Dragons net no gain
AUBURN — The shots kept getting on goal or whistling just wide as the Brunswick High School boys ice hockey team showed flashes of domination against Edward Little in an Eastern A contest at cold Ingersoll Arena on Wednesday.
The Dragons held a 32-25 shot advantage, but the offensive woes that have caused coach Mike Routhier headaches again came to light as Brunswick dropped a 3-1 contest.
The loss leaves Brunswick with a 6-7-1 mark, while the Eddies improved to 7-5-1. The teams played to a 3-3 tie in the first encounter earlier this season at Sidney J. Watson Arena.
“We’re just not putting the puck in the net, our biggest crutch right now,” said Routhier, who has received just three goals from his forwards in the last four games (1-3 mark in those contests). “We are getting the opportunities, but one goal is not going to get it done.”
All of Edward Little’s offense came from sniper Drew Lupardo, who had the hat trick. In goal, netminder Alan Nelson made 31 stops, frustrating the Dragons throughout.
“My goaltender has played big all season and has been pretty hot,” said EL coach Craig Latuscha, whose team entered the game seventh in the Eastern Maine Class A Heal Point Standings. “He made the big saves when he had to. Our big guys played big tonight and we stayed out of the box.
“They are a good hockey team, fifth in the Heal Points, and this is a big win for us. This is the way hockey should be.”
EL jumps ahead
After a feeling-out first period, with EL holding a 6-4 shot advantage, the Eddies jumped on top just 1:41 into the second. Lupardo took a pass from Adam Lebrun and beat Brunswick goaltender Blake Alexander to the right post for a 1-0 lead.
Lupardo struck again four minutes later. This time he gathered a pass from Brendon Pelletier and sent a wrister over Alexander’s blocker.
From there, Alexander made several key stops to keep his team in it, stopping Jared Pelletier on a breakaway and stoning Travis Landry’s slap shot.
Brunswick took over, firing 12 straight shots on Nelson. The Dragons held a 14-7 shot advantage in the middle period, not including six golden opportunities that whistled wide of the target. Nelson’s best stop came late in the frame when he went post to post to deny Matt Brooks before smothering the rebound.
“We’re not doing a lot of the little things like putting the puck on net,” said Routhier. “We had a lot of scoring opportunities, but the puck didn’t reach the net, something we need to start doing better to have success.”
A pair of penalties slowed Brunswick early in the third period, but the Dragons managed to cut the EL lead in half with 6:36 remaining. Ryan Maciejewski found some room, with the puck nearly getting out of his reach. Maciejewski dove and knocked the puck to teammate Dylan Towle, whose backhanded shot went wide. Towle didn’t quit, getting the puck back to Maciejewski, who finally beat Nelson.
Brunswick kept the pressure on, with Nelson stopping two blistering slapshots from Tyler Niven and a rebound chance by Brooks. On the other end, Alexander made one of his 22 saves on a Jared Pelletier breakaway, but was helpless when Lupardo was left unmarked and converted a feed from Jared Pelletier with 3:34 remaining.
EL was whistled for a penalty with two minutes remaining, and Routhier pulled Alexander to give the Dragons a 6-on-4 advantage, but Nelson smothered a Niven shot and stopped Maciejewski moments later to squelch Brunswick’s final chances.
Edward Little 3, Brunswick 1
At Ingersoll Arena in Auburn
Brunswick— 0 0 1 — 1
Edward Little — 0 2 1 — 3
First period — No scoring.
Second period — 1. (EL) Drew Lupardo (Adam Lebrun), 1:41; 2. (EL) Drew Lupardo (Brendon Pelletier), 4:59.
Third period — 4. (B) Ryan Maciejewski (Dylan Towle), 8:24; 4. (EL) Drew Lupardo (Jared Pelletier).
Shots on goal — (B) 4-14-14 — 32; (EL) 6-9-10 — 25.
Saves — (B) Blake Alexander 22; (EL) Alan Nelson 31.
Power play — (B) 0-3; (EL) 0-4.
Records — EL 7-5-1; Brunswick 6-7-1.
Next for the Dragons — Home against Scarborough on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m.