Devils squeak by Cony

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LEWISTON – Cony’s Nick Claudel was nearly perfect Wednesday night.

Lewiston’s Dylan LaBonte was perfect.

Jordan Bourgoin was the difference.

Bourgoin picked off an airborne clearing attempt at the Cony blueline and split the defensemen. He bore down on Claudel in the Rams’ net, drew the goaltender to the left and slid the puck 5-hole through Claudel’s pads at 12:39 of the third period to lift the Blue Devils to a 1-0 win over Cony at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“He was going post-to-post and the whole middle was open,” Bourgoin said. “He had been strong on his glove side all night, so I knew I had to try something else.”

“That was definitely 5-hole,” Claudel said. “I didn’t know what he was going to do, and I opened up a bit too much.”

That mistake — if you can even call a breakaway a goaltender’s mistake — was Claudel’s only miscue of the night. Thirty-three other shots found their way toward the Cony net, and Claudel stopped them all.

“That could have been 6-0 if not for him,” Cony coach Chad Foye said. “He played stellar tonight.”

Lewiston’s assault on the net started early. The Blue Devils (3-7) outshot Cony 17-2 in the opening period.

But they came away empty.

“It was frustrating because we outworked them all night,” Lewiston coach Norm Gagne said. “I was proud of the way the boys played tonight.”

In the second, another period that went the Blue Devils’ way, nearly ended in disaster as Cony broke around the Lewiston defense.

Enter LaBonte.

The sophomore stopped all 15 shots he saw, 10 of which came in the final 15:30, including a game-breaker late in the second on a partial breakaway.

“That was the game right there,” Gagne said. “I thought that was the biggest play, the one that kept us going in the right direction for the third period.”

The Rams appeared to wake up in the third, though. They outshot Lewiston 9-7 on the period and had some of the better scoring chances.

But it was Bourgoin who took advantage of his chance to sneak a win out for the Devils.

“Hopefully this is something we can use from here on out,” Bourgoin said. “Hopefully this gives us some momentum for the rest of the season.”

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