AUBURN — No Lewiston heads sank, no eyes dropped to the parched Walton Field turf, after Edward Little tied Wednesday night’s boys’ lacrosse game with 27 seconds remaining in regulation.

“We were talking to each other down here, and we told ourselves we were going to do this before time expired,” Max Bolduc said. “Once they scored, Shawn (Gagnier) looked at me and said, ‘We’re getting one.'”

It was a bold prediction, considering how precious goals have been in the rivalry this season. But the positive self-talk gained momentum when EL was whistled for a 30-second penalty on the ensuing faceoff, guaranteeing Lewiston the man-advantage until the horn.

And Gagnier fulfilled the prophecy by connecting at a tough angle from close range with 10.3 seconds on the clock, securing a 4-3 triumph.

“When you only get two or three (goals) in 60 minutes of play, you’re hoping you’re going to get one, but it’s tough,” Lewiston coach Ben Fournier said. “They ran the play. They ran it well. They hit the option and they buried it.”

Reilly Bolduc notched the assist from behind the net. Three other players cradled the ball in quick succession for Lewiston (5-2) before Gagnier got open near the left post.

“I just knew after they scored that we were going to win the game. I didn’t want to get it into overtime,” Gagnier said. “I’m just glad Reilly found me on the crease.”

The sudden swing of emotions and fortunes stymied a sensational comeback by EL (2-5).

Matt Adams’ second goal of the game cut the Eddies’ deficit to 3-2 with 2:51 left.

Colin Benson’s groundball with 1:02 to play furnished the opportunity for the equalizer. Corey Morin converted a feed from Cam Cormier on a set play after an ensuing timeout.

“We’re both really hard-working teams, I think. They left it all out here. So did we,” said Max Bolduc, who scored two goals. ” It was just down to the wire both times because the rivalry, it’s huge.”

EL outshot Lewiston 8-5 in the fourth quarter and 32-14 overall. Lewiston goalie Tom Lepage made 11 saves.

It was another close call for the Eddies, who dropped a 5-3 verdict at Lewiston in the previous meeting as well as a one-goal game to Mt. Ararat.

“We are damn resilient. We have been all year,” EL coach Steve Cobb said. “We don’t go away, and we’re not going to quit. We’re going to keep getting better. These kids aren’t going to go down without a fight. They have character and they have guts. I’m proud to coach them.”

Defenses dominated both halves of the home-and-home series.

Lewiston led 1-0 after one period despite being outshot 10-3. Max Bolduc scored courtesy of Reilly Bolduc, who reeled in Lepage’s outlet pass after a save.

Griffin Wade made it 2-0 with 4:32 remaining in the half when his shot caromed off an EL defender and past goalie Matt Berube.

Steven Patrie, Lucas Schultz and Cam Brousseau anchored the tireless Lewiston defense with numerous deflections and interceptions.

“Our defense, we’re solid. Nothing special, nothing fancy,” Fournier said. “We just play solid man-to-man ‘D,’ and today it worked out for us.”

Benson, Brandon Polisky, Jameson Rodrigues and Johnny Boyd were equally stout defensively for EL, which finally got on the board with Adams’ goal from Trevor Haley at 8:42 of the third.

“We’re still trying to find continuity on offense. We have the players. We are yet to fully gel and light up the scoreboard,” Cobb said. “They have some good defenders, they play good man-to-man defense, and they have a good goalie. It’s tough to crack that shell unless you’re head-and-shoulders more talented.”

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.