Last-second goal helps Witches rally to 5-5 tie with Broncos

Posted Dec. 30, 2013, at 11 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 03, 2014, at 1:14 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Brewer High School Witches epitomized resiliency during Monday night’s 5-5 overtime tie with Hampden Academy at Sawyer Arena.

The Witches overcame five one-goal deficits to earn the tie with senior right wing Zach Torrey scoring the equalizer with just 4.6 seconds left in regulation.

Brewer is now 3-1-1 while the Broncos are 2-1-2.

The Witches had some golden opportunities to win it in the eight-minute overtime thanks two power plays but Ryan Manning made eight saves to preserve the tie.

HA’s Mike Ward gave the Broncos a 5-4 lead with one minute remaining when he pounced on a Matt Closson rebound and backhanded it past Brewer goalie Tyler Friel from the bottom of the left circle.

The Witches pulled Friel in favor of an extra attacker and the Broncos came inches away from scoring an empty net goal only to have it miss and go for icing.

On the faceoff to the left of Manning, the Witches were guilty of a violation due to a late player change so Gabe Valley was kicked out of the faceoff circle.

So Dylan Severance took the faceoff instead and he won it cleanly back to Torrey and Torrey released a quick snap shot that beat Manning.

“The puck wasn’t flat when it came back to me so I just hit it toward the goal,” said Torrey.

Manning said it was a save he should have made.

“I saw it the whole way but it hit my blocker and bounced up over me,” said Manning. “It was something I was trained to control. It’s really frustrating. But I had to move on.”

Ward took the blame for losing the faceoff.

“All I had to do was tie (Severance) up but he got his stick around mine and they got the shot off. It was pretty unfortunate,” said Ward.

“We have to learn to play with the lead,” said HA coach Bill Schwarz. “We had the lead all night, all by one goal.”

But Schwarz noted that his team played a lot better than it did against Brewer in their mutual season opener on Dec. 7, a 6-1 Brewer win.

“We played a great game and (Manning) stood on his head for us,” said Ward.

Manning finished with 43 saves while Friel made 22 for Brewer.

Brewer had tied it 4-4 on the power play with just 2:55 remaining when Gabe Valley wristed home a Trey Wood rebound from the base of the left circle.

Valley’s goal came 2:37 after Ryan Richards tapped in a Closson pass from the edge of the crease to make it 4-3.

The Broncos had opened the scoring just 36 seconds into the game when Rob Benton’s downward deflection of a Rob Stowe waist-high shot slipped past Friel.

Tyler Davis answered when he wristed a deflected pass past Manning from the right circle.

Closson made it 2-1 with just two seconds left in the first period by converting a breakaway while the Broncos were killing off a two-man disadvantage.

Jack Schroder’s screened point shot drew the Witches level 1:25 into the second period.

Ward restored the lead but Valley answered to make it 3-3.

“I hate ties but it’s better than a loss,” said Valley.

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