LEWISTON – The York High players stood on the blue line as the victorious Brewer High Witches skated up to receive their awards.

The Wildcats’ glum expressions said everything. In the Class B hockey state championship game Saturday, York played well enough to win but did not.

York skated with Brewer but a couple of mistakes, including too many penalties, kept the Wildcats from their ultimate goal.

Brewer scored two power-play goals to beat the Wildcats 3-1 at the Colisee.

The Witches (19-1-1) won their second Class B title in four years, while York (17-4) brought home a second-place plaque for the second time in three years.

“I thought we outplayed them five-on-five,” said York Coach Michael Vessey.

But the problem was York visited the penalty box seven times. Not only did Brewer score on two of those penalties, but York spent a lot of energy on the penalty kill, including four times in the third period.

“We’ve been preaching all year that we have to lay off the penalties,” York senior captain Tanner Chase said. “That’s what killed us. It wore us out.”

Brewer was whistled for two penalties and killed both of them.

York never led but did make it 1-1 on a Paddy Murphy goal in the second period. But Brewer answered two minutes later and then scored a five-on-three goal in the third period.

York outshot the Witches 26-22 and controlled play early. Brewer goalie Eric White stayed in position and was steady.

“In that first period it could have been a 4-1 (York lead) if it wasn’t for Eric White,” Brewer Coach David Shedd said. “I couldn’t get over how (York) came out with that tenacity. They were bigger and better than I anticipated.”

York actually thought it took a 1-0 lead at 6:49. David Figlioli and his brother, Anthony, worked a nice give-and-go.

White appeared out of position but stretched to stop David Figlioli’s shot at the last second as the Wildcats were starting to celebrate.

“The puck went to the far side and Figlioli was right there,” White said. “I just reached back with my glove and luckily he shot right into it. I got lucky there.”

Brewer went on its second power play at 10:10 and scored 1:34 later, Alec Pacheco roofing a feed from Kyle Alexander.

York outshot Brewer 10-6 in the first period and trailed 1-0.

“We knew we were the underdogs and that drove us,” Murphy said. “We played our tails off.”

Murphy tied it at 2:26 of the second, taking a perfect pass from behind the net by Craig Decato.

York’s defense had done a good job of keeping the Witches from the net, but Brewer forward Lucas Lamond got free for a rebound goal at 4:29 for a 2-1 lead.

Brewer took its only two penalties later in the period, giving York a five-on-three advantage for 1:11. But the Wildcats’ aggressive penalty kill stymied York.

York spent almost half of the third period in the penalty box. Brewer got a five-on-three for 1:10 and created space. Nick Risser walked in and scored at 10:42.

Soon the Witches were whooping it up as the Wildcats looked on.

“We knew we could play with them,” Vessey said. “If we could have stayed out of the box it might have been a different game.

“I told (the York players) they have nothing to hang their heads about. They had a terrific season and they played a great game.”

 

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at:

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