AUBURN – Apparently, all the Lewiston hockey team needed was a reminder.

Coach Norm Gagne had stressed to his team the importance of staying out of the penalty box and playing strong five-on-five hockey. For two periods, the Blue Devils failed to do that.

“I had my assistant Jeff (Ross) go in and ask them if they understood what I said at the beginning,” said Gagne of the second intermission. “He went in and reiterated what I said.”

And Lewiston not only listened, but understood. The Blue Devils scored three straight third-period goals Saturday night to rally for a 5-4 win over Edward Little.

“We knew we had a chance to come back,” said Lewiston forward Casey Poussard, who scored the game-winner with 5:12 left. “There were some players that had doubt, but most of all, we were really ready to come out in the third period. That first goal really got us going and gave the momentum to us.”

It capped a disastrous week for the Red Eddies (7-7-1). EL gave up 15 goals Tuesday in a loss to St. Dom’s and then blew a 3-0 lead against Cony in the final period on Wednesday. Once again, EL built the lead but watched it slip away.

“We’re in a funk,” said EL coach Craig Latuscha. “Hopefully, we can get out of it pretty soon. We’ve lost two close games in the third period. We had defensive zone breakdowns. We had turnovers at the blue line. We need to calm down a little bit. We had the lead going into the third period, and we collapsed.”

EL was up 4-1 in the second, but Matt Letourneau got Lewiston (6-8-2) to within two with 5:33 left in the period on the power play. Letourneau kept them coming in the third. He scored at 3:28 off a rebound and then tied the game at 5:15 when he was in front all alone in the slot. Lewiston outshot EL 7-0 to start the period.

“I told them that if we get the first goal that old collar is going to get tight, and it did” said Gagne. “It did exactly what I thought it would do.”

EL struggled to counter Lewiston’s attack and was on its heels for much of the third. Poussard put the Blue Devils in front, scoring on the 10th shot of the period. He dumped the puck along the boards for Jon Roy, who returned a centering pass out front for Poussard, who flicked it over EL netminder Adam Loudermilk.

“He saw me out front, and I called for it,” said Poussard. “I didn’t think the puck was going to get to me. I got it on my stick and shot it. I got a lucky bounce and it went in.”

EL had its chance for equalizer. Lewiston gave the Red Eddies a two-man advantage for 52 seconds, but EL failed to score. Then with 25 seconds left, a charging penalty gave EL another power play opportunity.

“I’ve got to give Lewiston credit,” said Latuscha. “They came out in the third period and played really hard. They wanted it. They’re out cross-town rivals, and they wanted the game. It’s the first time in three games that they’ve beaten us. They’ve been on a roll and been playing together as a team.”

EL built a 2-0 lead in the first period on power play goals by Shawn Hird and Corey Binette. Another power play tally by Hird at 3:42 of the second made it 3-0. After Poussard scored on a power play got get Lewiston on the board at 6:02, Corey LaRue made it 4-1 with 7:00 left in the second.

“We feel we can play with anybody, and we’re proving now” said Gagne. “I think we’re starting to play better hockey.”


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