BRUNSWICK — A young Brunswick boys’ hockey team put together a solid third period to skate to a 5-2 win against South Portland in a Class A game at Watson Arena Thursday night.

Jacob Towle, Jared Hummer and TJ Sullivan scored during the final period as the Dragons won for the eighth time in nine games.

“Coach told us he wanted pucks on net, and we knew we weren’t going to dangle past the defensemen,” Sullivan said. “We went and did what coach told us to do.”

At 8-1, the Dragons, who lost 11 players to graduation last spring, are the surprise team in Eastern Class A.

“The boys have worked hard,” said Bill Bodwell, a veteran ice hockey and lacrosse coach in his first season guiding the Brunswick program. “They’ve done everything I’ve asked them to do. We’ve done a lot of off-ice conditioning, and we’ve tried to play a fast brand of hockey.”

The South Portland squad, which includes players from Waynflete and Freeport, managed to stay even with Brunswick, at least on the scoreboard, through the first two periods.

“We came out flat,” South Portland Coach Joe Robinson said. “We never found first gear, let alone any other gear.”

Still, the score was 2-2 after two periods.

The Dragons’ Jared Parent opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game when he swept Sullivan’s feed from the left side of the crease into the right side of the net.

“I had the puck and I thought about shooting at first,” Sullivan said. “Then I saw I had Jared open so I just slid it over to him.”

With less than two minutes left in the first period, Chris Mitchell made it 1-1 by putting in a shot from the top of the right hash mark after the Dragons failed to clear the puck from the front of the goal.

Less than four minutes into the second period, Brunswick took a 2-1 lead when Jacob McGowan, one of only four seniors on the team, slipped a rebound into the left side after goalie Joe Grant stopped a shot by Parent.

Less than two minutes later, Kyle Halvorsen scored the equalizer by finishing off a two-on-none break with Andrew Whipple.

Brunswick held a 36-8 edge in shots. It limited the Red Riots (4-4) to a single shot on goal during the final period.

“We didn’t get off the bus, as far as I’m concerned,” Robinson added. “We couldn’t establish the forecheck. We were playing catch-up all night, all over the ice. Getting beat to every loose puck. It was one of our worst games.”

Bodwell hopes early season success prepares the Dragons for the toughest part of the schedule. In the next five weeks, they play St. Dom’s, Bangor, Cheverus and Lewiston, traditional Class A powers.

“We’re young,” he said, “(The schedule) has given us the opportunity to have some success and develop some confidence and get guys prepared for those games we know we have coming up.”

“We’ve been preparing,” Sullivan said. “We know we have four tough games coming up and I think we’re ready for them.”

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