January 30, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS HOCKEY: Cunninghams spark Messalonskee by Waterville

By Bill Stewart bstewart@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

WINSLOW — Containing brothers Chase and Jared Cunningham can be quite a challenge.
The Messalonskee duo have tormented foes all winter as Eagles try to defend its Eastern B championship.

click image to enlarge

BATTLE FOR THE PUCK: Messalonskee High School’s Josh Towle, right, checks Waterville Senior High School’s Zach Disch in the first period Wednesday at Sukee Arena in Winslow.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seaman

The Cunninghams put on another show Wednesday, combining for three goals and an assist in a 4-1 win over rival Waterville.

Jared Cunningham, a freshman, scored two goals 28 seconds apart late in the first period to help Messalonskee erase an early 1-0 deficit.

Chase Cunningham scored a power-play goal — one of two on the night for the Eagles — 49 seconds into the third to put the Panthers away.

“In past years we haven’t come out on top against Waterville,” Messalonskee captain defenseman Dom Dexter said. “When you do it, it feels pretty good.”

Jake Dexter also scored a power-play goal in the second period for Messalonskee (11-1-0), which recovered from a slow start.

“It wasn’t our best game but a win is a win,” Jared Cunningham said. “We’ll take it.”

The Eagles and Panthers are heading in opposite directions in their respective conferences.
Waterville (2-10-0) lost its eighth straight and is in jeopardy of missing the Eastern A playoffs for a second consecutive season.

Messalonskee, meanwhile, won its third straight to stay atop Eastern B.

“We didn’t play really well,” Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse said. “But it’s a big rivalry game. It’s a win.”

Dalton Denis scored the lone Waterville goal midway through the first period. The Panthers did a nice job of keeping the puck in the zone before Chris Lee fed a pass through the slot to Denis, who stuffed the puck inside the near post.

It stayed that way until Jared Cunningham changed the game with a pair of lightning-quick goals.
His first came with 4:07 left in the first when he poked the puck into an open net after goalie Kaleb Kane appeared to have it covered on a shot from J.T. Towle.

“I didn’t hear the whistle and the puck was just sitting there,” Jared said.

Cunningham put the Eagles up for good when he beat Kane with a hard wrist shot to the far post 28 seconds later.

Dexter padded the lead with 4:04 left in the second when he took a pass from Chase Cunningham from out front and beat Weeks with a low shot through the pads.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

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