Brunswick School

Brunswick hockey team has a strong 11-4-1 record as it heads into significant stretch against its NEPSAC rivals

Photo by David Fierro: James Shannon of Brunswick, left, battles for the puck during a faceoff against South Kent School in a game held on Jan. 26. 2022, at Hartong Rink at Brunswick School.

With 11 games still left on its schedule, nine of which are against NEPSAC opponents, the Brunswick School hockey team is poised and primed for the stretch run of its season, after excelling in the first 60 percent of its 2021-22 campaign.

The Bruins, who recently had a six-game winning streak, sport an impressive record of 11-4-1 over its first 16 games, as they build toward earning a postseason berth.

Brunswick’s latest challenge came Wednesday against South Kent School, an older, 18-Under team, which visited Hartong Rink. Rallying for a one-goal, third-period lead, the Bruins were on the verge of extending their win streak to seven games, but South Kent had other plans.

Scoring the equalizer late in the third period, then tallying early in overtime, South Kent edged Brunswick, 5-4, in a back-and-forth non-conference game.

Junior Lucas St. Louis registered a goal for the Brunswick School ice hockey team in its 5-4 loss against South Kent.

Brunswick and South Kent were tied at 1-1 following the first period and 2-2 after the second period. The host Bruins trailed 3-2 early in the third period, before notching two straight goals to take a 4-3 lead. South Kent, however, forced overtime, then scored the game-winner with 3:11 remaining in the five-minute overtime period.

“They are a bit of an older team, an 18U team, so we think it’s a good test playing them and we think it will prepare us well for the home stretch and the playoff run we’re expecting to make in the next month,” Brunswick coach Mike Kennedy said of facing South Kent. “If you’re going to lose a game, you prefer to lose in this manner.”

The Bruins, who are 10-3 against NEPSAC opponents, knotted the score at 3-3 when junior defenseman Lucas St. Louis scored with the home team on a 4-on-3 power play. Positioned between the circles, St. Louis received a pass from junior forward James Shannon and slapped a shot past South Kent goalie Sebastian Lever, evented the score at 3-3.

“Me and Shannon had been talking about that 1-2 pass the whole game,” St. Louis said. “I moved it to him and he moved it right back to me and I saw a wide open net – great play by Shannon.”

Sophomore Luke Drury recorded a goal for Brunswick in its home matchup against South Kent.

Capitalizing on another power play opportunity, the Bruins gained a 4-3 advantage at the 10:45 mark of the third period. Sophomore forward Luke Drury scored from the point after gathering a pass from sophomore linemate Sean Gibbons, making it 4-3. Shannon was also credited with an assist on Drury’s tally.

“I liked our response after we went down 3-2,” Kennedy said. “We had two nice power play goals to get the lead back.”

Skating down the left wing, Kelijah McElroy snuck a wrist shot past Bruins junior goalie Will Baker, knotting the score at 4-4 with just 2:33 remaining in the third period. In overtime, South Kent won it, as Alex Bryson got his stick on the puck off a rebound and knocked it into the net with 3:11 go to in the extra period.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t hang on to it and gave up the game tying goal and then overtime, it’s anybody’s game,” Kennedy said. The good news is it’s a non-league game, so it doesn’t affect our standings in the New England rankings.”

Brunswick goalie Will Baker gets ready in net for the Bruins in their matchup against South Kent School.

Brunswick seized a 1-0 lead 4:40 into the first period on sophomore forward Brendan Giles’ goal off assists from Gibbons and junior Nico Cadoret. South Kent tied it at 1-1 with a tally at the 15:40 mark of the opening period.

“I thought our first period was the best period of the game,” Kennedy said. “We carried the play and we only came out of it tied 1-1. South Kent hung around and got timely goals.”

“That was a really good start,” St. Louis added. “We had really good energy to start the game off well.”

Hank Cleaves, a junior forward, tallied two minutes into the second period for Brunswick, with junior Eli Friedman and sophomore Drew DellaSalla assisting on the goal. The visitors second goal also came in the second period at the 9:13 mark.

Brunswick was edged by South Kent, 5-4, in overtime at Hartong Rink.

Baker made 30 saves in goal for the Bruins, who are scheduled to host Williston Northampton School on Saturday at 1 p.m. Brunswick will also play host to Salisbury School Monday at 5 p.m.

“I thought we played well overall, we did a good job of coming back in the third,” St. Louis said. “There were just some tough bounces and tough breaks and that’s why we lost. We have Salisbury next and it’s going to be a big test, as we hopefully, play to get in the Elite Eight.”

On Monday at Hartong Rink, the Bruins cruised past Hoosac School, 8-1. Goal scorers for the Bruins were Brendan Giles, Hank Cleaves, Luke Drury, Jake Minella, Eli Friedman, Niko Cadoret, Sloan Farmer, and Cooper Cleaves. Will Baker earned the win between the pipes.

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