LEWISTON — It wasn’t quite the marquee matchup fans saw the last time Cheverus and Lewiston faced off in girls’ hockey at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, but last year’s state finalists managed to entertain those gathered at the rink on Monday just the same, squaring off in a tight, end-to-end battle with solid goaltending.

For the host Blue Devils, this year’s result was all too familiar.

Katie Roy and Sarah LaQuerre scored goals about five minutes apart in the first period to erase an early Lewiston lead and help lift Cheverus to a 2-1 win over the Blue Devils.

“It was certainly a different team on both sides,” Cheverus coach J.P. Lavoie said. “I think every player on both sides tonight played their hearts out, and that’s all we’re looking for. We’re happy with that.”

“That’s the type of year we’ve been having,” Lewiston coach Ron Dumont said. “It’s the same old story for us, though. I thought the kids played their hearts out in the second and third periods, but it took us a while to get going again, for whatever reason, and it hurt us again.”

Both teams are shells of their former selves, though this year’s Cheverus team has enjoyed a few more wins than Lewiston. The Stags’ triumph Monday was their eighth victory of the season against four losses.

Lewiston dropped to 2-9-2, and will likely miss the playoffs for the first time since girls’ hockey was elevated to varsity status before the 2008-09 campaign. Lewiston won the state crown that season, and finished runner-up to Cheverus in 2010. But, not all is lost, Dumont said.

“Yes’ we would have liked a win,” Dumont said, “but there were a lot of good things in the game today, and like we have the rest of the season, we keep on working and keep on smiling. At the end of the day, that’s all we can do.”

Things began on the right track for the Devils on Monday, as Lauren Lessard broke up the right wing on a shorthanded break and buried the puck past Cheverus’ Taylor Witham to give Lewiston a 1-0 advantage.

“That wasn’t a good start, but the kids were resilient,” Lavoie said. “We came back, played hard and didn’t give up.”

Roy responded 1:11 later, banging home a third-chance rebound from the right post behind Lewiston keeper Brianna Lajoie to knot the game. LaQuerre sniped the top left corner of the cage past Lajoie’s blocker from the right faceoff dot at 9:39 of the first to put the Stags in front for good.

“You can’t give up a lot of one- or two-goal leads early and then hope to come back,” Dumont said. “We tried to fix that today, we tried something new today, tried to generate some offense.”

The Devils enjoyed the better of the scoring chances in the second frame, and both goalies made some solid saves as the score remained tight.

“I think their goalie played great, I thought both goalies had great games,” Lavoie said. “I thought they were the difference in the game for both teams.”

The Blue Devils carried play for much of the third frame, as well, hitting three posts in the process. But Witham stopped those that didn’t hit iron to preserve the victory for the Stags.


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