Boys’ Hockey: Devils’ slow start spells loss at Falmouth

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FALMOUTH – The Lewiston Blue Devils couldn’t overcome a slow start as Falmouth earned a 3-1 victory Thursday night in boys’ Class A hockey at Family Ice.

Andre Clement scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner in the dying seconds of the first period to seal the Blue Devils’ fate as they dropped to 3-2-1 on the season.

“Against good teams like Falmouth, you can’t give them a cushion like that,” said Lewiston head coach Jamie Belleau. “You’ve got to be ready to play. I’m most disappointed that we didn’t enough shots on net and with the one-on-one battles. We got better as the game went on, but I thought they got to more loose pucks and when that happens against Falmouth, and they get a two-goal cushion on us it makes it difficult.”

Both teams faced each once already this season back on Dec. 19 at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, with the Blue Devils earning a 3-2 victory.

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Falmouth, which now has a 5-1 record on the season, made the correct adjustments, firing as many shots as they could on Lewiston goalie Evan Bourassa. He finished with 26 saves.

“The biggest difference was we played stronger defensively,” Falmouth coach Deron Barton said. “We were tighter in our own end. We played stronger defense. The first game (against Lewiston) we came out strong, but let them right back in and we want to make sure that didn’t happen this time.”

The Yachtsmen held a 2-0 lead after the first period on goals by Hugh Grygiel and Clement.

Falmouth opened the scoring at the 6:29 mark of the period when Grygiel took a harmless shot on net from outside the left circle. Thew puck found its way past Bourassa, banking off the far post into the net.

With 3.6 seconds left in the first period, Falmouth made it 2-0 lead as Clement ripped a slap shot from the top of the right circle by Bourassa.

“Clearly, Falmouth wanted to get us back,” said Belleau. “They came into our rink and lost a tight game and we knew clearly we’d have our hands full. It’s not surprising. I thought they had a little more energy and were a little more aggressive on loose pucks. They didn’t take a lot of time to do anything fancy they just threw a ton of pucks on net.”

Shortly after Falmouth’s Alden Weller rang a shot off the crossbar, the Yachtsmen extended their lead 3-0 at 9:29 of the second period. Clement added his second goal of the night, finishing off a cross-ice pass from Isac Nordstrom.

Lewiston was finally able to breakthrough with 1:14 to play in the second period as junior Kyle Lemelin deflected a shot by Joey Frechette past freshman goalie Ryan Bonnvie, who finished with 23 saves.

“We didn’t come ready to play for three periods,” said Belleau. “We played about 50 percent for the first period and a half and started to get better as they game wore on, but when you play a team like Falmouth it’s going to be too late.”

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