LEWISTON — There’s an old hockey saying about how the ability to play defense comes from the coach while the ability to play offense comes from God.

That would mean the Lewiston boys’ hockey team has been truly blessed as of late.

The Blue Devils have been scoring in bunches during the current hockey tournament and go into Saturday’s Class A state championship game firing on all cylinders. It might be they’ve stumbled upon their God-given knack for the net or maybe they’ve just been building confidence through their hard work, in games and in practice. Whatever the reason, Lewiston is playing its best hockey of the season with the biggest reward at stake.

“This is the right time to be clicking like this,” said junior forward Kyle Lemelin. “We’re moving the puck well and playing well defensively as forwards. It’s really been helpful.”

There was a time that Coach Jamie Belleau would tell his team that netting three goals would put his team in good position for victory. His Blue Devils have been scoring that many, and even more, in the first period alone recently.

“A few years ago, I said if we got three goals, we had a good chance to win,” said Belleau. “Through this season, if we got three goals, rarely did we lose a game. Now we’re getting five, six or seven goals a game. That bodes well for us. We tend to play good defensively. If we keep doing that, we should have some success.”

The Blue Devils have scored 24 goals in three playoff games, walloping some pretty good teams along the way.

“We’re all kind of gelling as a team,” said Lemelin. “It’s really helping.”

Lewiston scored nine against Edward Little with five in the first period. Lemelin had a goal and five assists in that win while Matt Poulin had a goal and three assists. 

The Blue Devils followed that up with a 10-0 win over Brunswick. That included a 4-0 lead  in the first period. Ethan Melvin had the hat trick in that display while Tanner Hubbard added a pair. 

In the Eastern A final, Lewiston jumped on Bangor 4-0 in the first and built a 5-0 lead in the 5-1 victory against an potent Ram team. Lemelin and Evan Gosselin each had a goal and an assists while Poulin had a pair of assists.

“We’re just trying to get it to the net and have someone crash the net for rebounds,” said sophomore forward Kyle Ullrich, who scored the second goal against Bangor Saturday. “We just want someone to shoot it. Whoever scores, scores. It doesn’t really matter at this point.”

Lewiston has its offensive threats, but one factor in their recent offensive outburst has been the contributions from various lines. In three playoff games, Lewiston has gotten scoring from 15 different players, that includes 10 different goal scorers.

“We have some talented kids,” said Belleau. “Teams are going to focus on them. They get their share of points. The last three weeks of the season, we’re seeing all the other forwards and defensemen compliment our big guns. That bodes well when we get scoring from one or two or three lines.”

Lemelin (2-6-8), Poulin (1-6-7) and Gosselin (3-3-6) have all produced steadily, but forwards like Ullrich, Hubbard, Bryan Hall and Cam Marquis have all chipped in with at least a goal.

Lewiston’s defensemen are noted for their work in front of goalie Evan Bourassa, but they’ve also made at difference at the other end. Patrick Deblois (3-2-5) and Melvin (4-1-5) have been significant contributors on the offense end while Max Bolduc, Nick Perreault, Joey Frechette, Devin Harrison and Eddie Emerson have also chipped in from the blue line.

“Everyone is trying their best and working hard,” said Ullrich. “That’s what we need.”

One of the things the Blue Devils have been working on specifically this season is skill development. Belleau has tried to emphasize the need to improve puck handling and shooting skills.

“We’ve focused a lot more on that this year,” said Belleau. “We do a lot of passing drills. Before almost every practice, we focus for 10 or 15 minutes on shooting and passing. I think it pays off. I’ve also had a lot of these kids in the program for a long time. The x’s and o’s, once you get it, you can go in and play, but if you can’t pass or shoot the puck, you’ll have a hard time winning games. So we’ve really tried to emphasize the development of puck movement and puck skills. “

Add in the team’s work ethic and some increasing confidence and the Blue Devils are making a whole lot of things happen up front.

“We’re just getting shots to the net,” said Lemelin. “That’s what you’ve got to do in the playoff games. You have to get shots to the net all the time.”

Lewiston hopes to keep that up for one more game. They play a Falmouth team they split with  during the regular season. That included a strong effort in a 3-2 win at home and a lackluster outing in a 3-1 loss at Falmouth.

“If we play a sound hockey game and make them go 200 feet, I’ll take my chances, with this team because they work really hard,” said Belleau. “Even when things aren’t going their way, they don’t stop working. That’s going to take us a long way and it has so far.”

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