BRUNSWICK — Jeremy Diaz didn’t get a chance to face Lewiston the last time his Brunswick Dragons and the Blue Devils locked horns.
He made the most of his chance in the teams’ second meeting.
The Brunswick goalkeeper stopped 10 Lewiston shots and forced several others wide with his aggressive play and the Dragons’ defense performed admirably in front of him in a 10-0 shutout win over KVAC rival Lewiston on Thursday night.
“To get one feels really good,” Diaz said. “This is a big part of our season coming up, and we all have to do our part and step it up from here on out. The defense was the key to this game. We have a very good defense this year, they slide very well, they have good stick checks.”
“The chances of going an entire game without a goal in such a competitive league are very slim,” Brunswick coach Don Glover added. “It’s kind of a precious one.”
Lewiston’s attackmen and midfielders had little to no room to work in the first half, forcing Diaz to make just three saves through two quarters.
“We really couldn’t get it going from the opening whistle,” Lewiston assistant coach Tim Roy said. “Obviously we weren’t ready to play today.”
Roy and Ben Fournier, the team’s two assistants, finished the game after one official tossed head coach Bill Bodwell, a former Brunswick assistant, for unsportsmanlike conduct with 1:21 to play in the third quarter after Bodwell stepped onto the field to argue a call.
After the game, Bodwell praised the Brunswick defense.
“They have what might be the two best long-stick middies in Maine playing on that team,” Bodwell said. “It was tough to get anything done against them. We knew coming in we’d have to play a great game to hang with them.”
George Mills, who finished with three goals on the evening, got the Dragons on the board 1:47 into the opening frame on a feed from Sam Franco. Eleven seconds later, Peter Morrell, who also had a hat trick, netted another, and 44 seconds after that, Morrell added his second.
On the Lewiston bench, shoulders slumped and eyes rolled as Brunswick took control, much different than the last time the two teams met, which resulted in a 9-8 Brunswick victory.
“When we played them last time, I think we were trying to do a bit too much,” Glover said. “This time we kept it really simple. They had good shooting opportunities, we were just able to get a stick check or a lift check in there at the last second.”
Franco netted a pair and long-stick middie John Williams added another as Brunswick went on top 6-0 after the first quarter. Mills, Morrell and Seth Holmblad added a goal each in the second, sending the teams to halftime with the Dragons ahead by nine.
“It’s tough when you’re playing down by nine,” Roy said. “We just encouraged our guys to keep their heads up, keep chipping away.”
The Devils never cracked the goose egg in the second half, but they did slow Brunswick down. Despite maintaining the same personnel, the Dragons mutsered just 12 total shots in the second half, and one goal.
“The second half, we didn’t really change anything, we just weren’t getting the looks that we had before,” Glover said.
Brunswick has three games remaining on its schedule, with a pair of big matches still to play against Messalonskee. Lewiston, meanwhile, will likely need to win its two remaining games against Mt. Ararat and Edward Little to have a chance at making the playoffs in Eastern Class A.