AUBURN — Both Brunswick and Poland/Leavitt/Oak Hill/Gray-New Gloucester saw what they have to improve on as the season goes along in a boys hockey season opener on Saturday. But it was the Dragons who came away with a 2-1 victory at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

“It’s the first game of the season, and there’s a lot of things we have to work on,” Brunswick (1-0) coach Mike Misner said. “Coming into the second period, when we had that penalty kill, it took a while for us to find our legs; we were a little flat at times. That’s something that we have to work on, but it’s great to see Nick (Marro) get (two goals).”

Poland/Leavitt/Oak Hill/Gray-New Gloucester (0-1) coach Joe Hutchinson said he thought the Kings played well, but need to be better along the boards as the season progresses.

“We were playing hard; we weren’t giving up many great opportunities,” Hutchinson said. “We were shutting them down in front of the net and our defensive coverage was pretty good. I wish my wingers did a better job getting out of the boards and getting some of those pucks out. We hurt ourselves at times because we weren’t getting (to the pucks).”

Junior forward Marro had both goals to lead the Dragons. Misner said he’s one of the players Brunswick will rely on this season.

“He’s a solid player for us, ever since he was a freshman,” Misner said. “He had a good freshmen year, and he keeps growing.”

The Kings had the first grade-A opportunity in the game when forward Gibson Dozois had a first-period breakaway, but Brunswick sophomore goalie Luke Patterson made the stop.

“That one actually went in,” Hutchinson said. “The kid reached over and brought it back. I tried to talk to the ref (a few minutes later), but at that point, it didn’t matter. Gibson came back to the bench and said, ‘(The puck) went over (the goal line) and the goalie pulled it out. I tried telling the ref that,’ but the ref said, ‘nope, it did not go in.'”

Two minutes later, Marro skated into Brunswick’s offensive zone, Kings’ goalie Vincent Lupardo (21 saves) tried to glove the puck off of Marro’s shot like a baseball catcher, but the puck went under the glove and barely crossed the goal line to give the Dragons a 1-0 lead. The goal came at the 11-minute mark of the first period.

“People on the other team said it didn’t go in, but people on my team saw it go in the goal,” Marro said.

The Kings had three power-play opportunities combined in the first and second periods, but they couldn’t capitalize.

To start the third period, the Kings had a 5-on-3 power play for about a minute but only had two shots on goal. The Kings were 0-for-5 on the power play and the Dragons were 0-for-2.

A couple of minutes later, Kings forward Reese Collins had an even-strength breakaway but shot the puck wide of Patterson (19 saves).

Collins did tie the game at 1-1 seven minutes into the third period. The puck was loose at the top of Patterson’s crease, Collins took a whack with his stick right when a Brunswick defenseman checked him to the ice, but the puck crossed the goal line. Kaden Trenoweth had the lone assist.

“I felt good when we killed off that 5-on-3 and when (the Kings) got that goal, it’s like, ‘OK, we can’t do anything about it, we just have to go get another one,'” Misner said.

Marro scored his second goal of the game when defenseman Tommy Labbe found him with a stretch pass in the neutral zone. Marro broke into the offensive zone and his snapshot beat Lupardo.

“I just looked up at the last second, and I saw an open space over (Lupardo’s) shoulder,” Marro said. “Then I shot it.”

There was a miscommunication on the Kings’ bench as the teams were playing 4-on-4 at the time.

“That was a mistake on my part. When we play 4-on-4, a lot of times we go to three forwards,” Hutchinson said. “We hadn’t worked on it this year. I put out one of the guys who didn’t know how to do the (4-on-4) when there’s a breakaway. That (goal) was on me; I told the kids that was my fault.”


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