BREWER — With a matchup looming against archrival Bangor on Wednesday night, the Brewer High School Witches could have looked past the youthful Presque Isle High School Wildcats on Monday night at the Penobscot Ice Arena.
Brewer unleashed a 58-shot barrage on Presque Isle senior goalie Josh MacFarline and received two goals and two assists from senior center Evan Nadeau and two goals and an assist from sophomore center Kyle Alexander en route to an impressive 8-2 triumph.
It was a rematch of last year’s Eastern Maine Class B final won by Brewer 8-1.
“You can’t be complacent. You’ve got to play your hardest in every game,” said Nadeau. “We didn’t underestimate them.”
“They have great depth and all that depth has great speed. They’re quick to the puck and they’re aggressive,” said Presque Isle junior center Isaac LaJoie, who scored the first goal and assisted on Tyler Seeley’s goal.
Nadeau’s linemates, Tyler White and Jacob Chapman, combined for two goals and three assists. White had two assists to go with his goal and Chapman had one of each. Lucas Lamond and Jake Valley had the other goals for 4-0-1 Brewer, and Lamond also had an assist.
Tyler White opened the scoring by coming out of the corner and beating MacFarline with a quick wrister.
LaJoie equalized with a wrister inside the far post off a two-on-one.
Nadeau broke the game open with goals just 1:29 apart late in the first period, and Alexander made it 4-1 with 1:50 remaining in the period.
The Witches caught a break when Cody Merrill’s shot broke off the glove of Brewer goalie Patrick Spaulding and appeared to cross the goal line.
That would have tied it 2-2, but there aren’t goal judges and the referees didn’t see it cross the line.
But it was a moot point because the defending state Class B champion Witches turned in a thoroughly dominant performance, allowing Presque Isle just 12 shots on goal.
Nadeau’s go-ahead goal was set up by Chapman.
“Jacob hit me in the slot and I took a quick shot that went five-hole,” said Nadeau.
He converted a White rebound to make it 3-1.
“The rebound came right to my stick. The goalie was still down, so I put it upstairs,” said Nadeau.
Lamond set up Alexander’s goal.
“Lucas came out of the corner, beat a defenseman and took a shot,” said Alexander. “It came to my stick and I put it in the short side.”
Chapman made it 5-1 on the power play 1:09 into the second period when he chipped home a cross-crease pass from Nadeau.
Jake Valley one-timed a pass from Nadeau past the helpless MacFarline with 3:33 remaining in the period.
Alexander and Lamond sandwiched third-period goals around Seeley’s goal off a LaJoie rebound.
MacFarline’s 50 saves were a career high.
“It was very tiring,” said MacFarline, who turned in an outstanding performance. “They cycle the puck behind the net and you get real tired going back and forth. They’re really good. They’re the same Brewer team they’ve had in years past.”
MacFarline was satisfied with his performance.
“There were a couple of shots I should have had, but in the most part, I was generally happy with the way I played,” said MacFarline.
“We knew he was a pretty good goaltender, so we tried to pepper him as much as we could,” said Nadeau.
The speedy LaJoie was another standout for the 2-4 Wildcats. In addition to his goal and assist, he generated some other break-ins with his speed and also played the body effectively.