Five minutes later, the Blue Devils asserted themselves to the tune of four goals and turned a close game into a rout.
Corinne Leberge, Jordan Mynahan and Allison Frechette all scored twice and Lewiston overcame a slow start in a 7-0 victory over Yarmouth/Freeport/Gray-New Gloucester on Wednesday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
“We were just not making smart plays and weren’t doing the simple things we needed to do (in the first period), Mynahan said. “Once we started passing in front of the net and doing all the things we work on in practice, it started coming together. Once one person scores it just becomes contagious and everyone starts scoring.”
For the second straight game the Blue Devils (8-0) were held without a goal in the opening period. The Clippers held a 10-9 shot advantage in the opening frame and had several 2-on-1 breaks.
“I’ll give that to Yarmouth,” Lewiston coach Ron Dumont. “We were working hard, but they were working equally as hard and they were kind of stonewalling us. Give all the credit to them because they have some kids that can skate. They were keeping us busy.”
Laberge kick-started Lewiston’s offense with 4:55 remaining in the second period. The junior assistant captain deked a Clippers defender in the slot and backhanded a shot past Y/F/Gray-NG goaltender Hannah Williams to put the Blue Devils on the board.
“We started out really slow,” Laberge said. “I was struggling. Once we got ourselves together and simplified the game we started getting goals.”
Laberge’s goal led to a snowball effect as the Blue Devils added two more goals in a span of 29 seconds. Laberge assisted on the first, winning a faceoff in the attacking zone that found the stick of Erica Lemieux, who poked the puck by Williams. Laberge scored her second goal, and the team’s third, moments later on a slap shot from the left circle.
“In a span of about a minute-and-twenty-five seconds they put in a couple goals and from there we were in an uphill battle,” Yarmouth coach Jeff Haley said. “They’re a good team. They’re a great team. They’re confidence raised up a little higher than ours and from there we were playing a little too much catch-up.”
The Clippers (3-2) called a timeout to try and stop the bleeding, but it didn’t have the desired effect.
The Blue Devils grabbed a 4-0 lead in the final minute of the second period when Mynahan got behind the defense and buried the breakaway attempt after receiving a pass from Frechette near the Lewiston bench.
“When they had called a timeout, coach told us to make the smart little plays that we do in practice,” Mynahan said. “We have such a good team that we don’t work on the big things, we work on the little things. We just had to make those smart plays.”
Frechette and Mynahan scored all three goals in the third period. Frechette, who committed both of Lewiston’s penalties, opened the third period scoring with a beautifully-placed shot over Williams’ stick-side shoulder. Frechette had the final goal of the period as well, jamming in a shot to the left of the cage.
Mynahan netted her second of the game in between Frechette’s goals, burying a rebound that came out to her in the slot.
Laberge and Lemieux each had four-point nights. Laberge finished with two goals and two assists, while Lemieux scored once and added three assists.
Paige Fontaine played the first two periods in net for the Blue Devils before being replaced by Meagan Gosselin. Fontaine finished with 15 saves, 10 coming in the first period.
“Paige did what we asked her to do,” Dumont said. “She kept us in there until we got rolling and get our feet moving. Once we started picking up momentum you could see it change drastically.”
Meagan Gosselin played the third period, making four saves to preserve the shutout.