BREWER, Maine — The Bangor High School Rams appeared to be well on their way to a comfortable schoolboy hockey victory over archrival Brewer on Saturday night.
But their 4-0 lead had been sliced to 5-3 in the third period and the Witches were on the power play and had momentum on their side.
That’s when sophomore right wing Jordan Tracy and senior left wing Parker Sanderson hooked up on a pretty play resulting in Sanderson’s third goal of the game and that deflated the Witches and sewed up a 6-3 victory at the Penobscot Ice Arena.
The swift-skating Class A Rams (5-0) outshot Brewer 62-28.
Sanderson’s shorthanded goal came with 6:24 remaining.
Tracy sprinted puck down the left wing but passed up an opportunity to shoot and wound up carrying the puck behind the net.
He did a 180-degree spin and fed the unattended Sanderson in the middle of the slot for a one-timer that beat Brewer goalie Patrick Spaulding to the blocker side.
“I didn’t have a good (shooting) angle to I posted up and hit Parker (with a pass),” said Tracy.
Sanderson said Tracy made a great play and gave him more shooting room because he forced Spaulding to “sprawl.
“(Spaulding) didn’t know if Jordan was going to come out front after he did his 180,” said Sanderson. “But Jordan was so unselfish. He gave me the pass and I buried it.”
“What bothered me is I got a piece of it. It went in off the inside of my blocker,” said Spaulding, who turned in a terrific 56-save performance.
Zach Papsadora had scored a shorthanded goal earlier in the period, nine seconds after Jake Caron’s power play goal had pulled the Class B Witches (4-1) within 4-2.
“They did a good job taking our momentum right away,” said Brewer senior center Spencer Valley, who sliced the deficit to 5-3 with a power-play goal 53 seconds after Papsadora’s shorthander.
“That’s what good hockey teams do. They play through adversity and once (their opponent) gets momentum, they take it back,” added Valley.
First-period goals by sophomore defenseman Sam Huston and Sanderson gave Bangor a lead it would never relinquish and the Rams extended the lead on second-period goals by Papsadora and Sanderson.
Brewer’s Gehrig White cut the lead to 4-1 at the 8:49 mark of the second period and Caron’s power-play goal came 2:34 into the third period.
Sophomore defenseman Huston’s game-opening goal came at the 9:26 mark and was less than a minute after he dove head-first into his own net to clear a rolling puck off his goal line. Spencer Valley had taken a shot from the left circle that squeezed between the pads of Ram goalie Rye Powell.
Huston followed the play up the ice, gained custody of the puck near the right wing boards and maneuvered through open acreage in the slot before firing a shot past Spaulding.
“I put it high glove-side,” said Huston.
“The first goal is huge in a game like this,” said Spencer Valley. “He made a great play at one end and another great play at the other end.”
Sanderson scored 49 seconds later with a quick snap shot off a pass from Papsadora, who tracked down his own rebound behind the net and slid it out to him.
The roles were reversed on Papsadora’s goal 2:06 into the second period, with Sanderson making the feed from behind the net.
“They scored three or four goals that way (with passes coming out from behind the net). Those are hard to stop,” said Spaulding.
Sanderson made it 4-0 only 2:43 later by beating Spaulding with a near-post wrister from the left circle.
White gave the Witches some life by spinning around and firing the puck past Powell off a Spencer Valley feed.
Caron converted on a five-on-three in the third period with a low snap shot from the top of the right circle that found its way through a posse of legs into the far corner.
But Papsadora came right back off the ensuing faceoff to slip a Tracy pass between Spaulding’s pads from the edge of the crease.
Valley struck back by jamming the puck past Powell during a multiple-shot flurry.
Papsadora, who centers a line between Sanderson and Tracy, had an assist to go with his two goals and Tracy finished with four assists. Sanderson had an assist to go with his second hat trick of the season.
“This was a pretty big win,” said Papsadora, who added that being on a line with Sanderson and Tracy is awesome.
“There’s a great atmosphere out there. We have fun. We move the puck well,” said Papsadora.
Junior goalie Powell had 25 saves to pick up the win.
White, Spencer Valley and Caron each had a goal and an assist with Brody Valley, Gabe Valley and Jonathan Shedd contributing an assist apiece.