Maine Hockey Journal

White stonewalls York as Brewer captures Class B Title

Lewiston, ME –  Eric White was the showstopper on Saturday afternoon. The Brewer High School Witches goaltender made 24 saves in a 3-1 victory over the York High School Wildcats to capture the Maine Class B State Title at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“Eric is very catlike, he reminds me of a panther, his eyes and hands are phenomenal,” said Brewer Head Coach David Shedd. “He’s an athlete, he has been involved with a championship team already with Brewer, which they won. In the youth years, we had a lot of success, and Eric White was the result of that.”

Brewer won their first championship in 2007.

The Wildcats weren’t afraid to pepper White with high quality shots in the first period. They out shot the Witches 7-0 halfway through the period, but with 8:11 remaining in the period, White tilted the ice the other way. Everyone in the building thought that David Figlioli gave York the 1-0 lead, but White stuck his glove out at the last minute.

“The puck went off one of my defenders and it went to the far side,” said Eric White. (David) Figlioli was right there, and I just reached back with my glove – he shot it into my glove.”

York Head Coach Michael Vessey didn’t think that the missed opportunity took the wind out of their sails.

“It was certainly disappointing, but the kids didn’t quit,” Vessey said. “They played the whole game.”

Brewer then went work on two power play. Alex Pacheco ripped a slap shot past York’s goaltender Alex Ahrikenchikh with 3:44 remaining in the first period to give Witches the 1-0 lead heading into the intermission.

“The team knew that everyone was rooting for them,” said Shedd. “The team knew they could do it. The first parent meeting, where all the parents and kids showed up, they hadn’t made the team yet. We hadn’t had the tryouts. I made it clear that we were shooting for 23-0.”

The Witches finished with a 19-1-1 record.

The two teams traded goals in the second period. Connor “Paddy” Murphy, who spent last year with the Portland Junior Pirates, tied the game early in the stanza. Tanner Chase found him near the crease and Murphy slid the puck past White.

Vessey believed that previous big game experience helped his club coming into the State Championship.

“We played Biddeford, Thornton Academy, Kennebunk, some of the best teams in Class A,” he said. “We were down 1-0 going into the third period against Biddeford, so my kids can play.”

Lucas Lamond answered back for Brewer 4:29 into the period as he fired a shot past Ahrikenchikh.

The Wildcats took three penalties late in the third period and Brewer capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play as captain Nick Risser lit the lamp with 4:18 to play in the game.

Shedd believed his team played tighter in the final period.

“We looked at (York’s) systems and the way they were dominating the zone,” Shedd added. “We were collapsing in our defensive zone.”

“The third period was a much better period.”

The Witches went 2-for-7 on the power play and the Wildcats were 0-for-3.

Ahrikenchikh made 18 stops for York.

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