Two recent victories have pushed the Midcoast Ice Cats to 4-3-3 on the season.

The Ice Cats are a cooperative, coed high school club ice hockey team. The players are from Midcoast schools that do not offer ice hockey as a varsity sport (or ones that do not play on the Camden Hills squad), as well as home-schooled students. The ‘Cats compete against high school junior varsity and varsity programs in both Classes A and B.

The Ice Cats returned to their winning ways with back-to-back 4-1 victories against the Oxford Hills Vikings of South Paris Jan. 7 and the Winslow/Lawrence jayvees Jan. 9, both at the Midcoast Recreation Center.

Against Oxford Hills, the Ice Cats scored early in the first period on a goal by Kenny Scheimreif, assisted by Bailey McCaffery, both of Medomak Valley. To begin the second period, defenseman Luke Noonan blew a slap shot from the right point past Oxford Hills goaltender Jacob St. Pierre to give the Ice Cats a two-goal advantage. Just 37 seconds later, Mount View’s Nathan Lord scored for the Ice Cats, again assisted by McCaffery.

However, the scoring was not over for the Ice Cats as McCaffery added a third-period goal to cap a three-point night, assisted by Lea Smith of Camden Hills and Scheimreif.

“We moved the puck well, got pucks deep in the offensive zone [and] went to the net hard,” said Ice Cats’ coach Mike Schroeder. “It makes the game a lot easier when we play from the lead and stay out of the penalty box. We only had one penalty and that occurred in the third period. By that time the outcome was pretty much decided.”

Oxford Hills added a late goal by Nick Lowic.

The Ice Cats outshot the Vikings 32-20.

The game was halted in the second period when Ice Cat defenseman Kerry Madden of Medomak Valley received a deep skate cut to his right forearm while diving for a loose puck.

“It was a scary moment because it happened so quickly and the injury was pretty severe,” Schroeder said. “I believe I speak for all the Ice Cats’ players, coaches and parents in thanking the training staff of Oxford Hills for their professionalism and prompt care for Kerry. We’ll miss Kerry on the ice. He’s one of our key players and a leader. He had surgery [recently] and by all accounts things went well.”

The Ice Cats also defeated the Winslow/Lawrence jayvees 4-1 Jan. 9, on goals from Noah Klewin (2), Sam Kulikowski, both of Belfast, and Scheimreif. The goals were assisted by Lord, Smith, Shawn Secotte of Belfast, A.J. Naum of Medomak Valley and Sean Beacham of Camden Hills.

“Both wins were total team efforts and we are finally starting to settle into a style of play that fits our team’s skill set — a simple north-south, chip and chase,” said coach Schroeder. “I’m proud of the way we ‘re competing offensively and defensively and our goaltending has been exceptional all season.

“Goalie Parker Spear [of Oceanside] is one of our captains and our team leader. Having Parker in net is like having another coach on the ice. He knows the game and communicates well with our defensemen, letting them know where pressure is coming from. Once again, we also managed to stay out of the penalty box.”

Spear was in net for both recent wins, allowing two goals on 44 shots. He has allowed only six goals in four recent games, not including a win against Mount Ararat of Topsham Jan. 16 at MRC.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@villagesoup.com.