Brunswick’s Max Gramins (10) is huggsed by teammates Aiden Glover, left, and Conner Foye, right, fololwing Gramins’ game-winning overtime goal in the Class B state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium. (John Ewing/Portland Press Herald)
PORTLAND — Brunswick senior Max Gramins didn’t see his game-ending goal as much as he felt it.
Flattened by a cross-check a moment after letting the ball fly from his stick, Gramins heard a referee’s whistle and the crowd’s roar, and for the second time in four days found himself on the ground beneath of pile of delirious teammates.
“It was,” he said, “just an amazing feeling.”
The transition goal from Gramins came three minutes into overtime and gave the Dragons a 14-13 victory over Greely in the Class B boys’ lacrosse state championship game Saturday morning at Fitzpatrick Stadium.
Against Yarmouth in the semifinals Wednesday, Gramins scored 33 seconds into overtime to give Brunswick a 14-13 victory after the Dragons tied the score with six seconds left in regulation.
“That’s been him for his four-year career,” Brunswick coach Don Glover said of the Forrest Gump nature of Gramins. “Where’s Max? Oh, look, Max is in the right spot.”
The Dragons (12-3) won a state title for the second straight year, having defeated Scarborough in overtime in the Class A final last spring. Saturday marked their fifth straight appearance in a state championship game.
Greely (11-4) reached a state final for the first time, and the jitters showed. Brunswick scored on its first six shots and built a 7-3 lead after one quarter. The second quarter was even, making it 10-6 at intermission.
“We knew we started cold all year,” Greely coach Mike Storey said. “It takes a while for Sawyer (Gagnon) to get warmed up in goal, so we weren’t nervous. We knew once we got our defensive communication and we got Sawyer warmed up, we were good.”
Indeed, the Rangers scored four goals in the first seven minutes of the third quarter to tie the game at 10, before Brunswick even mustered a shot. Jackson Williams won all 12 faceoffs in the second half, allowing Greely to maintain momentum.
“He’s exceptional,” Glover said. “We knew this was going to be a possession battle.”
A month ago, Greely rallied from a six-goal halftime hole to beat host Brunswick in overtime, 15-14. On Saturday, the Rangers took their first lead a minute into the fourth quarter when Devlin O’Keefe converted a feed from behind the net from Schuyler Wetmore to make it 12-11.
Aiden Glover tied it for Brunswick with his fifth goal of the game with 9:07 remaining.
With six minutes left, William Schumacher set up Andrew Lawrence (three goals, four assists) to give Greely a 13-12 lead. Again, Brunswick answered, with Andrew Eno coming from behind the net to score with 3:43 remaining.
In the final two minutes, both Gagnon and Brunswick keeper Connor Pendergast made clutch saves. Gagnon finished with 10 saves and Pendergast with 24, including a heart-stopper late in regulation that teetered on the goal line.
“It went off my leg and dropped to the ground,” Pendergast said. “It was rolling at that point, so I took a knee and just clamped on top of it.”
Following a Gagnon save on Aiden Glover, Schumacher started a Greely transition and the Rangers moved into attack mode before calling a timeout with 1:15 remaining.
“They were just coming into the top of the box,” Pendergast said. “I was like, ‘Are you serious? Why didn’t you just take that?’ I mean, that could have been win or lose right there.”
Each team had two possessions in overtime. Pendergast made two saves and Brunswick twice mishandled passes. After the second miscue, however, as Greely attempted to break out of its zone, Eno darted in unseen behind Gagnon, out from his crease, and poked the ball free. Eno scooped it, attacked and dished to Gramins.
“I saw 3-on-2 and I knew someone would have to slide to me,” Eno said. “As soon as I saw the guy hesitate toward me, I gave it to Max and he finished it.”
Brunswick’s Andrew Eno fires a shot just wide of Greely goalie Sawyer Gagnon during the Class B state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium. (John Ewing/Portland Press Herald)Brunswick co-captain Max Gramins (10) holds the Class B state championship trophy following an overtime win over Greely. (John Ewing/Portland Press Herald)The Brunswick bench rushes onto the field following the game-winning overtime goal to beat Greely in the Class B state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium. (John Ewing/Portland Press Herald)Greely’s Devlin O’Keefe (13) looks for a shot while being chased by Brunswick’s Ryan Duffy (3) during the Class B state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium. (John Ewing/Portland Press Herald)Greely’s Tim Coyle, right, fires a shot on goal ahead Brunswick defender Aiden Glover during the Class B state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium. (John Ewing/Portland Press Herald)Brunswick’s Sam Dorval, left, and goalie Conner Pendergast block a scoring attempt by Greely’s Schuyler Wetmore during the Class B state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium. (John Ewing/Portland Press Herald)