BRUNSWICK HIGH SCHOOL defenseman Cam Heatley, above, gets tied up with Cony’s Christopher Murphy
Brooks goal sends the fifth-seeded Dragons to the Eastern A semifinals against Lewiston on Saturday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
“I was trying to dangle, but coach told me to shoot the puck when I had the chance, and I was able to get it through,” said Brooks of his gamewinning goal. “When we get to overtime, I’m not sure anyone can play with us.”
“He has a great shot and needs to use his assets,” said Routhier of Brooks.
Brunswick had to shake off a late goal by Cony’s Tyler Leet, who tied the game with 23.9-seconds remaining when he tipped a pass by Dallas Clark past Dragons netminder Blake Alexander, who had 21 saves, including seven in the first overtime when the Rams outshot Brunswick 7-1.
“We didn’t come out as strong as we liked in the first overtime, but picked it up in the second,” said Alexander. “We didn’t play like we should have, but in the second one we talked about focusing a little bit more and it clicked.”
“I think Cony put everything into the first overtime,” said Routhier, who regrouped his team during the first overtime intermission. “I thought Cony was pretty tired. We just had to get the next break. We don’t panic, and that helps when you go into overtime.”
“We kept the puck in their zone and had some chances, but we just didn’t bury it when we had the chance,” said Cony coach Chad Foye.
Behind a big, and loud, home crowd, Cony came out fast, getting the first two shots. But, Brunswick gave its fans a reason to cheer when Tyler Sullivan stole a Rams clearing attempt and found Ryan Maciejewski in front for a 1-0 Dragons lead at 6:51 of the first period.
Cony came right back. Clark, the Rams’ leading scorer, skated end-toend before beating Alexander under the cross bar to tie the game.
Both teams had six shots in the opening frame.
Kyle Woodruff made it 2-1 for the visitors at 2:47 of the second period, with Maciejewski assisting, and a five-minute major for cross checking on Zachary Gagne and a minor for tripping on Anthony Brunelle gave the Dragons a two-man advantage for a full two minutes.
Brunswick fired 12 shots with the man advantage, but Small refused to budge. His best sequence came as the power play ended, with the freshman making four saves in five seconds to keep his team down just one goal.
“We have come to expect that from him because he has played so well all season,” said Foye of Small, who had 31 saves.
Near the end of the middle frame, Brunswick defenseman Cam Heatley was called for holding and assessed a 10-minute misconduct, and soon after Brooks joined him in the penalty box, giving Cony a 5-on-3 advantage.
But, Brunswick penalty killers Woodruff, Sullivan, Dwayne Palmer, Clayton Parent and Nate Granholm killed off the Cony advantage to keep the Dragons in the lead.
“I went into the room and told the team, ‘take a few breaths and relax. Kill the penalty, a strength all year, and we’ll go on to win,’” said Routhier. “We have some depth on the penalty kill, and we did a good job there.”
Cony kept coming, and Leet’s tip of Clark’s feed sent the game into overtime as the Dragons tired.
“The penalties coming into the third period had us gassed, especially in the first overtime,” said Brooks. “We had to play through it, which is all that we can do. I don’t think anyone had their heads down. We just kept going and stayed focused.”
Clark had an early chance, with Alexander gobbling up the shot, and the netminder made skate saves on Connor Perry and Leet.
The teams went to the locker room between the first and second overtimes, giving the Dragons a muchneeded break.
“We had some long shifts due to the penalties, and the guys were pressing,” said Routhier.
Brooks took a lead pass from Maciejewski and ended it with one shot, giving the junior-laden Dragons a chance at the top-seeded Blue Devils.
“It is a dream to have the chance to play Lewiston,” said Brooks. “I have played with many of their players in youth hockey, and we are going to try and take it to them.”
“We just need to rest up and regroup,” said Routhier. “Lewiston is very good, with a great first line. It will be a big challenge, but we are ready to go for it.”
Brunswick 3, Cony 2
BY BOB CONN Times Record Staff