AUBURN — Playing in its first game with a new coach and a new system, the nerves were apparent for Brunswick in its first 15 minutes against Leavitt.
By the time the puck dropped for the second period, those nerves were gone and the Dragons looked like a brand-new team.
Brunswick senior forward Jared Parent netted a natural hat trick and the Dragons scored five unanswered goals — four in the second — in a 5-2 victory over the Hornets on Wednesday at Norway Savings Bank Arena.
“The first period was a lot of nerves,” Brunswick coach Bill Bodwell said. “Everybody’s real excited, so it’s kind of hectic. In the second period we settled down and we played with more composure.”
Trailing 2-0 late in the first period, Parent netted his first of three to swing the momentum going into the second period. Parent stuffed home a puck on a wrap-around as the Dragons went into the first intermission trailing 2-1 despite holding a 10-6 advantage in shots.
Parent said that first goal provided a spark for his team.
“You gotta get them going,” Parent said. “We have a lot of younger guys on the team this year. This is their first game. It’s just about getting that fire going. After that we definitely played better as a team.”
The second period belonged to the Dragons, who outshot the Hornets 12-2. Parent tied the game with a shot from the slot that beat Leavitt goaltender Ashton Dozois over his stick-side shoulder mid way through the period. Parent’s hat-trick goal three minutes later put the Dragons in front for good as he knocked in a loose puck after Dozois couldn’t handle the rebound.
“I didn’t even know he got a hat trick,” Bodwell said. “That’s our line of seniors. They definitely are going to carry us this year.”
Brunswick added two more goals in the final 1:19 for a 5-2 advantage. Matt Deveaux scored the first on a backhand and Jacob McGowan lit the lamp with 24 seconds remaining in the second.
Things started well for the Hornets, who capitalized on a Brunswick turnover to grab an early lead. Kyle Knight stole the puck from a Brunswick defender and quickly fired a shot on net that was blocked aside by Dragons goaltender Devin Allard. Garrett Morin was all alone in front to grab the loose puck and bury the rebound as Leaviit led 1-0 at 7:14 of the first period.
“We played real quick shifts in the beginning,” Leavitt coach Joe Hutchinson said. “We played well in the first period. We had a lead. We just didn’t play well in the second period.”
The momentum the Hornets garnered from Morin’s tally was quickly erased by a slew of penalties. The Hornets were whistled for three penalties in a span of 1:19 and, while the Dragons were assessed with two of their own during that stretch, Leaviit found itself on the wrong end of a 5-on-3 for over a minute. But the Hornets killed it off and scored a minute later as Hunter Soucy capitalized on a 2-on-1 with 2:54 left in the first.
Allard didn’t allow another shot to get by him.
“My nerves just got to me a little bit, but once I relaxed and I noticed I could have had those two (saves) I started to realize I just need to play how I play,” Allard said. “Once I started to do that I was making good saves, I was blocked pucks perfectly and I was poke checking.”
Allard finished with 11 saves in the win. Dozois made 18 stops for Leavitt.