In the final 3:23 of the teams’ Class A showdown, the Blue Devils and Red Storm combined for two power plays, three goals and a handful of blocks. When the ice chips settled, East No. 1 Lewiston held off West No. 1 Scarborough, 4-3, for a pivotal victory.

“Basically, it was a good game,” Lewiston coach Jamie Belleau said. “We knew we were going to have our hands full. But that was good. We’ll take it.”

“They were hungry. They’re a hungry team,” Scarborough coach Norm Gagne said. “I was proud of our guys the way they kept coming back.”

Lewiston sniper Kyle Lemelin had a hand in all three of the game-defining goals, though he’d probably prefer not remember one of them.

With the Devils on top 3-2 after a Lemelin power-play tally, officials whistled the Lewiston forward for boarding. On the ensuing power play, Erik Grantz equalized for the Red Storm. Only 1:17 remained on the clock.

“I was mad that I got that penalty, and it sparked something inside me, I guess,” Lemelin said.

Aided by intense offensive pressure from his linemates, Lemelin atoned for the penalty on the very next shift. He parked himself at the top of the crease on the right side and shoveled the puck past Scarborough keeper Ben Bragg with 37 seconds to play, lifting Lewiston to the win.

“Just because they had scored right there, we were hungry,” Lemelin said. “Coach didn’t draw anything up, I think we were all a little down on ourselves, and we said, ‘You know what? We need to score again here.’ There’s nothing you can really draw up. There’s so much emotion there.”

“Lemelin certainly came up big, and that’s what we expect of him,” Belleau said, “he’s been playing varsity for four years. But don’t lose sight of the fact that there are four other guys on the ice with him.”

The Red Storm controlled the first few minutes of the contest, pushing hard against the Devils’ defense and generating three shots in the opening sequence.

“We started out each period like a house afire,” Gagne said. “And then, nothing. When we started the game, the first seven minutes, I thought we were doing really well. And then they scored a goal off a tip.”

They didn’t sniff the net again in the period, while Lewiston pushed back and continued to apply pressure on Bragg.

“Our defense is doing a really good job,” Belleau said. “They’re keeping them to the outside They’re minimizing their shots.”

The Blue Devils waited until they were shorthanded to strike, though. On the team’s second offensive-zone faceoff of the kill, Lemelin won the faceoff to Matt Poulin, who surprised Bragg with a quick shot that found the back of the net.

Lewiston nearly added to its total twice, including on a Lemelin breakaway in the last minute of the frame, but his shot sailed high and wide.

Scarborough’s next shot on net came with a tag and a bow, and helped the visitors even the score.

With some confusion in the Lewiston end, the puck kicked off a skate and into the slot, right to Jake Gross, who buried it past an unsuspecting Nick Hawk at 2:53 of the second period.

Lewiston went back in front at 11:59. Joey Frechette wound up from the point after a period of intense Lewiston pressure. The puck caromed off at least one skater in front, right to Kyle Morin in the low left slot. Morin tapped the puck past Bragg to put the hosts back on top by one.

Cam Brochu scored the Storm’s second unassisted goal of the night on a wrister ripped from the left circle at 8:03 of the third, three minutes before Lemelin’s first of the third frame began the wild finish.


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