ORONO, Maine — The Brewer High School Witches were frustrated by a sensational performance turned in by Old Town sophomore goalie Nathan Colannino on Monday night at Alfond Arena.
But junior center Kyle Alexander’s goal 4:23 into the third period gave Brewer its first two-goal cushion and the Witches went on to beat the Coyotes for the second time in three days, 4-1, in hockey action at Alfond Arena.
Brewer beat Old Town 5-1 on Saturday.
Brewer outshot Old Town 50-8 in improving to 10-1 and winning its fourth straight. Old Town fell to 7-4.
Junior left wing Spencer Valley scored the only goal in a first period completely dominated by the defending Eastern Maine Class B champs and he extended the lead on the power play in the second period before Old Town’s Kyle Dubay cut the lead in half 2:55 later.
Alexander scored his important goal with a deflection as he was parked in the slot to the right of Colannino and got his his stick on a one-timer from the left point by Nick Moore, who had received a pass from Tyler McCormick.
“We’ve been working a lot on (deflecting shots) in practice,” explained Alexander. “Nick did a good job. His shot was about waist-high and I was able to get the shaft of my stick on it.”
Alexander’s deflection sailed into the short-side corner.
“I never saw it until it hit the net,” said Colannino.
Tyler White cemented the win on the power play with 1:51 remaining as he lifted a short backhander past Colannino off a Valley rebound.
Colannino finished with 46 saves of which at least half of them were of the Grade-A (high-percentage) variety.
“He’s got to be the best goalie in the league,” praised White. “He kept it close.”
Old Town coach Brett Hale went a step further, calling Colannino the “best goalie in the state.”
“I thought I played pretty well but I wish I could have made a couple more stops to keep my team in it,” said the 15-year-old Colannino. “I expected to see a lot of shots but not that many.”
The Witches set the tone for the evening on the opening faceoff when Joey Fowler walked in alone on Colannino only to have Colannino cut down the angle and smother his point-blank attempt.
Colannino came up with a terrific glove save on White just a few seconds later.
Valley scored at the 3:22 mark when Michael Shedd pushed the puck ahead to him at center ice to create a three-on-one.
Valley stick-handled down the open seam to Colannino’s left and was able to jam a loose puck across the goal line.
“I was trying to pass it over to (Alexander) but I lost control of the puck. So I took a couple of whacks at it,” Valley said.
Both teams squandered glittering rush opportunities as Brewer failed to convert two-on-one, winding up with a shot from a difficult angle that was saved comfortably by Colannino, while Old Town failed to get a shot on goal off a three-on-one.
Brewer outshot Old Town 21-2 in that first period.
“We came out flat,” said Hale, whose team did a much better job in front of Colannino by playing its tight four-man box much more effectively in the second and third periods.
The fifth skater pursues the puck; the puck carrier or one of Brewer’s elite forwards.
Valley made it 2-0 when Tyler White wheeled out of the corner to the left of Colannino and threaded a perfect diagonal pass to the far post where Valley guided it into the open net.
“Tyler did all the work,” said Valley.
But Old Town answered off a well-executed two-on-one as Trevor Francis carried the puck down the right side and slipped the puck across to Dubay, who tapped it home.
David Wilcox almost equalized moments later with a one-timer from the right circle off a Francis pass but Brewer goalie Patrick Spaulding scrambled across to get a good piece of it and then covered the rebound, which had rolled behind the goalie.
“(Francis) was staring at (Wilcox) so I anticipated the pass and was able to get my left pad over,” said Spaulding, who wound up with seven saves. “Then I was able to reach back and cover the puck with my stick.”
“Brewer is just so deep. They have three lines that can fly,” said Hale who felt his team did a nice job keeping Brewer to the outside with their box after the first period.
“We took too many penalties,” he added.
Brewer went 2-for-7 on the power play while Old Town went 0-for-1.