FALMOUTH — The streak lives.
And the Lewiston Blue Devils just seem to keep getting better.
Three different players scored and the team allowed only nine shots to reach goalkeeper Brian Wigant as the Blue Devils avenged an earlier loss to Falmouth, posting a 3-1 win over the Yachtsmen at Falmouth Family Ice Center on Saturday.
“This is the only team to have beaten Thornton, so this is a huge win for us,” said Lewiston assistant coach Tom St. Onge, who was filling in for head coach Jamie Belleau. They were the last team we lost to.
Belleau had a family function to attend and couldn’t make the game.
Lewiston’s latest effort ran its unbeaten streak to 11 games (10-0-1). Falmouth was the last team to defeat the Blue Devils, a 6-1 decision at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in early January. At that point, Lewiston’s record dipped to 1-3-0. It now sits at 11-3-1.
“They really came into our building and took it to us,” St. Onge said. “I do remember one things about that game, we had a really good second period. We had scored a goal and could have had more, so we knew we could play with them.”
Wigant, meanwhile, continues to split time with fellow junior Evan Bourassa. Both have been solid during the Devils’ run.
“Our goaltendings has been fine over the past three weeks,” St. Onge said. “They’ve both been exceptional.”
After weathering an early Falmouth advance and allowing no shots, the Blue Devils took advantage of the first break.
Stefan Vallee played pass with fellow forward David Cusson in the neutral zone before zipping up ice. He tried to split the defenders, but couldn’t find a seam, so he shot the puck toward the cage. It deflected slightly off the defender’s stick and fluttered into the net on the team’s first shot on Falmouth keeper Dane Pauls for a 1-0 Lewiston lead.
The Devils’ second shot on net proved just as fruitful.
This time, Desmond Gagne found a streaking Jake Bergeron cutting by the Falmouth blue line. Bergeron tipped the puck to himself through the two Yachtsmen defenders and broke in alone on Pauls. He deked to his backhand and tucked the puck over the line for a 2-0 advantage.
“Falmouth’s first shot against Wigant came 9:15 into the game, and the Yachtsmen only really tested the junior keeper in the period’s waning seconds, when Hugh Grygiel snuck in behind Lewiston’s defenders and tried to deke left. Wigant dove to his right and guided the puck harmlessly into the corner.
“When you’re up 2-0, you never, ever want to give up a goal in the last minute of a period,” St. Onge said. “We were fortunate there. We had a little bit of a breakdown, we had a line that had been out there perhaps a bit too long and they lost their legs.”
The Lewiston defense stepped it up a notch further in the second, allowing only two shots to reach Wigant. On the other end, the offense fired on Pauls with any chance it got.
Lewiston also stepped up its physical presence in the second, hitting anything in a white jersey that moved. That led to the first two power play chances of the game, both in the Devils’ favor. It also led to a third Lewiston goal.
Patrick DeBlois held the puck in at the left point on his team’s second power play opportunity with his skate, kicked it to his stick and wristed it on net. The puck tipped off the shaft of Gagne’s stick in front and wrong-footed Pauls, putting Lewiston on top by three.
In the third, Lewiston continued the physical onslaught. Falmouth played more patiently and didn;t retaliate, though, and drew a pair of penalties. The first of those chances yielded the Yachtsmen’s only goal. Defenseman Cameron Bell fired a shot from the left point that caromed off the back boards and right to top scorer Brandon Tuttle at the right post. He didn’t miss, and on Falmouth’s fourth shot of the frame pulled his squad to within two.
The Yachtsmen never got another shot off, even with another late power play and the goalie pulled for a 6-on-4 advantage.
“We were getting pucks deep on them,” St. Onge said. “They have a tendency to float some guys high in the zone, so we thought, maybe three goals was enough, we wanted to make sure they didn’t catch us off guard.”