In what has been a season full of lopsided victories for the Lewiston boys’ hockey team, one blemish stands out on its 19-1 record.

The Blue Devils already exacted revenge for that 3-2 loss at home to Falmouth with a 5-4 road win against the Yachtsmen less than a week later.

On Saturday, the two regional champions will look to settle the score in the Class A state championship game at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

“You start the season and you work to get to this game,” Lewiston coach Jamie Belleau said. “So when you get to it you can’t help but be excited.”

Falmouth coach Deron Barton tried to downplay the previous meetings with Lewiston meaning more than any other game during the 18-game regular-season slate, but did admit that he’s excited for a rubber match.

“I just know we went into playing those games against Lewiston the same way we go into playing every single game we have this season,” Barton said. “My players seem to play very high-emotion hockey against them, and I think that adds a big component to it. I think that we love to play Lewiston, we love to beat Lewiston.”

Not only were the Yachtsmen the only team to beat Lewiston, but they were also the only team to give the Blue Devils a one-goal game.

“We learned that we’re going to have to compete,” Belleau said. “We learned that Falmouth is a really good hockey team. We learned that Falmouth has some weapons, and that if we don’t execute our game plan, and we don’t maintain our focus, they can make things difficult for us. We expect that. We expect nothing less.”

The Yachtsmen enter the state final with a 16-3-1 record. Besides a loss to Lewiston, the Yachtsmen also dropped a 2-1 decision to St. Dominic Academy immediately following the Lewiston win, as well as going 0-1-1 against regional rival Scarborough. They then had to rally for playoff wins over Portland/Deering and Cheverus to get to the state final.

At the beginning of the season, Barton wasn’t sure if his team would get this far.

“We have a young team. We have two seniors. We lost quite a bit of our scoring from last year,” Barton said. “There were certainly some confidence issues beginning of the season, and rightly so. We had some guys in the lineup that were getting called upon for some heavy lifting who really didn’t have a lot of experience.

“We ended up winning some hockey games we probably shouldn’t have.”

The Yachtsmen have arrived at the state final thanks to a “lunch-pail, blue-collar” approach based around senior twin brothers Robbie and Reece Armitage. Barton called defenseman Reece “a catalyst” from the blue line, while forward Robbie is “dynamic and prolific, and he just comes to play every day.”

The twins finished 1-2 on the Yachtsmen in scoring, and Robbie was named a semifinalist for the Travis Roy Award.

The Yachtsmen also have a standout goalie in junior Spencer Pierce, who is no stranger to facing Lewiston or playing in big games.

“He’s just got so comfortable in there,” Barton said.

The Blue Devils have a high-scoring attack led by captains Jeromey Rancourt and Joe Bisson, who tied for the team lead in points with 44. Rancourt, a senior, led the team in assists and joins Robbie Armitage as a Travis Roy Award semifinalist. Lewiston can run three forward lines without skipping a beat.

But the Blue Devils are more than just their obvious skill, according to Belleau.

“I can honestly tell you that very rarely is there a situation where our kids don’t work hard,” Belleau said. “Very rarely do they get outworked. They may have a bad shift, but the kids work really hard. And I think that gets overlooked by some of the skill and some of the lopsided games that we’ve had.

“Hard work beats talent sometimes, and I think that’s the message.”

Lewiston’s players will have to bring their own lunch pails to the Colisee on Saturday if they hope to beat Falmouth for a second time and win a second straight state title.

“We know what we’re going to face,” Belleau said. “The kids understand the importance of the game.”

So, too, do Barton’s matured players.

“Let’s put 5,000 in here, drop the puck, and have some fun,” Barton said.

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Jeromey Rancourt, left, of Lewiston holds off Reece Armitage of Falmouth during the second period in Lewiston on Monday. 

Jeromey Rancourt, left, of Lewiston holds off Reece Armitage of Falmouth during the second period in Lewiston on Monday. 

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