BREWER, Maine — The Brewer High School Witches made a statement Monday afternoon.
In a possible preview of the Eastern Maine Class B hockey championship game, the Witches spotted the defending EM B titlist Presque Isle Wildcats 1-0 and 2-1 leads before storming back to post an impressive 10-5 victory.
Sophomore right wing Tyler White notched his first career four-goal game and added an assist while sophomore left wing Jacob Chapman and senior center Nick Risser had two goals and two assists apiece for the 7-1-1 Witches.
Brewer used five unanswered second-period goals, the last three on the power play, to take an 8-3 lead.
Senior defenseman Chris Lopez and left wing Alec Pacheco had the other goals and they also had an assist each.
Senior center Brennen Shaw had four unassisted goals for the 8-3 Wildcats and senior defenseman Jason Martin had the other goal.
Brewer went 4-for-9 on the power play. PI went 3-for-7.
“This was the best game we’ve played all year,” said Risser, who centers the first line between Pacheco and Jamie Williamson.
White and Chapman play on the second line with Evan Nadeau, who had two assists as did third-line right wing Lucas Lamond.
“We picked up the hitting in the second period and they seemed to collapse after we picked it up,” said Pacheco.
“The physical play changed that game,” agreed Brewer coach David Shedd.
“They have two really good lines,” said Brennen Shaw. “The White kid was an unexpected goal scorer.”
“Most teams have a good first line and if you neutralize them, you have a good chance. But their second line scored six goals tonight so you can’t pay attention to just one line,” said PI coach Carl Flynn. “They come at you at all times with at least two lines.”
Pacheco broke the 3-3 tie and triggered the five-goal flurry 1:24 into the second period, 19 seconds after Shaw had tied it.
“We had a nice little cycle going in the corner. I gave the puck to [Risser] and he gave it back and I one-timed it into the far side off the post,” said Pacheco.
An unattended Chapman expanded the lead three minutes later by converting a cross-crease pass from Nadeau.
“It deflected off one of their defensemen and came right to me,” said Chapman, who lifted it past helpless PI goalie Nic Davis.
White made it 6-3 on the power play off a Lamond pass out from behind the net.
“[Lamond] passed it right to me and I put it to the far side,” said White.
Lopez made it 7-3 at the 11:50 mark with a screened wrist shot from the right point and White scored again 2:07 later with a short wrister.
“We didn’t clear out the front of our net as well as we should have,” said PI senior defenseman Steve Ford.
Third-period goals by White and Risser were sandwiched by Shaw’s third and fourth goals.
Shaw opened the scoring eight seconds into the game but White equalized 2:14 later. Martin answered 20 seconds later but Risser drew the Witches level at the 6:51 mark.
Chapman’s shorthanded goal at the 11:45 mark gave Brewer its first lead.
“Our offense was unbelievable today. Guys were making plays I haven’t even seen them make in practice,” said Brewer goalie Eric White, who made 26 saves on 30 shots before Adam Cosssette finished up.
Josh MacFarline and Davis combined for 30 saves as Brewer outshot the Wildcats 40-35 including a 27-15 edge over the final two periods.