FALMOUTH — In an early-season marquee matchup between two undefeated teams, it was a freshman that stole the spotlight.
Lewiston’s Lauren DeBlois single-handedly outscored Greely on Friday, netting four goals in the Blue Devils’ 6-3 victory over the Rangers at Family Ice Center. She scored both of Lewiston’s power play goals.
“It was a team effort, not just me,” DeBlois said. “You get passes from your teammates that leads to the goals. It’s exciting, but it’s a team effort.”
Considered a potential Eastern Maine championship preview between two teams that entered Friday’s contest undefeated and untested, the Blue Devils (5-0) continued their trend of scoring early. Corinne Laberge buried a rebound just 28 seconds into the contest off a shot from linemate Erica Lemieux.
Lemieux stole the puck in Greely’s defensive zone and quickly fired a shot on net that was blocked aside by Rangers goaltender Nica Todd. The puck came out to Laberge, who put one over Todd’s stick-side shoulder for the early 1-0 lead.
“We made good passes right off the bat and we just started hard,” Laberge said. “It was a lot more fun than games we’ve played recently. It was a lot more competitive. They made us work, which was good.”
DeBlois took over from there, scoring four of the next five goals. Her first came at 10:36 of the first period on a blast from the blue line and her second marker came on the first shot of the second period while on Lewiston’s first power play of the night.
Jordan Mynahan made it 4-0 on Lewiston’s second shot of the period, a backhander in the slot that deflected off Todd before barely crossing the goal line.
DeBlois’ hat-trick goal was the prettiest of them all. Controlling the puck at the top of the left circle, the freshman defender faked a slap shot, maneuvered past a Greely defender and wristed a shot past Todd that hugged the far-side post.
“I was going to shoot from the beginning, but the defender stepped up, so I decided to go around her and go far post and it happened,” DeBlois said.
DeBlois added her fourth goal and the team’s second on the power play in the opening minute of the third period for a 6-0 lead. She nearly netted a fifth, but her shot on a breakaway careened off the post.
“Lauren’s exceptional,” Lewiston coach Ron Dumont said. “She’s only a freshman. She’s just one of those players that comes around only once in awhile. She’s an asset to the team, and when grouped in with the rest of the team it certainly makes for a potent combination.”
The Rangers (3-1) entered the game averaging 8.7 goals per game, but couldn’t catch a break in the first two periods despite outshooting the Blue Devils during that stretch. Courtney Sullivan had Greely’s first goal wiped out with nine seconds left in the second period when officials ruled she had interfered with Lewiston goaltender Paige Fontaine. Instead of netting their first goal, the Rangers ended the period a player down, and Lewiston capitalized on that chance to open the third.
Greely wouldn’t be denied over the final 15 minutes. Danita Storey put the Rangers on the board 1:24 in, snapping Lewiston’s shutout streak at 166:24 to start the season. Sullivan scored five minutes later and Ellie Schad lit the lamp off a shot that deflected off a Lewiston defender with 2:31 remaining.
“Greely can keep up with us,” Dumont said. “They’re very well-coached. They come at you with a whole group of girls. Certainly we knew it was going to be a tough game and going to be a good game for us because they can play transition. You have to play all 200 feet, which we were looking for. The score aside, we still have things we need to work on. It’s early in the year and the girls know that, but overall I’m happy with the effort because they are a good team.”
Fontaine faced 28 shots — more than she’s seen at any point this season — and finished with 25 saves.
“Paige did an outstanding job,” Dumont said. “You want to go as long as you can, but it gets to the point where you know they’re going to score. Paige did a fine job. She hasn’t really seen any transition-type shooting like this, so we’re trying to prep her in practice, but you can only do so much.”
Todd finished with 17 saves.