The last time it happened? Two years ago in the Eastern semifinal. The teams? Lewiston and Leavitt/Edward Little (before the Poland co-op). The Red Hornets came out victorious.

It happened again Wednesday night, this time in the Eastern regional final. Only this time the Blue Devils skated away with the win. Allison Frechette scored on the power play with 3:50 left in double overtime as the Blue Devils punched their ticket to the state championship game with a 2-1 victory over the Red Hornets at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“They got the job done,” Lewiston coach Ron Dumont said. “I’m really proud of them. It gives us an opportunity to move on. I’m really happy for my seniors because they put a lot of work and effort into this program. Very, very happy for them as well as the whole team.”  

Lewiston (19-0-1) will play Falmouth for the state title on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils defeated Falmouth, 4-0, on Jan. 14.

With bodies sprawled across the goal line, Frechette managed to jam in a puck in the crease past a Red Hornet defender to send the Blue Devils to the title game.

“It’s honestly just a blur,” Frechette said. “I’m so full of adrenaline and I could not tell you what happened. My heart was going really fast. It’s a nice feeling.”

For the Red Hornets (16-3-1), the result was a tough one to swallow. For the second straight meeting, Leavitt/EL/Poland was on the wrong end of an overtime decision with the Blue Devils. Lewiston knocked off the Red Hornets, 1-0, in overtime in the KVAC Championship last week.

This one hurt a bit more, especially with the way it ended. The Red Hornets believed the referee behind the net should have blown the play dead as it appeared the puck was frozen underneath a Red Hornet player in the crease. Earlier in the game, Lewiston’s Lauren DeBlois had her equalizer waved off after a fast whistle. 

“It stung,” Red Hornet coach Shon Collins said. “I thought the puck was covered and I saw the whistle up to the ref’s lips. My understanding is when the whistle comes up to your lips it’s already blown in your mind and the play’s dead at that point. Either way, that freaky bounce off the boards, we kind of got caught scrambling. We should have buried one of our chances earlier in the game and not even take it to that point.” 

Wednesday’s regional final was less than a minute away from ending in regulation. Down to its last breath, Lewiston tied the game 1-1 with 43.2 seconds left as Erica Lemiuex knocked home a rebound to the right of Red Hornets goaltender Savannah Shaw. The Blue Devils had pulled goaltender Paige Fontaine moments before, something they haven’t had to do all season.

“Ally was coming down and we were talking about how Savannah was a really good goalie up high,” Lemieux said. “Ally just shot it and I was there for the rebound.”

Frechette set up the game-tying goal, firing a shot on net that Shaw blocked aside to her right. Lemieux was there in front to bury the rebound and force overtime.

Prior to Lemieux’s goal, the Lewiston bench nervously watched the minutes tick down.

“When it got to the five-minute mark, I addressed them all between the line changes and said, ‘Now the clock’s ticking and one is all we need. We’re not going to try and win this. We’re trying to tie this to get to overtime’ and they seemed to feed off that,” Dumont said. 

The Red Hornets managed to do something against Lewiston that no other team had managed to do: take the lead. After a scoreless first period, Emma Martineau chased down her own rebound and beat Fontaine to give the Red Hornets a 1-0 lead with 3:30 left in the second period. 

Martineau’s initial shot came from the point and was knocked away by Fontaine. The Lewiston goaltender gave up a rebound and Martineau’s momentum led her straight to the puck. With just the goalie to beat, Martineau lifted a shot past a sprawling Fontaine to put the Blue Devils in a rare hole. 

It was the first time this season the Blue Devils were on the wrong end of the scoreboard. Prior to Martineau’s goal, Lewiston had not trailed in over 920 minutes of game time. 

It was uncharted territory for the Blue Devils, but Dumont liked how his team persevered.

“They could have easily said, ‘Hey, we’re not going to be able to do this,'” Dumont said. “After they scored, we didn’t exactly come guns a barreling because they didn’t let us. It would have been easy for them to say, ‘We did the best we could. We’re done,’ but they didn’t do that. They cut it thin, made their coach a little bit worried, but they got the job done.”

Lewiston held a 7-3 edge in the first overtime, but Shaw made a flurry of great saves to keep the Red Hornets’ season alive. She finished with 36 saves. 

“Her and Paige are the two best goaltenders in the state in my opinion,” Collins said. “She demonstrated that tonight with just how she moved, how she controlled the rebounds. Just excellent.”

Fontaine made two key saves at the start of the second overtime as the Red Hornets looked poised to pull out yet another double-overtime win at the expense of Lewiston. She made three other saves in the first overtime and finished with 26 saves.

“Being able to stop the pucks that would count as the game-winning (shots) is just amazing,” Fontaine said. “It makes me really honored to be on this team.”

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