Wildcats head to Class B Championship

15 years ago

In a Saturday evening contest for a spot in the Class B Eastern Maine Hockey Championship, the fourth-seeded Presque Isle Wildcats destroyed the No. 1-ranked Crusaders of John Bapst, 5-1 at the Sukee Arena in Winslow.
    Despite being out shot 10-4 in the first period, Presque Isle scored the game’s first goal with 31 seconds left in the period thanks to a Brennen Shaw goal with Mitch Davis and Jason Martin picking up assists.
In the second frame, Isaac Lajoie added another goal for a 2-0 lead with Shaw assisting. Presque Isle added another when Steve Ford scored on a power play. Martin and Shaw assisted again.
The Crusaders finally answered back right before the end of the second for a 3-1 score, out shooting Presque Isle again 8-7. In the third period, Shaw weaved through Crusader defense and fired a rocket top shelf to make it 4-1, and Lajoie with the assist.
And if four goals weren’t enough, Zac Campbell, assisted by Dylan Collins, put the icing on the cake in the third for a final score of 5-1.
Presque Isle out shot John Bapst in the final frame 6-5. Josh MacFarline played a strong game in goal for Presque Isle, finishing with 22 saves on 23 shots.
Saturday’s win was huge for Presque Isle. “The boys are still pumped over the victory. We had a quiet confidence going into the game and psychologically played the underdog card for all that it was worth,” said Wildcat coach Dr. Carl Flynn. “The kids are excited, and remain focused, but once again we are the underdog. An Eastern Maine title would be a historic achievement for hockey in Aroostook County and the boys are well aware of it.”
Flynn, who noted Presque Isle lost 6-4 to Winslow and then tied them 6-6 later in the season, suspects the Black Riders will double team Wildcat forward Brennen Shaw, “which will leave Dylan Collins plenty of opportunities,” he hopes.
The Wildcats’ journey to the semifinals has been an exciting one, starting with a Feb. 16 win over Old Town followed by another win one week later against Houlton/Hodgdon.
On Feb. 16 in Old Town, Presque Isle jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first period, when Lajoie grabbed two goals and M. Davis put in the third. Ford added another in the second period and, in the third, Presque Isle netted three more with two off the stick of Mark Carvell and one from Collins, who also managed three assists. B. Shaw contributed four assists and Jason Martin had two. By the end of the game, Presque Isle had out shot Old Town 35-14 with MacFarline standing in the net for the Wildcats.
Despite a 3-0 loss to Houlton/Hodgdon on Feb. 13, the Wildcats came back to defeat the Black Hawks Feb. 16 in the game that would send them to Winslow. The quarterfinal event, held at the Forum, was evenly matched though Presque Isle scored early in the first period. B. Shaw snuck one in on a Martin shot while M. Davis picked up the other assist. By the end of the first period, Presque Isle had out shot Houlton/Hodgdon 10-7.
The Black Hawks came back with intensity in the second period, scoring two quick goals despite being outshot 10-9, but the Wildcats evened the score in the third when Collins scored unassisted, roofing one over the Houlton/Hodgdon goaltender.
Houlton/Hodgdon went up by one however, but B. Shaw responded with a goal in the top hand corner of the net, tying the game at the end of regulation 3-3. In the third frame, the Black Hawks outshot the Wildcats 10-8.
In sudden death overtime, Carvell slid one in from close range to give Presque Isle a berth in the Eastern Maine semifinal on Saturday.
In the Houlton/Hodgdon game, MacFarline played in goal, taking 28 shots against Presque Isle’s 30.
The ‘Cats faced No. 3-ranked Winslow last night at 7 p.m. in Bangor for the Class B Eastern Maine Championship. Results will be in next week’s Star-Herald and Aroostook Republican.