week, the Houlton-Hodgdon Black Hawks went on an overnight trip. Not only were they successful on the ice, but off the ice, as well.
It was reported that after the team stopped for dinner at a restaurant, the coach was asked if he was in charge of the players. He responded he was with them. The staff was impressed with their behavior, and said they were the best behaved boys that they had coming into the restaurant.
This wasn’t the first time a compliment was handed out to the Black Hawks for their behavior.
The Black Hawks players are to be commended for representing not only themselves and their families well, but also the school administrations and their communities. Kudos to you all.