WATERVILLE — In a word, it was relief.

Junior center Cody Ivey saved the Kennebec RiverHawks and kept the Waterville/Winslow hockey co-op’s unbeaten record intact, scoring just over five minutes into the final period to lift the RiverHawks to a 5-4 win over Brewer in a Class B North game Wednesday at Alfond Rink. Ivey’s difference maker came just over two minutes after the winless Witches had tied the game early in the third.

The relief was somewhat tempered by frustration for Kennebec (3-0-0), which twice saw two-goal leads vanish on a night when five different players scored for the RiverHawks.

“It was really shaky,” Ivey said. “It could have been a lot better, and should have been a lot better. We won’t let it happen again. But I liked that we never gave up, put the puck in the net, kept working as a team and kept talking.”

Zach Menoudarakos, Cooper Hart, Nate Newgard and Brandon Mason all scored for the RiverHawks, while Ben Grenier made 15 saves in the net. It was enough to offset a two-goal performance from Brewer senior Trey Baker and a 2 for 5 night on the power play for the Witches (0-4-0).

“This is one of those games where as much as we’re frustrated, I told the guys they pulled out a good win and to give themselves a hand,” Kennebec coach Jon Hart said. “They weren’t exactly enthusiastic. They’re not proud of themselves. All respect in the world to Brewer, but I felt like we had a chance to really open it up in the first and early in the second, but we just fell short of that.”

Credit the Witches, who didn’t look like a team that hasn’t won yet this season. Menoudarakos and Hart had given Kennebec a 2-0 lead after a dominant first period, but the RiverHawks allowed their first goal of the season at 3:13 of the second period. Baker’s first of the night, on the power play, snapped Grenier’s scoreless streak of 108 minutes, 13 seconds to open the season.

Kennebec goalie Ben Grenier (31) makes a save with the help of teammate Justin Bolduc, left, as Brewer’s Nicholas Lamprecht (5) and Jarrod Harvey (6) look for the scraps Wednesday in Waterville.

Still, Mason’s goal with Kennebec enjoying a 5 on 3 advantage at 13:48 of the middle stanza sent the home team into the break with a 4-2 lead.

Brewer responded and scored on its first two shots of the third period — via Baker and Kevin Moreau — inside of the first 3:09 to knot the score at 4-4.

“We’ve played some teams at the beginning of our season, all four teams that I expect to be at the top,” said Brewer coach Lance Ingerson, whose team has already faced Bangor, Presque Isle and now Kennebec — with a combined record of 8-0-0 entering Wednesday night. “We’ve faced a lot of tough teams. By no means are we considering ourselves out of any runs this season.”

Moreau’s tally prompted Hart to burn his timeout then and there with a clear message for his troops.

Kennebec’s Brandon Mason (88) checks Brewer’s Jarrod Harvey to the ice Wednesday at Colby College in Waterville.

“First off, I told them to settle,” Hart said. “My whole point of it was (to break) momentum, but also I thought our effort was good but the mental part of things was not OK. … We went down to about seven or eight forwards for the last seven or eight minutes. I just wanted us to settle it down and figure it out.”

Ivey and his linemates Newgard and Mason did just that, turning a bad Witches’ turnover deep in their own zone into a 2 on 1 which Ivey finished off with a backhander past Tyler St. Lawrence (29 saves).

“They turned the puck over and Nate passed it to me in front of the net,” Ivey said. “We’ve known each other since we were 4 or 5 years old and been playing hockey since we were 7 years old. We just know where each other is all the time.”

Brewer goalie Tyler St. Lawrence (30) makes a save on a shot by Kennebec’s Nathan Newgard (9) on Wednesday at Colby College.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC


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