AUBURN — With as much pressure as Lewiston was putting on Edward Little keeper Zachary Gosselin, despite the sophomore keeper's stellar play, the dam was bound to burst.
On their third power play of the game in the middle of the third period, the Blue Devils finally cracked him. Evan Gosselin, Patrick DeBlois and Cam Marquis scored in a 2:41 span — the latter two coming just four seconds apart — as Lewiston pulled away from EL for a 6-1 win at Ingersoll Arena on Wednesday.
"When you have a night when maybe you don't play as well as the standard you set for yourself, and you let them hang around, the worst can happen, and it almost did," Lewiston coach Jamie Belleau said. "Fortunately, it didn't."
Marquis netted his second with 1:11 to play to cap the scoring, but the game was over well before that point. In addition to the lopsided scoreboard, Lewiston dominated in shots, 35-5, and spent better than 80 percent of the game in the Edward Little zone.
But it wasn't easy, and that in itself was a victory for EL.
"We played one of the best teams in the state, and we stayed with them for the first period, 0-0, and only down 2-1 after two," EL coach Craig Latuscha said. "When you give a team like that as many chances on the power play as we did, when they get the chance to score, they will. That was the difference."
Offensively, Kyle Lemelin and DeBlois collected four points each, while Marquis led in the goal tally with two.
"The blue line, with Marquis, has really been coming along the last week or two," Belleau said. "Cam has one of the, if not the quickest release on the team, and he can score some goals."
Lewiston dominated the first period territorially, but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. Most of the Blue Devils' shots came from the perimeter, and the Eddies did well to limit their second-chance opportunities in front of Gosselin.
"EL was smart to slow down the game," Belleau said. "The forced us to slow down our decision-making, we were hanging onto the puck too long and they were able to get their sticks in the way and allowing their goalie to get set up."
Edward Little had the lone power play opportunity in the opening period, and came up empty, managing only one shot on Lewiston keeper Evan Bourassa, who made a pedestrian three saves in the first.
It took a power play in the second period to get the goal-scoring started, and it was Lewiston that struck first.
DeBlois sent a pass through the center zone to Lemelin along the right boards. Lemelin skated into the EL zone, picked up a winger for a potential 2-on-1, but elected instead to fire a laser of a snap shot past Gosselin to the short glove side, putting the Blue Devils on top, 1-0.
With their only shot of the second period, the Red Eddies, themselves on a man advantage tied things up just 2:32 later. Matt Verrill buried a pass from Cade Chapman in front of Bourassa at 7:31.
Lewiston took all of 25 seconds to retake the lead. Matt Poulin crashed the cage and redirected a Lemelin feed from the left corner past Gosselin to reestablish the Blue Devils' one-goal advantage.
"Unfortunately, it might have take that goal to really get us going," Belleau said. "Fortunately, it did get us going. We started moving the pouck better and more quickly after that."