BRUNSWICK – The Brunswick Dragons overcame penalty woes and got plenty of fantastic saves from goalie Blake Alexander to gain a 2-1 victory in their first home game of the season against the Cheverus Stags in Class A schoolboy hockey.
At times, the game felt like a chess match as the teams battled for puck possession in neutral ice and other times it felt like Cheverus did everything with the puck but put it past Alexander after a slow start by the Stags.
Brunswick held the Stags without a shot on net for the first 5:30 of the game, but Cheverus turned it on after getting their first shot. Both teams skated to a stalemate in the opening 20.
The Dragons made their shots count in the second as they scored two goals on six shots.
While killing their third penalty of the game in the opening minutes of the second, Brunswick forward Matt Brooks went aggressively at the Cheverus ‘D’ on the fore check. The Cheverus skater tried to pass the puck, but Brooks was there to pick it off. The puck was caught up in his skates, but he fished it out and slung the puck past Jason Blier for the 1-0 lead at 2:48.
At 6:18, the Stags answered back when a scramble in front of Alexander’s net allowed Alex Libby to put the puck in the net for the 1-1 tie. James Hannigan picked up an assist on the goal.
The Dragons had their own net-front scramble that turned into a goal as Jacob McGowan snuck the puck past Blier for the 2-1 lead that would hold. Brooks, who picked up his second point of the game, and Jacob Parent notched the assists.
Brunswick’s McGowan took a late interference penalty which lead to Cheverus pulling their goalie after a timeout for 14 seconds of 6-on-4 play. Brunswick utilized some key physical play, had good stick and body positioning and had some great saves from Anderson to hold Cheverus off and get the home win.
“Our PK was definitely strong tonight,” said Brunswick goalie Alexander. “We switched up our PK. We’ve got to eliminate our offensive zone penalties, they’re really hindering us.”
All of the penalties against probably fed the shots on net issue tonight, but it seems that shots against has been a problem for Brunswick in the young season. They were outshot 14-27 tonight.
“This game we changed up our game plan a little on defense and mixed it up,” said Alexander. “Threw some different people back there and just got a better vibe.”
Brunswick improved to .500 on the season at 2-2 while Cheverus fell to 1-2 on the young season.
By Katie Westrum As published on Mainehockeyjournal.com