BRUNSWICK — The Brunswick Dragons came away with bragging rights in the Battle of the Bridge with A 5-2 victory over the Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse/Hyde Eagles at Brunswick’s Sidney J. Watson Arena on Saturday.

The Eagles found themselves facing an uphill battle after a pair of quick strikes in the first period gave the Dragons a 3-1 lead.

Defenseman Scout Masse led the way for Brunswick with two goals.

“We see them practice before us every single day, we’re always seeing them in the rink,”Masse said . “It’s Mt. Ararat-Brunswick, it’s the most fun game we play all year.”

Michael Marro was the first Dragon to get in on the fun when he opened the scoring just 3:18 into the game. Marro fed the puck up to Isaac Burtis after a turnover in the neutral zone to create a two-on-one chance. Burtis returned the puck to Marro, who fired it just out of the reach of Eagles goaltender Cade Charron.

Mt. Ararat responded midway through the period. Brunswick goalie Spencer Marquis denied Noah Austin, who slipped in behind the Dragons’ defense. Austin retrieved the puck behind the net and fed a pass to Hunter Merryman for a one-timer to even the score.

The Dragons, though, immediately answered. After creating another turnover, Burtis found Liam Hemberger who snapped a shot over an outstretched Charron.

“What we wanted to do right out of the gates is just put a lot of pressure on them,” Brunswick coach Michael Misner said. “We knew that if we attacked them on the back end, if we put a lot of pressure on their defense to try to move the puck up, then we’d create some turnovers.”

The Dragons struck again less than a minute after Hembergers’ goal. Masse stepped into a shot from the point to extend the lead to 3-1. With time ticking away on the opening period, Hemberger found Jacob Doring speeding down the wing. Doring fired a shot through the pads of Charron just before time expired to give the Dragons a 4-1 lead after the first period.

“To get the tying goal and a little bit of momentum and then for them to turn around and score a few seconds later is a little deflating,” Mt. Ararat coach AJ Kavanaugh said. “Of course, the last-second goal in the first period is really the difference.”

The Eagles kept Brunswick off the scoreboard in the second period but struggled to generate offense of their own. Misner adjusted his plans, knowing the Eagles would be looking to chip away at the deficit.

“(Kavanaugh) made some adjustments after that first period,” Misner said. “We were looking for them to send a forward to sort of blow into the neutral zone. That meant we had to bring some guys back to cover that, so it kind of slowed the game down a little bit.”

“We just couldn’t get a lot of offense going,” Kavanaugh said. “We were missing Ian Struck, who’s our second-leading scorer. He’s away for the holidays out of state. It made us have to shuffle some lines.”

After a scoreless second period, Masse extended the lead to 5-1 early in the third period. The defenseman stopped a clearing attempt at the point and shook off the pressure of two players to get open for a shot under the pad of Charron.

“When the guy’s on you, you’ve got to get it deep or get it to the net,” Masse said. “I got it to the net and it happened to go in, so we got lucky there and it put us up by another goal.”

Austin got one goal back for the Eagles less than a minute after Masse’s tally. Austin, the leading scorer in Class A, picked up the puck in the neutral zone and danced around two defenders, lifting a shot over the glove of Marquis.

“I commend Noah, who didn’t come off the ice the whole third period,” Kavanaugh said. “He refused, we tried to get him off a couple times and he refused so I commend his effort and the whole team kind of rallied around him.”

“We know that Austin’s going to bring it to us because he’s a really good player,” Masse said.

“We’ve been practicing our forecheck, our coach has really been stressing we’ve got to get our forwards back. I’ll admit we made a couple slip-ups where he got to the front a couple times, but besides that everybody was on.”

Austin’s goal closed the scoring as Brunswick held on for the 5-2 win. The Dragons improve to 4-1 on the season, while Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse/Hyde falls to 3-2-1. Marquis made 13 saves for the Dragons while Charron stopped 20 shots for the Eagles.

“It’s great to take part in this,” Misner said. “The community really supports the whole game and it’s a big crowd, so the boys had a lot of fun.”


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