WINSLOW — Brennen Shaw is hailed by teammates and coaches as a big-time performer on the big-time stage.

The Presque Isle senior captain forward backed it up Saturday night at jammed-packed Sukee Arena.

Shaw scored with just less than four minutes left to snap a tie game and lift No. 3 Presque Isle past No. 2 Winslow 3-2 in an Eastern B semifinal.

“It was crazy,” said Shaw, who also added an assist to give him a team-high 62 points on the season. “It was just a crazy win. It’s great for our program.”

The Wildcats (15-4-0) advanced to the regional final for the third time in four years. Winslow (12-6-1) was trying to make it back there for a third straight year.

“It is frustrating,” Winslow senior forward Todd Brow, whose breakaway goal with 9 minutes, 6 seconds left in the third tied the game at 2. “But at the same time we know how good these guys are.”

Winslow, which twice rallied from one-goal deficits, had its chances late. With the teams tied at 2, Brow fired a shot from the left circle on net with 4:15 left in the third. The puck hit a Presque Isle defenseman in the back then hit the crossbar.

“We just missed,” Brow said.

The Wildcats then scored the eventual game-winner 26 seconds later, when Shaw redirected a Zac Campbell shot past Winslow goalie Jesse Little (32 saves).

“Zac passed it out and I kind of one-timed it,” said Shaw, who has 98 career goals. “Their defenseman tipped it forward and I poked it in. It was an easy goal.”

Added Presque Isle coach Dr. Carl Flynn: “I don’t think there’s anyone better in the state. He had two guys on his back all night.”

Winslow had one final chance with 2:35 left when it was given a power play. However, the Wildcats killed it off — and Winslow’s season in the process.

“It’s not a good loss,” Winslow coach Corey Lessard said. “It was a tough loss.”

After Caleb Buck one-timed a shot past Little to give Presque Isle a 2-1 lead with 9:49 left in the third. Brow scored the equalizer on a breakaway just 43 seconds later.

Winslow defenseman Charlie Kriegel set Brow up with a nice flip pass.

“Charlie and I have worked on that for years,” Brow said. “I came down and saw an opening glove-side and I shot it.”

The Raiders, who were outplayed early and trailed 1-0 after the first period, dominated the second. They pulled even when Eric Willette redirected a Dalton Thompson shot from the point with 8:33 left in the period.

Winslow outshot Presque Isle 13-4 in the second and nearly took a lead into the third if not for a few key saves by Presque Isle goalie Josh MacFarline.

It was quite a contrast from the first, which saw the Wildcats dictate tempo.

“They controlled the first period,” Lessard said.

The Wildcats came out flying, peppering Little with 19 shots in the first. Only one got past the standout Winslow goalie, and it came with 20 seconds left and Presque Isle on a 5-on-3 power play.

With top penalty killers Brow and Kriegel in the box, the Wildcats broke the scoreless affair when senior captain defenseman Steve Ford beat Little to the far post from inside the right circle.

Brennen Shaw won the faceoff in the left circle back to Jason Martin, who hit Ford with a cross-ice pass.

Ford then buried the puck on a wrist shot.

“We wanted to attack the net,” Ford said. “I moved down the circle and when the pass came I put the shot wide to the corner.”

Added Lessard: “They had a lot of shots on the 5-on-3 and that hurt us.”

The goal capped a frantic period in which Winslow was held to just five shots.

Eric Willette also scored for Winslow while Kriegel and Thompson each had assists.

Bill Stewart — 623-3811, ext. 515

[email protected]

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