BRUNSWICK — Leading by nine goals in the early stages of the second quarter, Brunswick relaxed, momentarily taking its foot off the gas.

Four-straight goals by Gardiner and a boisterous talk from Dragons head coach Don Glover during a timeout proved to refocus the 2017 Class A champs, leading to a 20-8 boys high school lacrosse victory for Brunswick on Tuesday at Bowdoin College.

“We started exceptional, then we went away from the script a little bit and it showed where we got caught in some situations that we shouldn’t have been caught in,” said Glover after his Dragons improved to 2-0. “We adjusted from there. We did get a little bit loose, and you have to play your best ball at all times. We weren’t taking care of the ball, and Gardiner is a good team with some good athletes.”

After a goal from Gardiner midfielder Sloan Berthiaume just 15 seconds into the game, Brunswick found its rhythm. Max Gramins scored two straight goals, followed by two from Nolan Lyne and a pair by Aiden Glover 41 seconds apart for a 6-1 Brunswick lead, forcing a Gardiner timeout.

“We lost five guys defensively, and we have to take care of our possessions offensively” said Gardiner coach K.C. Johnson after watching his shorthanded team turn the ball over six times in the first quarter. “We haven’t been outside much, so it is still early. We are shorthanded, with school vacation and eligibility, and that makes it hard.”

One area the Tigers controlled throughout the game were faceoffs, with Berthiaume winning 23 of 32 draws on the day.

“Sloan is one of the best faceoff middies in the state,” Johnson said.

“We have been blessed for years to have great faceoff players, and we are still trying to figure out the right mix,” Don Glover said.

Brunswick’s Aiden Glover had four goals in the opening quarter, and teammate Nick Munn finished off the opening 12 minutes by slipping a shot past Gardiner (1-1) goaltender Noah Keene for a 9-1 advantage.

“We had to get into our rhythm. That first goal rattled us a bit, but once we got settled and into our formation, we were fine,” said Gramins, who matched Aiden Glover with six goals in the contest.

Momentum change: Gardiner pushed back in that second quarter. After Aiden Glover finished off a pass from Jacob Belanger for a 10-1 Dragon lead, Berthiaume found room in the Brunswick defense, slipping a pair of low shots past Brunswick starting netminder Connor Pendergast. A goal each from Jake Weston and Garrett Hinkley cut the Dragon lead to 10-5 with 4:06 remaining in the half.

“We’ve been winning for a while, and we were up 10-1 and we lost our focus,” Gramins said. “We have a new defense, so we really just need to talk more.”

Brunswick finished the half strong, receiving a goal each from Lyne and Gramins for a 12-5 halftime edge.

The Dragons put the contest away in the third quarter. Pendergast made five of his 11 saves in the frame, and goals by Nate Girardin, Gramins (two) and Aiden Glover pushed the Brunswick lead to 16-6 heading to the fourth.

Berthiaume led Gardiner with four goals, while Hinkley picked up two goals and an assist. Matt Boynton also had a goal and a helper. Keene finished with eight saves.

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