Windham fell behind early in their game at Bonny Eagle Monday afternoon – then came back; later, they fell behind all over again – and nearly came back all over again, too. It wasn’t to be, though. Jason Harmon’s fourth and final goal for the Scots would prove the difference-maker at the buzzer, giving his team the win, 7-6.
Bonny Eagle improves to 1-1 on the season, while the Eagles drop to 0-1.
“I knew it was going to be a close game,” Bonny Eagle head coach Nat Germond said. “We’re pretty evenly matched teams, both developing programs.
“I thought we got what we wanted out of it, which was a good effort by everybody all-around. We were pretty disciplined, staying out of the box.”
Windham lit the board first, and early, but the Scots needed little time to get even. Stick-on-ball, Harmon dashed the length of the field, right side, then cut in for a low-angle shot that narrowly squeezed between Eagles’ goalie Hunter Bowen and the post for 1-1.
Bonny Eagle jumped ahead from there, on two more by Harmon and one by Ben Steeves. Zack Gryskwicz, skulking behind Bowen’s net, dished out wide to Stephen Estes, who handed off to Harmon in front for Harmon’s second notch. Five minutes later, Gryskwicz – again from behind the net – found Steeves, whose square-on shot beat Bowen for 3-1.
Harmon earned his hat trick 90 seconds later. Estes flipped it forward from near midfield; Harmon caught, spun and relayed a shot past Bowen. 4-1.
Germond praised his diverse offense – “We like to mix it up” – before highlighting individual accomplishments: “I think, Jason Harmon, very solid in there. Ryan Kern had five goals for us, last game, so he maybe drew a lot of defensive attention.”
But if the flurry of goals discomposed Bowen, he didn’t show it. He solidified, letting nothing in for the remainder of the half, while his teammates also breathed deep – then methodically chewed through the Scots’ lead. Just over a minute after Harmon’s score, Zack Callahan, loitering in front of Bonny Eagle netminder Baker Riddell, but lacking a clear shot, passed wide-right to Zach Hough, who quickly flipped back to Callahan for the rip and the goal.
Barely another minute on, Jake Wall fired forward to Griffin Jacobson, who won his duel with Riddell for 4-3. Another 60 seconds elapsed – 65, to be precise – before Hough tied it, blasting the ball past Riddell, top-corner.
It was 4-4 at the half, but whatever Germond said to his team during the break didn’t kick in immediately upon their return to the turf: The third elapsed tensely, but scorelessly. The fourth, however, kicked up the action. With 9:20 to play, Estes fed Kern, who beat Bowen for 5-4, and 40 seconds later, Austin Havu fed Gryskwicz and Gryskwicz baffled Bowen. 6-4.
Soon, Harmon tallied his fourth, making it 7-4, and “Let’s put this one away!” went up from somewhere on-field. Perhaps that taunt juiced the Eagles, because Ross Batchelder took the ensuing faceoff and immediately found Hough, whose shot snuck past Riddell for 7-5.
Then, less than a minute later, Hough shoveled to Jacobson and Jacobson shoveled a low-angle laser into Riddell’s cage. 7-6: Was Windham coming back once more?
Ultimately, no; though the Eagles applied what pressure they could ’til the very final seconds, the Scots countered every attack and killed good time on every possession. When the horn sounded, Bonny Eagle piled on Riddell.
“It was anybody’s game,” Germond said, reemphasizing the evenness of the Bonny Eagle and Windham teams. “7-6, it doesn’t get much closer than that.”
Riddell, by the way, is not even the Scots’ regular keep. That would be Jared Geaumont, out with a collarbone he broke snowboarding. Germond expects Geaumont to return in two to three weeks; in the meantime, Riddell volunteered for the all-eyes position of cagemaster.
“Riddell just started playing goal for us a week and a half ago,” Germond said. “He did a great job for us today.”
Bonny Eagle next plays host to Massabesic (0-3) on Thursday, May 1, at 4 p.m. Windham, meanwhile, hosts Biddeford (1-2) on the same day, at the same time.
“It’s baby steps,” Germond said of the Scots’ growth. “But I think we took a big step forward today. Last week was our first real game on a field, against Gorham, and there were definitely some growing pains. We’ve got a bunch of freshmen who are playing this season, and I think they learned a lot last game. They were more composed this game.”
For a video clip of Harmon’s game-clinching goal, visit www.keepmecurrent.com/sports.
A long line of teammates at his back, the Scots’ Joe Bissonnette (3) faces down an Eagles opponent.Windham’s Zack Callahan spins away from a Bonny Eagle defender.Bonny Eagle junior Baker Riddell (by day, a middie) volunteered to fill the net after regular goalie Jared Geaumont broke his collarbone snowboarding.Windham defenseman Zach Davis bolts upfield with the ball; Bonny Eagle’s Kyle Whitman crashes in to stop him.Scot Jason Harmon cuts forward with the ball. Harmon had four of Bonny Eagle’s seven goals (on eight shots) in their victory over Windham.Windham defenseman Jake Mullholland harangues the Scots’ Antoni Bruni.Senior attacker Ryan Kern (18) is enthused mildly and unobtrusively after Bonny Eagle’s close win over neighbors Windham Monday afternoon. The Scots were 3-9 last season and dropped their first game of this season to Gorham 14-7.