ORONO — Brewer High School senior right wing Lucas Lamond said one of his team’s points of emphasis in the playoffs is to “be a first-period team.”
“We did that today,” added Lamond moments after his Witches exploded for five first-period goals in a span of 4:50 en route to a 10-0 win over Houlton-Hodgdon in the Eastern Maine Class B championship game at Alfond Arena.
The win was the 18th in a row for the defending state Class B champions as they improved to 19-0-1. Houlton-Hodgdon finished 16-4 with three of the losses coming at the hands of the Witches.
Brewer will play the winner of the Wednesday’s Western Maine final between Greely of Cumberland Center and York in Saturday’s 1 p.m. state title game at The Colisee in Lewiston.
Brewer had scored three first-period goals in an 8-0 win over Lawrence of Fairfield in their semifinal Saturday.
Junior left wing Jacob Chapman triggered the five-goal flurry with power-play goals 1:13 apart, Lamond made it 3-0 and Evan Nadeau and Tyler White closed out the scoring.
White, Jake Valley and Nadeau extended the lead to 8-0 in the second period before Valley and Michael Shedd added third-period goals.
Linemates Nadeau (2 goals, 2 assists), Chapman (2 & 2) and White (2 & 3) combined for six goals and seven assists. Senior defenseman Valley had four assists to go with his goal.
“That was awesome. I didn’t expect that,” said Chapman. “I thought it was going to be a one- or two-goal game.”
“You’ve got to give Brewer a lot of credit. They clearly outplayed us,” said Houlton-Hodgdon senior right wing and tri-captain Logan Holmes. “Once they got that first goal, they started rolling and we couldn’t do anything to stop them.”
“Their playoff experience made a big difference,” said Houlton-Hodgdon coach Joel Trickey. “They know how intense you have to be (in the playoffs) and we just couldn’t match their intensity.”
Chapman opened the scoring at the 6:12 mark by converting a Joey Fowler rebound as Fowler’s wrister from the point deflected to Chapman off the blocker of Black Hawks goalie Malik Abouleish.
“The rebound hit me and landed in right in front of me. I had the open net,” said Chapman.
Just seconds after Brewer goalie Adam Cossette went from post-to-post to make a great pad save off Parker Sanderson, who was set up alone in front by Dylan Gard, Chapman made it 2-0 with a easy tap-in off a pinpoint diagonal pass by White.
“As I skated by our bench, Coach (David) Shedd said, ‘Skate, skate, skate,’ and I skated as hard as I could to get to that spot,” said Chapman, who was wide open.
Cossette got his glove on Cody Briggs’ breakaway and, seconds later, Lamond made it 3-0 during a scramble.
“We’ve been down 2-0 before and I thought maybe if we get a quick one, we could come back,” said Briggs. “I didn’t get off a good shot, but he got a piece of his glove on it and made a nice save. Then the floodgates opened.”
Lamond scored after he and linemates Kyle Alexander and Spencer Valley drove to the net and created the scramble.
“There was a scrum, so I backed off, the puck squirted over to me and I had the open net,” said Lamond.
Nadeau scored off another wild flurry in front 20 seconds later.
“Chapman was lying on the ice and got off a backhander (that was saved). I was hacking away at it and got my stick on it,” said Nadeau. “We knew we had to crash the net because he’s a great goalie and that’s the only way to score on him. He’s quick so you’ve got to pound the rebounds.”
White converted a Nadeau pass to cap the binge.
“(Abouleish) gave me about a 3-inch diameter over his blocker shoulder (short side),” said White, who opened the second-period scoring with a screened wrist shot from the top of the slot.
Jake Valley scored from the high slot 48 seconds later. Abouleish was replaced by Avery Kibler, who was victimized by Nadeau on the first shot he faced.
The Witches outshot Houlton-Hodgdon 30-14 as Cossette posted his second straight shutout.
“They came ready to play,” said Black Hawks senior defenseman Kam Lincoln. “They’re really quick and they cycle the puck very well. They’re always moving.”
“Once we score, we catch on fire,” said White.