BREWER, Maine — The Brewer High School hockey team has some unfinished business.
The Witches had another remarkable season but it was tainted by a 4-3 overtime loss to York in the state Class B championship game last March.
It was the Witches’ first loss after 19 wins and a tie. It was just their 19th loss in their last 134 games (110-19-5). They were the 2007 and 2010 Class B state champs and had Class A playoff teams in 2008 and 2009.
The Witches did lose some key components like tri-captains Evan Nadeau, who had 22 goals and 32 assists, Lucas Lamond (20 & 12) and defenseman Jake Valley (5 & 7). Nadeau was an All-Eastern Maine Class B first-team selection while Valley was a third-teamer.
But there’s an imposing nucleus returning, including eight seniors.
And they will have extra motivation when they open the season Friday in Houlton.
“Losing in the state game makes us want to come back and [win the state title] even more,” said senior right wing and tri-captain Tyler White, who was Brewer’s leading scorer with 34 & 22 and was an All-Eastern Maine second team pick.
“Nobody wants to have that happen again,” said senior defenseman and tri-captain Michael Shedd, who feels the Witches may have been a “little too cocky” going into the state game and said they won’t let that cockiness creep into this year’s locker room.
Coach David Shedd, Michael’s father, said York deserved to win the state championship last season but added that if “we had won the game, we would have deserved it, too.
“We’ve got to get back there and try to finish it this year,” said the third-year coach.
White added, “We’ve got a big senior group and we should be pretty solid all-around with our experience.”
David Shedd said he has a “good club.
“We’re fast. We might be a tad faster than last year,” he said. “And we’ve got a lot of good synchronized passing. We’ve got guys who have been on lines together for a couple of years.”
Michael Shedd said they don’t have much size but they’ll compensate by having “a lot of fast skaters.”
White and Jacob Chapman were linemates a year ago with Nadeau and will cause all kinds of problems for their opponents. Chapman had 19 & 14.
They will be joined by senior Joey Fowler, who has played both forward and defense and had a goal in the state game.
“Evan was really fast but Joey is just as fast and mobile. He’ll be a good fit for us,” said White.
Junior Kyle Alexander (23 & 20) will center the second line between junior Spencer Valley (15 & 12) and sophomore Alec Wortman.
Senior Tyler McCormick will be flanked on the third line by juniors Jonathan Shedd and Andrew Collins. Collins is the son of Bangor High coach Denis Collins and Jonathan Shedd is David’s son.
Sophomore Gehrig White and freshman Gabe Valley, Spencer’s cousin, will be on the fourth line with either Ian Forrest or Nick Moore, who are both seniors and could also play on defense.
Coach Shedd explained that Moore will probably play on a defense tandem with his son, Michael.
“Scoring shouldn’t be a problem at all,” said White.
“Our first and second lines are very capable of scoring,” said Michael Shedd.
His dad agreed.
“We have six forwards there who are very goal-hungry and net-minded,” said David Shedd. “We should be very, very strong [offensively]. Even the third line can score and move the puck.”
Michael Shedd and Moore will be joined on defense by the efficient junior tandem of Jacob Caron and Brody Valley, who were partners a year ago.
Brody and Gabe Valley are brothers.
Juniors Jimmy Donnelly and Josh McNally will be the third tandem.
Brewer has a pair of good, battle-tested goaltenders in senior Adam Cossette, who posted back-to-back shutouts in the Eastern Maine playoffs, and junior Patrick Spaulding. They will share the duties.