A day after winning the longest game in Maine history, Lewiston prepares for state title battle.

LEWISTON – The Colisee was, for the most part, dark and empty Wednesday afternoon. Hockey players in blue warm-up jackets trickled in through various side doors, bags slung dutifully over their shoulders, sticks clutched weakly in their hands.

“I think I slept in every class at least once,” admitted Lewiston sophomore forward Jordan Bourgoin. “My feet were dragging all day, and once they shut off the lights to look at something, that was it.”

Bourgoin and the rest of his Blue Devil teammates – all of them – managed to drag themselves out of bed Wednesday morning and make it to school on time, less than eight hours after leaving the Cumberland County Civic Center as Eastern Maine Class A hockey champions.

The title game, which Maine Principals’ Association officials are calling the longest in history, lasted nearly 84 minutes of playing time, and exactly three-and-a-half hours of real time.

“My legs felt a little bit like jelly today,” said Lewiston netminder Brian Nason. “I actually fell asleep first period, too, just for a minute or two, but the teacher was alright with it.”

Even Nason’s backup, Zack Plourd, was weary Wednesday.

“I didn’t even play,” said the affable sophomore. “That was insane.”

Thirty-five-year veteran bench boss Norm Gagne, who is in his first season as the Blue Devils’ coach, walked gingerly through the Colisee doors. On the bench during practice, he sat down to write up a drill on an erasable board.

“My back was killing me,” said Gagne, who also went to school Wednesday, despite talk of calling in sick the night before.

On the ice, in the darkness before practice, three members of the Lewiston Maineiacs’ front office staff took a break from their work day by skating around with a few pucks, passing and shooting at will.

One of them was Marc Gosselin, the team’s director of ticket sales. Gosselin, a 1995 graduate of Lewiston High School and a two-time state champion goaltender, was behind Brunswick’s bench Tuesday night as their goaltending coach.

“I have never been a part of a hockey game like that, and I don’t think I ever will be again,” said Gosselin.

“It really was a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

As the Lewiston skaters started to emerge, a few minutes late onto the ice for practice, Gosselin more than once congratulated the players and the staff.

“I told the team last night, I said that no one deserved to lose that game, but someone deserved to win.”

Going forward for Lewiston, the biggest task will likely be shedding the emotional high Tuesday’s game left it with, just in time to face Cheverus for the second consecutive year in the state final. One thing is for sure, though.

“If we end up going to another overtime, we’re all pretty confident,” laughed Bourgoin. “We’re used to it by now.”

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