Brunswick High School girls hockey coach Dave Boucher commented prior to Wednesday’s Northern girls quarterfinal contest that Lewiston/Monmouth/Oak Hill goaltender Meagan Gosselin was one of the top goaltenders in the state.

Tied 2-2 with five minutes left in regulation, Dragons forward Jenna Brooks skated in alone on Gosselin. The Blue Devils’ goaltender stood tall, one of her 19 saves, and watched as teammate Jordan Mynahan scored on a wrap-around goal with 3:31 remaining in a 3-2 Lewiston win at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Brunswick, the No. 6 seed, saw its season end at 8-10-1, while the 11-7-1 Blue Devils, seeded third, head to Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn on Saturday to face rival and No. 2 St. Dom’s (16-2) in the semifinals.

In game that had that playoff feel, Brunswick jolted Lewiston with goals 15-seconds apart early in the second period. And, the Dragons kept coming, owning the second period to the tune of an 11-6 shot advantage and giving as much as they received in the third frame, with both teams attempting eight shots.

“Either team could have won that game. The goalies played well. We had our chances in the third, and if we could have scored early it might have been different,” said Brunswick first-year coach Boucher. “We had enough good opportunities to win the game, and it comes down to who is going to finish it. The passing, our defense, was solid.”

Brunswick struggled in the first period, out-shot 9-2 and down 1-0 after a Corey Laberge goal off a setup from Mynahan and Katie Lemieux.

“The first period was just nerves and making bad decisions. But, then we got our confidence,” said Boucher after his Dragons iced the puck six times and found themselves pinned in their defensive zone.

Those nerves went away in the second period. Brunswick began pressuring the Lewiston defense and the hard work soon paid off. First, Brooks gained control of the puck after teammate Rayna Sage’s shot deflected off a Lewiston defenseman and slipped the puck behind Gosselin to tie the game 4:07 into the middle frame.

Just 15 seconds later, Brooks set up freshman classmate Beth Labbe from Gosselin’s doorstep to give the Dragons a stunning 2-1 lead.

“We knew that we needed to get that first goal and it came,” said Brooks, who often double-shifted. “Then we got the second goal. We just felt like that we had this. We knew that we could do it then.”

Brunswick had more chances to score, but Gosselin stopped Brooks twice and made a solid pad save on Sage from point-blank range.

Lewiston’s Bree Bergeron sent the teams to the locker room tied, 2-2. She gained control of the puck deep in her zone, sped up ice and wristed a shot past Brunswick goaltender Jordan Van Savage with 4:41 left in the second period.

A key for Brunswick was the ability to shut down the Lewiston power play, which failed to score on two man-up chances, managing just three combined shots. Van Savage made pad stops on Mynahan, Laberge and Bergeron to keep the game even heading to the third period.

Back and forth

Lewiston began the final frame with most of the pressure, taking five of the first six shots. Van Savage turned in her best save, stopping Laberge from in front of her cage, then sprawling to her right to keep a shot from Jaylin Cloutier out of the net.

Lewiston’s only penalty came with 6:23 remaining in regulation. Brunswick went to work, launching four shots on goal.

“We have been working on our power play, and it was key. We had a lot of pressure there,” said Brooks, who also hit the post to the left of Gosselin during Brunswick’s lone power play.

Less than a minute after the power play ended, the Blue Devils struck for the winning goal. Mynahan managed to slip the puck inches over the goal line when she stepped out from behind Van Savage’s cage for a 3-2 Blue Devils lead.

From there, Brunswick came hard. Labbe’s shot from six-feet out went into Gosselin’s stomach, and Brooks snapped a shot from the right face-off circle that had Gosselin kicking out her left pad to keep her team in the lead.

“Meagan made a lot of key saves, pad saves, glove saves, body saves … she is just always in good position,” said Boucher.

“A one-goal game is never fun for a goalie, and I was just hoping that we would pull through when we needed to and we did,” said Gosselin, who discussed the breakaway from Brooks. “It was nerve-racking, but I was able to get the save there. We knew from the beginning that they would come at us hard. They are a tough team. It was a matter of who wanted it more.”

“We gave it our best. We were the underdogs coming in and knew that we had to play hard. I thought we did,” said Brooks.

Lewiston finished with a 23-21 shot advantage. Van Savage had 20 saves.

No. 3 Lewiston 3, No. 6 Brunswick 2

Northern Girls Quarterfinal

At the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston

Brunswick —0 2 0 2
Lewiston 1 1 1 3

First period — 1. (L) Corey Laberge (Jordan Mynahan, Katie Lemieux), 7:18. Penalty — (B) Jenna Brooks, hooking, 10:48. Second period — 2. (B) Jenna Brooks (Rayna Sage), 4:07; 3. (B) Beth Labbe (Jenna Brooks), 4:22; 4. (L) Bree Bergeron, 10:19. Penalty — (B) Tessa Cassidy, body checking, 5:15. Third period — 5. (L) Jordan Mynahan, 11:29. Penalty — (L) Corey Laberge, interference, 8:37. Shots on goal — (B) 2-11-8-21; (L) 9-6-8-23. Saves — (B) Jordan Van Savage 20; (L) Meagan Gosselin 19. Power play opportunities — (B) 0-for-1; (L) 0- for-2. Records — Lewiston 11-7-1; Brunswick 8-10- 1. Notes — Brunswick’s season is completed.

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