BRUNSWICK

Twelve long days.

That is what the Brunswick High School boys hockey team had to endure before playing a countable game.

On Saturday night, the Dragons laced up the skates again, hosting Kennebunk in a key Class B South contest at Sidney J. Watson Arena.

Yes, Brunswick was sluggish early, as the long layoff showed up. But, the rust soon left the Dragons, who skated to a 6-3 victory.

Brunswick improved to 8-5-1 with its third straight victory, while Kennebunk fell to 6-7-1. The Rams will host Leavitt on Tuesday at USM Arena, while the Dragons return to action Wednesday at Gardiner (3 p.m.).

Brunswick coach Bill Bodwell was hoping that his team was going to come out hard, but worried about a flat Dragons group, rusty from the long down time.

“We were a little flat in the first few minutes, and Kennebunk is a proud program and they hit hard,” said Bodwell, whose team was outshot 6-5 in the opening frame, with each team tallying a goal for a 1-1 tie at the intermission. “I thought we adjusted well and got our skating legs under us as we went on. In pre-game we talked that we hadn’t done this in a while, even though we did play Hebron Academy during the break, a very good team. It was a challenge to get back into the routine.”

“The first period was pretty rough. But, we skate hard in practice and that is why we win games like this,” said Brunswick defenseman Nate Granholm.

Quick counters

The Kennebunk line of Patrick Gassman, Bo Beveridge and James Ross forged the game’s opening goal. Ross dug the puck away from the boards and fed Beveridge, the opening two periods. Corey Taker-Laberge evened the game 1:02 after Kennebunk’s first goal, with Jacob Doring and Andrew Eno each earning an assist.

“You want to get goals to gain momentum, but throughout the season we score then give up a goal right after,” said Kennebunk coach Sean Smith. “Momentum is huge in high school sports. To get a goal and keep the lead is big. The mental toughness isn’t always there.”

Brunswick had its first turn with the lead. On the game’s initial power play, the Dragons gained a 2- 1 lead as Granholm’s shot from the point deflected in off a Rams skate and past surprised goaltender Spencer Desrochers.

It took Kennebunk just 34 seconds to draw even. Camden Connor gained control of the bouncing puck and wristed a rising shot past Kirk, and the Rams made it a 3-2 contest midway through the middle frame as Ross, assisted by Beveridge, scored.

Back came Brunswick, which answered 1:02 later when Doring finished off a pass from Jameson Cyr.

The Dragons scored what proved to be the game-winning goal with 2:59 remaining in the second period. Michael Deveaux stepped around a Kennebunk defender and fed Matthew Deveaux, whose wrist shot found the back of the net for a 4-3 Brunswick lead.

Brunswick carried the edge into the second intermission, giving the Dragons confidence as the third period approached.

“We work really hard on our conditioning and we tell the guys if we put ourselves in a good spot, the third period should be our period,” said Bodwell. “We made an adjustment in our forecheck and we had a good third period.”

“ We are a team that has to work hard, so to have that lead was big,” said Granholm. “The lead gave us more confidence. We knew that Kennebunk was going to come at us hard. We had to get more pucks on net and we did that in the third period.”

Brunswick received a lucky bounce just 1:44 into the third. Jared Hummer dumped the puck toward the Kennebunk net from the 65 feet, with the puck taking an awkward bounce past Desrochers for a 5-3 Dragons lead.

“We wanted to score quick, we had a power play to start, but it is tough,” said Smith, who rolled two lines as his Rams tried to battle back. “We have been battling the injury and sickness bug, just like a lot of teams are. We can’t make trades and go get kids. You play the hand that you’re dealt. I believe in three lines, and tonight we didn’t have it.”

Kirk stood tall in net over the second half of the game. He turned aside 26 shots, including the final 15 fired his way.

“Riley played really well, especially in the third period,” said Bodwell.

Granholm’s second goal found an empty net with 10 seconds remaining to close out the scoring.

Desrochers had 16 saves on 21 Brunswick shots. The Dragons went 1-of-2 on the power play and killed off both Kennebunk man-up opportunities. .

Brunswick 6,
Kennebunk 3

Saturday, at Sidney J. Watson Arena
Kennebunk—120—3
Brunswick— 132—6
First period — 1. (K) Bo Beveridge
(James Ross), 6:50; 2. (B) Corey
Taker-Laberge (Jacob Doring, Andrew
Eno), 7:52. Penalties — None.
Second period — 3. (B) Nate
Granholm, ppg, 4:05; 4. (K) Camden
Connor (William O’Neil), 4:39; 5. (K)
James Ross (Bo Beveridge), 7:32; 6.
(B) Jacob Doring (Jameson Cyr),
8:37; 7. (B) Matthew Deveaux
(Michael Deveaux), 12:01. Penalties
—(K) Patrick Gassman, cross checking, 3:00; (B) Corey Taker-Laberge,
boarding, 13:47.
Third period — 8. (B) Jared Hummer
(Andrew Eno), 1:44; 9. (B) Nate
Granholm, empty-net, 14:50. Penalties — (K) Walker Robinson, tripping,
7:21; (B) Matthew Deveaux, high
sticking, 8:11.
Shots on goal — (K) 6-14-9-29; (B)
5-8-9-22.
Saves — (K) Spencer Desrochers 16;
(B) Riley Kirk 26.
Power play — Kennebunk 0-for-2;
Brunswick 1-for-2.
Records — Brunswick 8-5-1, Kennebunk 6-7-1.
Up next for the Dragons — Tuesday
at Gardiner, Wednesday at 3 p.m



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