Brennen Shaw remembers being a youngster and watching Darren Carlisle race up and down the ice for the Presque Isle High School hockey team.
Carlisle went on to set the Wildcats’ career scoring record with 128 points.
Shaw broke Carlisle’s record by scoring the first of his two goals in a 5-4 win over defending state Class B champion Greely of Cumberland Center recently which avenged last year’s 5-1 loss to the Rangers in PI’s first appearance in a state championship game.
“It feels good. [Breaking the record] was awesome, and beating Greely made it extra special,” said Shaw, who has 134 points on 69 goals and 65 assists.
Shaw said Carlisle and Carlisle’s older brother, Doug, who was also a prolific point-producer, were two of his role models.
“I remember Darren being so fast and so good. I was amazed at him. I looked up to Darren and his brother,” said Shaw.
Doug Carlisle was the school’s first 100-point scorer and Shaw has become the fifth. In addition to the Carlisle brothers, Brandon Daigle and Dylan Collins also eclipsed the 100-point mark.
The 5-foot-11, 155-pound Shaw said he is surprised he was able to break the record.
“When I was a freshman, as small as I was, I didn’t think I’d ever do it,” said Shaw. “But after last season, I knew I’d get it this season because I only needed 10 points.”
Shaw had 28 points as a freshman, 30 as a sophomore and then had a breakthrough junior season with 61 points on 30 goals and 31 assists in leading the Wildcats to their first Eastern Maine title.
He has seven goals and eight assists this season in pacing Presque Isle to a 6-2 start.
He has been centering a line that features his younger brother, sophomore Connor Shaw, on one wing with junior Caleb Buck on the other side. Connor Shaw has five goals and three assists and Buck has 2 & 3.
“I’m stronger and a lot faster this year,” said Brennen Shaw. “Everything has been clicking. Connor and Caleb have helped me out a bunch.”
However, he has also been shadowed and double- and triple-teamed.
“You just have to deal with it. It’s tough, but it will only make me better,” said Shaw, who added that the special attention paid to him has created space for his linemates.
Presque Isle coach Carl Flynn said Shaw is having another stellar year while coping with being a marked man.
“He’s always got somebody shadowing him and as soon as he touches the puck, a second guy goes to him,” said Flynn. “But he is still averaging around two points a game and he has definitely gotten better every year.”
Shaw is respected throughout the league.
“He’s a great offensive threat,” said Houlton-Hodgdon coach Joel Trickey. “I haven’t seen a kid in our league with his offensive moves in a while.”
“He is clearly their best player and he is one of the better players I’ve played against in a while,” said Brewer senior goalie Eric White. “He’s real quick on his feet, and he can move side to side better than most people I’ve seen play.”
“He’s a really good player,” said Houlton-Hodgdon junior goalie Malik Abouleish.
Shaw and Flynn have been pleased with Presque Isle’s start, but Flynn feels the Wildcats need to play better team defense.
They have allowed four goals in each of their last three games.
“We’ve got to get back to our defensive posture,” said Flynn. “We shouldn’t be allowing more than a couple of goals per game. If we limit teams to two goals or less, we should be able to score at least three,” said Flynn. “We’ve learned some valuable lessons [lately].”
In addition to Shaw’s line, sophomore center Isaac Lajoie (3 goals, 9 assists) and senior defensemen Jason Martin (2 & 6) and Steve Ford (1 & 7) have been putting up good numbers, and junior Josh MacFarline and sophomore Nic Davis have been solid in goal.