BANGOR – A depleted and winless Camden Hills High School hockey team made life difficult for the John Bapst High School Crusaders Thursday afternoon.
But second-period goals 58 seconds apart by Travis Poulin and Casey Hull abruptly answered a Zac Dufour goal and Nick Mitchell added a third-period goal as John Bapst beat the Windjammers 3-1 at Sawyer Arena.
John Bapst improved to 3-1 while Camden Hills fell to 0-5.
The second-year Windjammers, minus six players due to family vacations, injuries and a suspension, played an intelligent road game by back-checking efficiently, clogging up the neutral zone, protecting their net front and staying out of the penalty box.
They also received a superb 33-save performance from junior Jake Zontini.
Camden-Rockport had just 11 skaters.
“They played very well,” said John Bapst coach Aaron King. “Their goalie was outstanding. He controlled his rebounds and took away everything down low. We forechecked much better today. Our defensive zone coverage was good. We just can’t finish.”
Camden Hills coach Bob Zontini was pleased with his team’s effort.
“We played a box-and-one in the defensive zone. We’re very young and can’t play [match up] against teams with older players,” said Zontini, father of the goalie.
After a scoreless first period, the Crusaders dominated the early stages of the second period only to see Zontini rob them.
The line of Connor Scofield, Andrew Casey and Mitchell generated six shots on goal on one shift.
Against the run of play, Dufour made it 1-0 when he took a pass from Owen Mahan, maneuvered past a Crusader defenseman and beat goalie Nate Kuneman with a quick wrist shot through the “five hole”.
But an uncovered Poulin answered 18 seconds later thanks to some good work behind the net by linemates Matt Swift and John Cooper.
“They were at the right post and John Cooper slid it across to me,” said Poulin, who swept it into the open corner past the helpless Zontini.
Hull also scored on a rebound after dropping a pass for Matt Duplisea.
“I brought the puck in and Matt was behind me. I left it for him, his shot went off [Zontini’s] pads and I slid it in,” said Hull, who added the Crusaders have been getting off to slow starts and then rallying in their recent games.
Mitchell also scored off a rebound 4:57 into the third period, two seconds after a JB power play had ended.
Casey took a shot from the high slot that was deflected by Scofield, requiring an exceptional reaction save by Zontini.
The puck squirted to Mitchell, who deposited it into the half-empty net.
“We got some hardworking goals today,” said Mitchell.
John Bapst goalie Nate Kuneman made a great save with six minutes left, diving headfirst across the goal mouth to get his glove on Dufour’s follow-up attempt.
He finished with 16 saves.
CRUSADERS 3, WINDJAMMERS 1
Camden Hills (0-5) 0 1 0 – 1
John Bapst (3-1) 0 2 1 – 3
First period – No scoring. Penalties: JB, Cooper, five-minute major for boarding, 2:53; JB, Lalime, hooking, 8:08.
Second period – 1. CH, Z. Dufour (Mahan, Stanclift), 7:11; 2. JB, Poulin (Swift, Cooper), 7:29; 3. JB, Hull (Duplisea), 8:27. Penalties: JB, Swift, tripping, 13:34.
Third period – 4. JB, Mitchell (Scofield, Casey), 4:57. Penalties: CH, Neiman, interference, 2:55; CH, Neiman, hitting from behind (served by Whiting) and 10-minute misconduct, 5:18; JB, Casey, interference, 6:49; JB, Scofield, tripping, 7:13; JB, Huckestein, interference, 9:44; CH, bench minor for too many men on the ice (served by Haselton), 12:34.
Shots on goal: Camden Hills 4-5-8-17; John Bapst 6-20-10-36
Goaltenders: Camden Hills, Zontini (36 shots-33 saves); John Bapst, Kuneman (17-16)
Power-play opportunities: Camden Hills 0 of 6, John Bapst 0 of 3
Attendance: 100 (est.)