LEWISTON — After a back-and-forth, tight-checking first period, the New England Stars picked up the pace Friday, pulling away for a 5-2 win over the L/A Fighting Spirit at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Five different skaters scored for the Stars (20-7-7-4), who moved closer to clinching a playoff berth with the victory. New England sits in second place in the teams’ division, now six points ahead of the Fighting Spirit (21-15-3-0).

Peter Menzies got things going for the visiting Stars in the opening period, potting his eighth goal of the season just 5:07 into the contest for a 1-0 advantage.

Former St. Dom’s standout Caleb Labrie netted his 10th of the season for the homestanding Fighting Spirit at 11:45 to know the score, and Jonathan Donaghey slipped in his 16th of the season at 16:42 to put L/A on top.

But a strike from Brandon Hammer with 1:03 to play in the frame leveled the score.

In the second, quick strike goals from Ian Gately and Derek Flynn just 37 seconds apart chased Fighting Spirit keeper Aaron Callan (six saves). Tyler Friel came in to finish the game.

Friel allowed just one more goal on 22 shots — an Alex Pilatsky tally early in the third — but the Spirit couldn’t find a way past New England keeper Dom Lamanno the rest of the way. Lamanno finished with 31 saves in the victory.

The teams will finish off their weekend home-and-home series Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Skate 3 Arena in Tyngsboro, Mass.

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