LEWISTON — They waited and waited. Their anxiety built.
The Lewiston Blue Devils had to harness their nerves and show patience Saturday as the Eastern Class A semifinal preceding their own went into double overtime, causing a 45-minute delay.
When the they finally got onto the ice, they were ready — a goal 19 seconds proved that.
Lewiston scored early and often in a 10-0 win over Brunswick in the teams' Eastern Class A hockey semifinal at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
"It was a good playoff atmosphere and a good preset to the game coming in," said junior forward Evan Gosselin about the overtime semifinal prior to the Blue Devils game. "It definitely got us going."
Gosselin had a pair of goals in the first period as Lewiston built a 4-0 lead and never looked back.
"We had good success against Edward Little early and we wanted to replicate that," said Gosselin, whose team has scored 19 goals in two playoff games.
Lewiston plays Bangor Tuesday in the Eastern A final at the Colisee. The Blue Devils beat the Rams twice in the regular season.
"We've got to keep working," Lewiston coach Jamie Belleau said. "We know what we're facing on Tuesday. "We knew we'll have to play our A-game. We're playing with confidence and in a good way. The kids understand it will take hard work."
Ethan Melvin had three goals for Lewiston while Gosselin had a pair. Tanner Hubbard also scored twice and added an assist. Bryan Hall and Nick Perreault each had a goal and two assists. Goalie Evan Bourassa had eight saves in the shutout.
"It's nice to come out strong and score a couple of goals early," Belleau said. "We did that against EL. We really wanted to do that too against Brunswick."
The Devils expected the Dragons to be a tough foe. They'd lost to Lewiston by a 3-2 count earlier in the season. They'd played one-goal games with Bangor and St. Dom's, and played tough against West No. 1 Scarborough.
"There was no feeling comfortable about this game," Belleau said. "Obviously, we knew if we played our game, we could have some success. We knew we couldn't give them a chance to get in the game early."
Lewiston started the game with a Gosselin blast that hit the end boards and bounced back to the middle. He was there to pop in the rebound for a quick lead with just 19 seconds gone.
"I got a chance and I shot the puck," said Gosselin. "I got a lucky break."
After Gosselin's goal, Melvin got his first of the day at 3:45, tipping in a shot from the point. Hubbard buried a wrister from the slot at 7:37 to make it 3-0.
Brunswick didn't get its first shot of the game until 6:15 remained in the period. The Devils outshot the Dragons 46-8.
In the final minute, Gosselin finished the strong start with an exclamation point, making it 4-0 with 14 seconds left.
"You can have a strong period and then have a letdown," Belleau said. "We've challenged the team all year about staying physically and mentally consistent. They know if they bring their A-game, they're ready and can play with anybody."
Lewiston didn't miss a beat in the second. Brunswick kept the Blue Devils off the board for much of the period. Lewiston then scored three in a span of 5:24 to finish the period up 7-0.
"We're skating well and we're an unselfish team," Gosselin said. "Our goal is to come out skating every game and usually good things happen when we're working hard and working together."
Melvin scored a pair of goals, one coming on the power play. The Dragons replaced starting goalie Blake Alexander with Joseph Coulombe. Then Hall made it 7-0 with a tally with 3:02 left.
"I think what nerves we did have went away once we realized that if we played our game, things would be alright," Gosselin said. "We were doing good things, and we just kept doing them."
Lewiston added two more quick goals from Patrick Deblois and Perreault early in the third. Hubbard added his second of the night with 2:26 left.
"The horses that we rely on are getting complemented right now," Belleau said. "We're getting scoring production from everybody. That production is because they're being unselfish."