Five different players scored and the Blue Devils converted on power play, shorthanded and even-strength opportunities to defeat Brunswick, 6-0, at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
Erin Hubbard scored a pair of goals and added two assists for the Devils (14-4), while Erica Lemieux and Mikaela Brown each picked up a goal and an assist. Brianna Lajoie stopped a dozen shots in net to notch her fourth shutout in the last five games.
“Getting the win today definitely gave us the momentum to go into playoffs,” Lajoie said.
“We’ve got a big break coming up, so I told the kids today, whether it’s a win or a loss, you don’t want a bad effort,” Lewiston coach Ron Dumont said. “I think they gave a real good effort. The power play looked good. We got another shorty. We got to play everybody. It was a good effort.”
The Blue Devils would have preferred a better start after drawing a too many skaters on the ice penalty just 1:24 into the game. But crisp passing turned that into a positive as Hubbard found a wide-open Lemieux for a one-timer from the left circle 41 seconds into the Brunswick power play.
“Corinne (Laberge) passed it to me and I just saw Erica call for it and I passed it to her,” Hubbard said.
“Shorties just seem to be our thing,” Dumont said. “We get a lot of them. Obviously, with the people we have up front, they can get to the puck quick and get open, and we have good defensemen. They see the play, they move it up quick.”
Lajoie made sure the Devils stayed in front with nice stops on Rachel Moroney’s slapper and Tessa Cassidy’s follow.
“I was expecting (Moroney) to rush the puck a lot, because she did the last game we played against them (a 4-1 Lewiston win one month ago),” Lajoie said. “I just took it step-by-step tonight.”
“We made some mistakes, and sometimes it’s not necessarily a bad thing because we can correct it and it gives Bri a little bit of work,” said Dumont, whose team outshot the Dragons, 34-12. “She did get a few shots there that tested her, which is good.”
Lewiston doubled its lead 2:12 into the second with some strong skating and pinpoint passing. Mikaela St. Laurent hooked up with Emily Turner as Turner streaked through the slot and beat a Brunswick defender and goalie Erin Gay (28 saves) to the puck in front off the crease for the 2-0 lead.
“It’s been an emotional week. We have two games we had to win to get into the playoffs,” said Brunswick coach Bill Bodwell, whose team dropped to 7-11. “We came in feeling good. We needed to catch a couple of breaks early, and we did put some good pressure on, but it didn’t happen.”
A high-sticking penalty on the Dragons set up the Devils’ first power-play goal, a Laberge shot that Mikaela Brown poked home at 7:26. Hubbard converted Lewiston’s next chance with the man advantage 4:05 later to make it 4-0.
“We’ve been working on the power play and working on moving it a little bit quicker,” Dumont said. “I think they did a really good job, even on some of the efforts where we missed, they were getting the shot off.”
Sadie Poulin made it 5-0 early in the third and Hubbard tallied her second goal with 1:31 left.
Lajoie preserved the shutout with 6.3 seconds left on a nice glove save on a low screamer from Moroney.
The Devils won’t play again until the semifinals a week from this Saturday, but rather than worry about getting rusty, Lajoie sees it as an opportunity to do some more fine-tuning.
“(The layoff) will be good because it will give us a week to get everything ready that we need to get ready for playoffs and make everything perfect for playoffs,” Lajoie said.