Tough night on the ice

13 years ago

The game didn’t play out as expected, as the Houlton-Hodgdon Black Hawks were defeated 10-0 by the Brewer Witches in the Eastern Maine Class B final at the Alfond Arena on March 8.
    The Witches scored their first five goals in a 4-minute, 50-second span with hard skating and crisp passes to open teammates.
“They are a quicker team than we are,” said senior forward Cody Briggs. “They got to their spots and they beat us to the scoring areas.”
The Class B runner-up Black Hawks finish the season 16-4. Brewer (19-1-1) advanced to the state final on Saturday against York, losing 4-3 in overtime.
“The kids had an outstanding season with an Eastern Maine runner-up trophy to show for their efforts,” said Houlton-Hodgdon coach Joel Trickey. “This puts them up as one of the best teams, if not the best, in the history of the program.
“Everyone on the team worked extremely hard this year. Our second-place finish is an accomplishment to be proud of. There’s no shame in getting to the championship game, only two teams made it that far so the kids can hold their heads high and be proud of what their hard work brought them this year,” Trickey added.
The Black Hawks, according to their coach, started the championship game with a good energy level and it seemed that they were going to match up well with a strong Brewer team. The action went back and forth for the first six minutes with both teams getting a few nice scoring chances. Briggs, Ben Ward and brother Brandon all were able to get off early shot attempts on Brewer’s goalie Adam Cossette, only to come away empty.
Brewer’s first goal was 6:12 into the first period on a power play when Jacob Chapman picked up a Joe Fowler rebound, which had deflected to the right of Houlton-Hodgdon goalie Malik Abouleish.
“When the Witches scored their first goal, it seemed to energize them and take a little of our momentum away,” Trickey said. “That was all it took, as Brewer turned up their intensity and we simply couldn’t match it. The team played flustered long enough to give Brewer too big of a lead to let us back in the game.”
A Houlton-Hodgdon penalty again left the Black Hawks short handed and Brewer capitalized as Chapman picked up another goal from the far post off a Jake Valley pass.
“We had to get it in our heads to not give up no matter what the score says because we can come back from any lead,” said senior forward Ian Gervais. “It was tough once they put a couple in the net because the momentum was not with us and we couldn’t pull ourselves together to come back in the end.”
Trickey agreed.
“If we could have capitalized on one or two of our good chances after Brewer took a 2-0 lead in the first period, we might have easily made a game of it,” said Trickey. “But, the Brewer goalie made a couple of great saves to keep us off the scoreboard and that seemed to throw us even further off our game.”
The Witches’ next two goals were just 20 seconds apart, as Houlton-Hodgdon goalie Abouleish was unprotected, spread out on the ice when Lucas Lamond and Evan Nadeau each had put-backs off scrambles in front of the net.
“They won all of the battles in front of the net and finished on all of their scoring opportunities,” Briggs said. “They out-worked us in the prime scoring areas, both offensively and defensively.”
The Black Hawks took a timeout, but that didn’t slow Brewer down, as they scored their last goal of the first period when Tyler White took a Nadeau pass and skated down the right wing and scored on a wrist shot.
Brewer picked up where they left off in the second period, scoring three more times. After White and Valley scored for Brewer, Abouleish was replaced by junior Avery Kibler. Nadeau was able to skate in on Kibler, delivering the final blow of the period, as three Brewer goals were scored in less than a three-minute span late in the period.
Abouleish and Kibler combined for 14 saves on 24 shots, while Brewer’s goalie was a perfect 13-for 13.
“We’re proud of the kids, as they kept playing hard even after the game was decided and didn’t take out their obvious frustrations on the ice,” said Trickey.
Within the first three minutes of the final period, Brewer’s Lamond struck for another goal and Valley finished the scoring with 4:57 left.
Brewer outshot Houlton-Hodgdon 30-13 for the game.
“They are a very good team, well coached and disciplined,” said Briggs. “They were the better team that night.”