Brunswick ice hockey silences Millbrook in final seconds, 3-2 [SLIDESHOW]

It’s amazing what can happen in 60 seconds. After a back-and-forth battle that saw a 1-1 tie hold up until late in the third period, the Brunswick School ice hockey team found themselves trailing Millbrook School with less than three minutes to play in the third period.

However that’s when Brunswick’s Nick Jermain put the Bruins on his back, as the senior scored two goals in the final 30 seconds of the third period to stun Millbrook School 3-2 Wednesday afternoon at the Hartong Rink.

“Every time we play Millbrook, it seems to end in a one-goal game,” Brunswick head coach Ron VanBelle said. “We already played them once this year and it was a one-goal game. I also think the three games we played against them last year were all one-goal games. Obviously I thought we were going to be on the downside of a one-goal game today. Even in that last 34 seconds tonight, they were pressing and we were on our heels.”

With Under a minute to play and trailing 2-1, Brunswick went on the heavy attack. After a timeout to regroup, Brunswick decided to go hard to the net. Leading the way was the duo of Sebastian Foster and Jermain. Although the first shot at the net didn’t go in, a slew of skaters huddled around the goalie crease in an attempt to get a stick on the rebound.

However, the puck was able to land on Jermain’s stick and he muscled the puck in the back of the net for the 2-2 tie.

“We were in our own end and we told our guys that we had to get the puck deep,” VanBelle said. “We needed to get two guys on every single puck. We knew we were going for the goalie and you don’t see that work too often, but luckily it worked for us today. I’m not even sure how the puck went in.”

To put the icing on the cake, Brunswick was able to capitalize on a turnover with less  than 10 seconds to play in the game.

Jermain stole the puck from just inside the Brunswick blue line and darted down the far side of the ice. After beating his Millbrook opponent and getting a breakaway chance inside the Mustangs’ zone, Jermain crossed ice towards Millbrook goalie Matt Kricheli, went with the backhand shot and fired the puck in the back of the net with 2.8 seconds to play in the game.

“They were playing angry and pressing hard,” VanBelle said. “They wanted to win that game in regulation and were really pressing hard. That’s what freed up Nick Jermain for the breakaway. Quite honestly, Nick probably shouldn’t have been where we was. If that puck spits towards (Alex) Connal instead of their end, there could have been a different outcome.”

“It was a tough game and we knew it was going to be a tough game,” Millbrook head coach Vincent Sorriento said. “We beat them 3-2 a week ago. We play this team all the time and it seems like it’s always a one-goal game whenever we play. I thought we had our legs in the first period and played well, but in the second we took too many penalties and that stunted our momentum. The third period was back-and-forth, but we looked tired and sluggish and Brunswick was coming at us a little bit.”

Although the Bruins netted the victory, it was Millbrook that grabbed the quick 1-0 lead. With less than a minute to play in the opening period, it looked like the Mustangs were able to strike again on the power play.

But in an instant, Brunswick turned that power play chance for Millbook into a Bruins’ short-handed goal, as Tommy Dunleavy found the back of the net after Henry Hobbs created the scoring chance on a solid defensive play in the Wick zone.

“I credit Henry Hobbs on that goal, as he’s one of our unsung heroes,” VanBelle said. “He plays at least half the game, is a stay-at-home defenseman and a senior. He doesn’t have a lot of goals or a lot of points, but he’s been playing a very steady defense. To seem him step up and make a strong defensive play and turn it into an offensive play, was fun to watch. It was a momentum swing for us because I think we got outplayed in the first period.

With the victory, Brunswick improved to 6-7 in New England play and ended its streak of losing five games when the difference is between both teams is only one goal.

“This was especially a big game for us because Millbrook was the last team we lost to,” VanBelle said. “To come back and even things up with them was huge. This was a good win for us and a good momentum builder for us. It was our first game without our captain, so it was good for the boys. I think if we lost this game, there would have been a lot of hanging heads. It would have been tough.”

Even before the game, Brunswick was facing an uphill challenge. Senior Stephan Seeger left Brunswick School on Jan. 1 and accepted an offer to play semi-professional hockey in Canada. In addition, standout defenseman Max Masiulis was sidelined due to a concession.

 

 

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