Owen Dubois, right, of Thornton Academy lowers his shoulder before checking Alex Robert of Lewiston during the first period in Lewiston on Monday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
LEWISTON — What looked like a tone-setter early ended up being more of a rare occurrence for Lewiston on Monday night.
The Blue Devils scored 1:01 into the game and continued to pelt Thornton Academy goalie Seth Dube with shots, but the Golden Trojans’ netminder stood tall. Lewiston beat the junior just enough times, however, to skate away with a 2-1 Class A boys’ hockey victory at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
“I thought we had some opportunities,” Lewiston coach Jamie Belleau said. “Obviously, we’d like to bury some, but if we weren’t getting the opportunities I’d be a little more concerned.”
Evan Cox wrapped around the left post to beat Dube just past the one-minute mark of the game to give the Blue Devils (14-2) a 1-0 lead, but Dube was able to stop a similar try at the right post by Alex Robert five minutes later.
“I think we came out a little flat,” TA coach Michael Roux said. “Just not quite ready to play when we first got here.”
The Golden Trojans ran into trouble on the bus ride up and got to the Colisee 20 minutes before game time.
Dube made 10 saves in the first period, then 10 more in the second, when Lewiston struck once again.
John Mathon found his defensive partner Ryan Bossie from the right circle to the left circle on a power play, and Bossie ripped an open shot past Dube nine minutes into the middle period.
“If you’re playing a playoff-type atmosphere, which every game is like a playoff game now, you got to try to take advantage of your special teams,” Belleau said. “So obviously scoring was big.”
The Golden Trojans (8-7) struggled to get shots of their own. They had just three in the first period, the first and best being a Reagan Wintle to Owen Dubois attempt that was thwarted by Lewiston goalie Jacob Smith, and three more in the second. All three in the middle period came on a late power play.
“(Before) the third period, I just went in there and told them, ‘Start working as a team,'” Roux said. “We get a goal, we get momentum, and that’s what I told them. I said, ‘It’s still in our grasps.’ It was all about playing with their hearts.”
Another power play early in the third didn’t give the Golden Trojans a goal, but they capitalized on the extra-man energy nine seconds after the two minutes had elapsed. Wintle and Dubois fed Luke Chessie, who beat Smith and cut the deficit to 2-1 with 9:17 left.
Thornton kept pushing for the tying goal, out-shooting Lewiston 11-4 in the third, but the Blue Devils held on for the victory.
“I told them to expect (Thornton) to come out hard, and that we’d have to match it,” Belleau said. “I didn’t think we did a good job until the last half of that period, and you don’t want to do that.”
Dube, who Roux said kept the Trojans in the game, made 24 saves. Smith stopped 16 of 17 shots for Lewiston, and Belleau said he’d probably like the one he let in back.
Gunnar Wade of Lewiston skates to the corner to get the puck during the first period against Thornton Academy in Lewiston on Monday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Alex Robert of Lewiston competes for the puck with Thomas Levasseur of Thornton Academy during the second period in Lewiston on Monday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)