It’s easy to get overlooked as the Brewer High School goalie if your teammates have lit the goal lamp 18 times in two Eastern Maine Class B playoff games.
But junior Adam Cossette has pitched a pair of shutouts, making nine saves in an 8-0 semifinal win over Lawrence of Fairfield and 14 in the10-0 victory over Houlton-Hodgdon in the EM championship game Tuesday night.
The 19-0-1 Witches will try to defend their state championship in Saturday’s 1 p.m. title game at The Colisee in Lewiston against the winner of Wednesday night’s West title game between York and Greely of Cumberland Center.
“We’ve been playing really well lately,” said Cossette. “Our defense has stepped it up real big in the playoffs. They’ve come alive. Jake Valley has done a good job blocking passes in front of the net. We shut down Houlton-Hodgdon’s offense pretty well.”
“Adam’s a great goaltender. He stood on his head last night,” said Brewer junior left wing Jacob Chapman on Wednesday. “He made some real good saves. We returned the favor by scoring a lot of goals.”
“He wasn’t challenged in the Lawrence game,” said Brewer coach Dave Shedd. “He may have faced one or two Grade-A (high-percentage) shots. But last night, he faced at least eight Grade-A shots, four within the first three minutes.”
“He set the tone at the beginning,” said junior center Kyle Alexander. “He has been phenomenal. A lot of people look past that.”
Eight of his saves came in the first period. That included two gems when the game was still in doubt, getting his pad on Parker Sanderson’s wrister from the bottom of the left circle on a two-on-one and flashing out his glove to get a piece of Cody Briggs’ breakaway.
“I feel my glove is 100 times better than it was earlier this season,” said Cossette. “I’m a lot quicker with my glove.”
“His glove is very much better than it was,” concurred Shedd.
Shedd said Cossette has done a great job, as has Old Town High School transfer Patrick Spaulding, who shared the goaltending earlier this season.
“I knew we were going to get good goaltending this year,” said Shedd, who has also been pleased with the progression of his defense corps.
Cossette hasn’t been fazed by the pressure of playing in his first two playoff games.
“I like playing in big games. I like playing in big games a lot better. I’m used to playing in them,” said Cossette. “I’ve been to a a couple of state championships while playing for coach’s (Shedd’s) Brewer travel teams.”
Cossette said backing up workhorse Eric White for two years was beneficial.
“Watching him play helped me a lot. He was a good mentor,” said Cossette, who also feels facing his own shooters in practice every day has been another key factor in his development.
“Facing Luke Lamond and Tyler White’s shots and Evan Nadeau’s deking (faking) and Kyle Alexander’s deking (is valuable). They’re the best,” said Cossette.
“Adam has really stepped up this year,” said Nadeau. “Obviously, he had big shoes to fill and he has done his best to fill them. He has gotten a lot better. His focus and drive are real good.”
Cossette, who is also adept at passing the puck, said his confidence is up, and he has been happy with the way he has played.
“I want to keep it going in the next game,” said Cossette.