Brewer High School senior goalie Eric White did his impersonation of Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon Thursday afternoon.
White was removed from their game against Hampden Academy in the second period with a comfortable 4-0 lead. But the Broncos scored three times at the expense of backup goalie Matt Sloan to pull within 4-3 early in the third period before White was sent back in to preserve a 5-3 victory.
White saved a potential game-tying breakaway by Mark Eldridge with 8:40 remaining and Alec Pacheco scored an insurance goal with 1:43 left.
“Eric is just Eric. He’s phenomenal. There isn’t a goalie around I trust as much as Eric White in the net,” said Brewer senior center Nick Risser.
Eldridge gathered in the puck in the neutral zone and had a teammate right behind him as he broke in alone on White.
“It looked like he was going to shoot the whole time so I was just trying to come out and challenge a little bit,” said White. “I didn’t give up any ground and I got my blocker on it.”
White had also saved a first-period breakaway by Kalvin Costa-Vogel and finished with 12 saves.
Brewer, now 2-0, built its 4-0 lead on first-period goals by Joey Fowler and Garret Gonzales and second-period tallies by Jacob Chapman and Lucas Lammond.
Sloan replaced White and the Broncos took advantage of some Brewer turnovers to cut the lead in half as senior center Cody McAllister scored goals 26 seconds apart late in the period.
Nick Pease’s power-play blast into the far corner from the right faceoff circle 4:12 into the third period made it 4-3 and Brewer coach Dave Shedd put White back into the game.
The Witches finally iced it when Risser set up Pacheco with a no-look, backhand pass to him from the corner. Pacheco was just beyond the top of the crease.
“I heard Alec call and he only calls if he’s open,” said Risser, who was in the right corner when he made the pass. “I made a behind-the-back pass to him. We’ve done it a couple of times this year. We work well together. I always know where he’s going to be.”
“I put it far post. I snuck it right in,” said Pacheco.
Fowler opened the scoring 35 seconds into the game when his centering pass from behind the net deflected in.
Gonzales scored at the 8:04 mark when his soft wrister from the point hit a Bronco skate and deflected in the short side.
Chapman snapped the puck into the open net when Tyler White’s shot missed the short side but came to him off the boards. Lammond finished of a nice triangle passing play by tucking Spencer Valley’s cross- crease pass behind HA goalie Jacob Ward.
McAllister’s goals came on a short wrister off a Costa-Vogel pass from behind the net and on a breakaway in which he pulled the puck around Sloan on the forehand side.
The speedy and tenacious Witches outshot 0-1 HA 35-20 and kept constant pressure on Ward, who turned in an impressive 30-save performance.