The Old Town-Orono hockey team will regain the services of senior defenseman Dylan Street for Saturday’s home game against Presque Isle.
Street spent 2 1/2 weeks at Boston Children’s Hospital after coming down with an infection related to a rare illness he has called hydrocephalus, an inflammation of the brain that can cause swelling and bleeding.
He has a shunt, a small tube that leads from the brain to his stomach and drains the excess fluid from his brain. The shunt became infected, so he underwent surgery to insert another one in.
Street was cleared by doctors on Thursday but hasn’t played since Jan. 5.
Black Bears’ first-year head coach Chris Thurlow said Street’s ice time on Saturday will be minimal. He will play a handful of shifts and will be evaluated.
“He hasn’t played in six weeks, so he won’t be in game shape,” said Thurlow, who added that Street is excited to be back on the ice.
Street and Cam Tower were the Black Bears’ two most experienced returning defensemen, but Tower suffered a broken collarbone early in the season and has not played since.
Tower returned to practice a week ago but he cannot have contact, and Thurlow doesn’t expect to have him available until deep in the playoffs, if they make it that far.
Thurlow said if Street is able to supply some productive minutes, it will be a big boost.
“Dylan is really poised with the puck. He was quarterbacking our power play,” Thurlow said. “He will give us leadership, experience and stability on the blue line.”
Defending Class B state champion Old Town-Orono was upset by John Bapst of Bangor 2-1 on Wednesday, and that catapulted Chris Tanis’ Crusaders past Brewer into the sixth and final playoff spot in Class B North.
John Bapst has a 7.5-point lead over Brewer for the last playoff spot. On the same night John Bapst upset Old Town-Orono, Hampden Academy dealt Brewer a 2-1 overtime loss.
John Bapst and Brewer each have one game remaining.
Old Town-Orono is atop the points standings and, following Saturday’s game, will finish up with a road game against the Kennebec RiverHawks (Waterville-Winslow), who are 12-3 and in second place.