Messalonskee High School’s Eagles from Oakland scored 13 goals in their two regular season victories over Class B North hockey rival Hampden Academy this winter.
The Eagles beat the Broncos 7-4 at Sawyer Arena in Bangor on Dec. 21 and 6-0 on Jan. 23 at the Jack Kelley Rink on the Colby College campus in Waterville.
But the Broncos have allowed only two goals in their two Class B North playoff victories and will hope to contain the high-scoring Eagles when they meet for the B North championship on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Kelley Rink.
The winner will take on the winner of Wednesday’s B South final between York and Cape Elizabeth in Saturday’s 10:30 a.m. state title game at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.
Second seed Messalonskee is 17-2-1 after beating Gardiner/Winslow/Waterville 3-0 in their quarterfinal game and Presque Isle 3-2 in the semifinals.
Fourth seed Hampden Academy is 12-7-1 and edged Camden Hills 2-1 and top seed John Bapst 3-1 en route to a berth in the championship game for the second straight season.
Camden Hills beat Hampden Academy 5-2 in last year’s regional title game.
Messalonskee third-year head coach Dennis Martin said the two regular season wins over Hampden Academy don’t mean anything.
“They’re playing real good hockey right now. They’re a good hockey team,” said Martin, who has more than 200 coaching wins and guided Waterville to back-to-back state championships in 2016 and 2017.
Messalonskee will be looking for its first state championship game appearance since it won state titles in 2014 and 2015.
Hampden Academy last won a regional title in 2003.
Messalonskee has averaged 5.65 goals per game while Hampden Academy has held opponents to two goals or less in 14 contests thanks to the play of senior goalie Aaron Donovan.
Donovan made 36 saves in the win over a John Bapst team that had beaten the Broncos 5-1 and 7-2 during the regular season.
“We’re going to have to get pucks to the net,” Martin said.
Messalonskee will enter the game with 11 players who have registered at least 10 points. Seven have tallied at least 18 points: Owen Kirk (21 goals, 21 assists, 42 points), Bryce Crowell (20-20-40), Will Durkee (17-20-37), Garrett Card (14-12-26), Grayson Podey (2-17-19), Tyler Hanson (8-10-18) and Tatum Doucette (6-12-18).
“Depth has been our key. We returned eight of our nine forwards from last year. They work hard. Our motto is you have to outwork your opponents,” Martin said.
Goalie Hunter Hallee made 39 saves in their two playoff wins and had a 13-2-1 record during the regular season with a 1.90 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage.
Hampden Academy, under first-year head coach Zach Wilson, will bring a five-game winning streak into the game and the Broncos have given up just seven goals in those five victories.
Lucas Dunn (13-20-33), Keith Brooks (21-11-32) and Matthew Shayne (8-16-24) have been Hampden Academy’s offensive catalysts along with defenseman Tucker Leland (12-9-21).
Shayne had the game-winning power play goal against John Bapst with added an empty-net goal to sew up the victory.
Andrew Crouse (7-7-14), Adrian Webb (4-5-9) and Colin McKay (3-4-7) have supplied supplemental scoring.
Donovan was 12-6-1 with a 2.82 GAA and a .917 save percentage before turning in his 36-save gem in the upset win over John Bapst.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated Hampden Academy’s number of regional championship wins. Hampden Academy won a regional championship in 2003.