Brown stands tall as Saints blank Devils

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LEWISTON – Nate Brown had plenty to prove.

After suffering a 6-2 loss to Falmouth earlier in the week, St. Dom’s coach John Pleau benched the senior netminder.

“I told him, if he wants to be the No. 1 goalie, he has to earn that job,” Pleau said.

Brown sat out Wednesday night against Kennebunk, and the team lost its fourth game of the season.

“I wanted to show why I deserve to play,” Brown said. “I was thinking about this all week.”

Motivated by his absence from the ice, perhaps even a little miffed that he was yanked, Brown reappeared Saturday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee with a chip on his shoulder.

Brown made 24 saves, including 11 in the third period, and watched three different teammates score on the other end of the ice to lead St. Dom’s to a 3-0 shutout win over rival Lewiston.

“No matter how either team is doing, any win against Lewiston is huge,” Brown said. “This hopefully helps us going forward.”

On the other end, the Blue Devils (2-6) started their third goaltender of the year, sophomore Dylan LaBonte. In his first varsity start, the young keeper stopped 20 of 23.

The Saints and Devils played evenly through the first 15 minutes, fired the same number of shots on net and hardly challenged either goaltender.

“We kind of felt each other out at the start,” St. Dom’s coach John Pleau said. “We had to adjust a bit to their new line combinations again, but I think we did better in the second, got some better chances and finally scored some.”

In the second, St. Dom’s took control.

Codie Keene struck first at 5:50 of the middle frame on a short rebound to LaBonte’s right off the stick of Daniel Lajoie. Sheldon Roy followed just 58 seconds later after the puck popped out of LaBonte’s glove to his right. Roy dove through the crease and tapped the puck through the scrum in front.

“I was actually pushed from behind by a defenseman,” Roy said. “My head hit the puck when it bounced and it went into the net.”

Alex Tyburski capped a wild flurry at the end of the period with the Saints’ third at 14:56 on another scrum in front after a Simon Hebert shot dropped in the low slot after hitting LaBonte.

The third period got a bit rough, and Lewiston lost a few players for the game. By the end of the period, Lewiston’s bench had just eight skaters and a spare goalie in addition to the four skaters on the ice.

The Saints lost a pair of players due to injuries. Richard Paradis went hard into the boards and injured his knee, though it was not as serious as first thought. Also out during the game for the Saints was forward Casey Parker, who left with an undisclosed injury.

Lewiston coach Norm Gagne was unavailable for comment.

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