AUBURN – The Brunswick Dragons were able to take advantage of early power play opportunities to put away the Poland/Gray-New Gloucester/Oak Hill 26ers 6-3 Wednesday night at the Norway Savings Bank Ice Arena.
While power play goals helped the Dragons to victory, their goaltender Devin Allard provided a nearly impenetrable wall in front of his net. Allard stopped an early breakaway attempt where he found himself one-on-one with 26ers’ forward Jason Cote.
Minutes later, Allard was able to save his team yet again on a two-on-one attempt by the 26ers.
“I knew one of the kids who goes for a breakaway always does the same move,” said Allard. “Other than that, our defense was pushing them to the outside, which was giving them less of a net to shoot at and more of a chance for me to make the save. Overall as a team, I think we made a really good effort.”
The Dragons (9-4-0) scored four goals in the opening period, two of which were early power play goals.
The first goal came four minutes into the game from the slot where TJ Sullivan rifled a shot through the legs of a defenseman and past the 26ers’ goaltender. Under two minutes later, the Dragons scored again on the power play with a shot from the point by Jared Parent.
“Putting goal in the net hasn’t been our problem this year,” said Brunswick coach Bill Bodwell. “We’ve had a lot of games where we’ve scored a lot of goals, but I think we gave up two power play goals as well so it kind of neutralized ours.”
Sullivan would score another in the period accompanied by a goal by Jacob Towle to put the Dragons up 4-1 after the first.
After the Dragons had dominated much of the first period, the 26ers (5-7-0) showed strength of their own in the second period while coming up with two goals by Ethan Cailler. The senior captain netted one goal on the power play off of a rebound and another on a wrist shot that found its way past Allard’s glove.
While the 26ers dominated most of the second period, they still went into the third period trailing by a score of 5-3.
The 26ers lacked the ability to make a late-game comeback, but there were still plenty of chances for the team while being down by two goals.
While managing nine shots on goal during a third period that saw two power plays, the 26ers had trouble sneaking one past Allard, who ended the night with 34 saves on 37 shots for the entire game.
“We had a lot of opportunities, and we had some looks from some pretty good spots, but it was just too easy,” said 26ers’ coach Travis Jalbert. “I don’t think we made their goalie work enough; the quality chances that we did have were just too soft. We missed a couple of breakaways that we didn’t capitalize on, and if we’re going to win these games we have to bury those.”
Opposite Allard, the goaltender for the 26ers Nick Hemond saw 23 shots and was able to save 17. Hemond gave up a late third period goal to Jacob McGowan, who had a total of two for the game. The goal came with 4:30 remaining to help secure the win for the Dragons.