On its first power play, the Bangor High School Rams never even got set up in the Hampden Academy zone in Tuesday’s game between rink partners at Sawyer Arena.
But the Rams made some changes and received power play goals from Cooper Ireland and Richie Trott to back the 18-save goaltending of Jake Hirsch and beat the Broncos 2-0 in an entertaining fast-paced contest.
Class A Bangor is now 3-1 while Class B Hampden Academy absorbed its first loss after four wins.
“We played pretty well,” said senior center Ireland. “We got off to a slow start but we played better in the second and third periods.”
Ireland broke the scoreless tie with 25 seconds left in the middle period.
Cam Legassie burst down the right wing and snapped a pass across to Ireland, who one-timed the puck into the upper short side corner past junior goalie Aaron Donovan’s blocker.
“I skated to the middle of the ice and Cam made a great pass. I saw the upper left side open,” said Ireland.
Trott made it 2-0 just 1:28 into the third period.
Cole Neale had the puck at the bottom of the faceoff circle to the right of Donovan and whipped a pass across the low slot to Trott at the far post and he jammed it inside the post before Donovan could fully extend his left pad.
“We have been working on the power play a lot. I just went to my spot,” said sophomore Trott.
Ireland said they made some adjustments to the power play during the game and it paid off.
Both goalies were outstanding and came up with a number of Grade-A (high-percentage) saves.
Donovan finished with 17 saves.
Hirsch’s best save came off Khaleb Hale early in the second period on an impressive Bronco power play.
After making a pair of good stops on screened midpoint shots from Cameron Henderson, Hale was set up nicely at the far post on a cross-ice pass from Maxwell Fleming.
Hirsch read the pass and fully extended his left pad to thwart Hale’s point-blank attempt.
Hirsch said he had a chance to take a quick glance across the slot to see the play develop.
“I anticipated the pass across,” Hirsch said.
“Jake was phenomenal,” said Bangor coach Quinn Paradis.
Donovan made a nice blocker save off Michael McLean late in the second period and an even better left skate save off Lucas Lindsay a few minutes later.
Both teams were efficient in front of their own nets, limiting the opposition to one shot and not forcing their goalies to have to make many back-to-back saves.
Hirsch made a good save early in the game off a clever give-and-go involving Hale and Morgan Tash.
Tash wound up with a one-timer from the low slot that Hirsch stopped.
Hirsch said he “felt good” before the game and thought he would turn in a solid performance.
He also credited his defense corps for its play in front of him.
Bangor’s defense corps was comprised of Jackson Guimond, McLean, Isaac Bonenfant, Josh Ryan and Jonah Baude.
Linemates Hale, Tash and Johnny Vickery had strong games for the Broncos along with defensemen Henderson and Fleming.