BREWER, Maine — It was well worth the wait for Dylan Fitzpatrick.
Brewer’s senior center scored his 100th career goal en route to five on the day while leading his unbeaten Witches past Bangor 7-1 at Penobscot Ice Arena Thursday afternoon.
“He’s a good kid and a great player, and even though he’s playing on the wrong side, I like to see kids like him do well,” said Bangor coach Ted Taylor. “He’s been a leader since he was a freshman, whether there was a ‘C’ on his jersey or not.”
The 4-0 Witches dominated early with 10 shots and two goals in the first six minutes.
Nick Risser broke the ice 66 seconds into the game with a goal off assists from Evan Nadeau and Tyler White. Fitzpatrick made it 2-0 five minutes later with a slap shot from the right side off a pass from Matt Helfen on a power play. Brewer had a chance to make it 3-0 via a two-man advantage with 5:46 left, but couldn’t score on the power play.
The Witches outshot the Rams 18-4 in the first period, but saw that momentum slip away in the second as the Rams stormed out of the locker room, finally getting on the scoreboard with 3:47 left and outshooting Brewer 11-5.
“We really came out flying in the first by playing our forecheck and our game,” Fitzpatrick said. “In the second, we came out slow and they played the way we did in the first.”
Junior forward Devin Lyshon scored by faking right and shooting left after catching Brewer goalie Eric White sprawled forward to the right side. He was assisted by Cody McInnis and Nate Lewis. The euphoria didn’t last long, however, as Fitzpatrick scored on a two-on-one off a slap shot from the left circle after taking a pass from Ryan Nadeau with 1:11 left in the second.
Brewer made it 4-1 with 9:31 left in the third as Fitzpatrick scored on another two-on-one, this time off a high shot to the right corner off a Steve Farley pass. The goal is believed to make Fitzpatrick the first Brewer hockey player to score 100 career goals.
The game was stopped for 10 minutes after a plexiglass panel was dislodged and broken near the Bangor bench. The break seemed to re-energize the Witches as they followed it up with three more goals — two shorthanded during the same Bangor power play — in the final seven minutes.
“The second period was good and the third period was going well until the break. Then I think we lost focus and they seemed to really get geared up after,” Taylor said.
Fitzpatrick scored again, this time on a slap shot from the left circle with 7:10 left, and the Witches scored twice within a 34-second span in the final 5½ minutes to cap the scoring.
Risser got his stick on a loose puck between his own blue line and center ice and sped up the ice as four Rams converged on him. Risser skated to the left circle and scored on a one-on-four shorthanded shot with 5:18 left. Fitzpatrick did the same thing with 4:44 left on a shot from the left circle off a Ryan Nadeau pass.
White also paced Brewer with several play-of-the-day quality saves en route to 28 saves on 29 shots.
“Our defense is playing much better than it was a year ago and keeping opponents toward the outside of the rink, so I’m able to see the shots better,” White said of his solid play.
Zach Hamilton made 27 saves on 34 shots for the 1-2 Rams.