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NHIAA Hockey: Optimism gets Trinity goalie through illness

New Hampshire Union Leader

February 21. 2018 10:15PM

Complete-game performances are typically celebrated by pitchers. Goaltenders? Not so much.

Unless, of course, you’re Trinity High School sophomore Ryan Brewitt.

Brewitt, a Raymond resident who has been battling medical conditions his entire life, was in goal from start to finish and recorded 21 saves when Trinity beat Manchester Central/West 8-4 on Feb. 12. It was the first time he had played in an entire NHIAA regular-season game this season.

“It’s satisfying personally, but it was happiness to be (on the ice) with the team,” Brewitt explained. “I’ve been sick a lot of my life and I didn’t think I was going to play much this year. It was a lot of fun.”

According to his mother, Denise Brewitt, Ryan was born with cutaneovisceral angiomatosis with thrombocytopenia, a rare vascular disorder. He had surgery to remove a portion of his colon on Sept. 1 and was cleared to play hockey in late October.

“It wasn’t like he had the surgery and was good to go,” Denise explained. “He’s been tough as nails and battled back. He’s so much healthier (since having surgery). One of the things he’s been saying is, ‘I’m getting back to where I need to be.’ As a parent to hear him be vocal about feeling good is an awesome feeling.

“He’s been in and out of the hospital his entire life. Hopefully this can teach some life lessons about perseverance.”

Brewitt was also in net for all three periods when Trinity beat Central/West 9-4 on Monday. Before earning the two starts against Central/West, Brewitt said he hadn’t played for a full period in any regular-season game this season.

“It’s getting close to the playoffs and you need a starting goalie and a backup (prepared to play),” Trinity coach Mike Connell said. “Ryan’s worked hard in practice. He could be starting for a lot of teams around New Hampshire. He’s extremely capable. He’s getting stronger and better every day.

“He has unrelenting optimism,” Connell continued. “You won’t hear an excuse come out of his mouth. He’s someone who believes everything is going to be fine. He wakes up thinking, ‘Today is going to be a great day.’”

Brewitt has gained nearly 25 pounds since his surgery. He said he has received plenty of support from his Trinity teammates, and mentioned goaltender Ethan Messner and classmate Ryan Glass in particular.

“Ethan Messner — he’s been real supportive,” Brewitt said. “He always pushed me to do better in practice. I thank him for that. Ryan Glass is my biggest supporter. He visited my at the hospital. I guess you could say he’s my best friend.”

The Pioneers (11-6) will carry an eight-game winning streak into Saturday night’s game at Exeter. It will be the team’s final game before the Division I tournament.

“I definitely could have played (a full game) earlier this season, but I don’t know if I would have done as well,” Brewitt said. “My stamina has definitely improved. I’ve been feeling great lately.”