BREWER, Maine — Defense was on vacation at the Penobscot Ice Arena Monday afternoon.
There were odd-man rushes (three-on-twos, two-on-ones and breakaways) galore.
But when the final buzzer sounded, the line of brothers Brennen Shaw and Connor Shaw along with Mitch Davis had combined for four goals and six assists to lead Presque Isle High School to an entertaining 7-6 hockey triumph over Hampden Academy.
Dynamic junior center Brennen Shaw had a goal and four assists; junior left wing Mitch Davis had a hat trick, including two third-period goals, as well as an assist, and freshman Connor Shaw contributed an assist.
“Our line works well together,” said Brennen Shaw.
They had been productive as a line during the preseason but hadn’t played together again until their previous game, a 6-4 loss to Winslow.
Dylan Collins scored two goals for the 2-3-1 Wildcats and Isaac Lajoie had the other goal. Steve Ford had two assists. Hampden Academy, 0-5, received two goals apiece from Josh Tardiff, Cody McAllister and Nick Pease.
Tardiff also dished out two assists with McAllister and Pease notching one apiece.
“[The game] was unstructured,” said Collins. “It wasn’t the greatest win but we’ll take it.”
Brennen Shaw and Davis gave the Wildcats some important breathing room by scoring 1:38 apart early in the third period to expand the lead to 6-3.
Moments after missing the net on a breakaway, Brennen Shaw scored with a slap shot from the outer half of the left circle that glanced in off the crossbar.
“Pucks weren’t going in for me. I was frustrated the whole game. So I just decided to let it rip,” said Shaw.
Shaw had at least a half-dozen high-percentage scoring chances but he was robbed several times by sophomore goalie Jacob Ward and, on other occasions, he either hit the post or missed the net.
Davis converted a partial break-in after poking a loose puck free at center ice, breaking down the right wing and snapping a low shot from the right circle that squeezed through Ward’s pads.
Pease answered by ripping the rebound of a McAllister shot into the short side but Davis scored what proved to be the game-winner 1:38 later.
Brennen Shaw stickhandled cleverly before putting a cross-ice pass on his unattended brother’s stick. Connor Shaw took a slap shot from the bottom of the left circle and the rebound came out to Davis, who swatted it home.
Tardiff and McAllister made things interesting by scoring at the 12:21 and 14:46 marks but it was too little, too late.
“I was pleased with the effort,” said HA coach Mark Walsh. “The kids played with a lot of heart. They never gave up.”
He added that defensive breakdowns and untimely penalties were costly.
Both goalies played extremely well as they were hung out to dry by their teammates on several occasions.
Sophomore Josh MacFarline made 26 saves in what PI coach Carl Flynn described as his best game of the season and Ward finished with 39 stops.