Ryan Pomerleau, left, Logan Tripp and Kurtis Pelletier of Lewiston High School. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover)

LEWISTON — When Lewiston’s captain went down the Blue Devils’ ship didn’t go down with him.

For the Lewiston boys hockey team, “it’s all hands on deck,” according to head coach Jamie Belleau.

Senior forward and captain Caden Smith went down with an injury in a win over Falmouth before the midway point of the season, but not before notching a hat trick to give him nine goals and 14 points in just seven games.

Smith’s linemates were able to pick up the slack in the next game, a win over Portland/Deering.

“You don’t like to have injuries. It’s a big loss for us. So your immediate reaction is, ‘OK, that’s not good,'” Belleau said. “But I’ve been doing this long enough — it’s an old cliche, ‘Next person up.’ You just got to make adjustments, try some different things, and we’ve been doing that all year long.

“So as much as we hated to lose Caden, you try to turn a negative into a positive.”


The Blue Devils’ rebuilt “yellow line” remained a positive, as evidenced by its performance in the victory over the Bulldogs, with sophomore Logan Tripp taking Smith’s spot at center alongside junior left wing Kurtis Pelletier and junior right wing Ryan Pomerleau.

“I think we scored three times that game, with just good passing all around, and just know where we are on the ice, get the puck to each other,” Pomerleau said.

Pomerleau had a goal and two assists in the win, and Pelletier had two goals and one assist. Tripp didn’t make it onto the scoresheet, but he fit right into what has become the Blue Devils’ top scoring line. Pomerleau and Pelletier are first and second in points, and 12 of Tripp’s 14 points have come since being inserted between the juniors.

“I think we all just work hard, and we’re always constantly moving,” Tripp said. “And to know that we have, you know, some of us have hands, some of have speed, but we all put it together and make it work, so I think that works out well.”

All three players got little to no varsity playing time before this season, and they were never regularly paired together during JV games.

“We just started playing and connected right from the go,” Pomerleau said.


“We just click really well, and a lot of practice,” Pelletier said.

“The three of them, I think, complement each other well,” Belleau said. “I think Kurtis and Ryan had some chemistry going when Caden was there, and then unfortunately Caden got hurt, and that was a chance for Logan. I think Logan’s complemented them well, and they’ve worked together.”

Belleau said each player brings something different to the line.

The coach highlights Tripp’s skating ability, as well as his strength for a sophomore. Pomerleau, meanwhile, might have one of the best hockey IQs on the team, and being in the right place at the right time has led to his and the line’s success. Pelletier, Belleau said, has “a lot of skill.”

All of those traits, and how they complement each other, have been on display in some of the Blue Devils’ biggest wins, including their countless comeback victories.

“It’s always fun to go out there and get those goals as a line. Just feel like you’re helping the team out, but you’re doing it together as a line,” Pomerleau said.


“We just didn’t give up,” Pelletier said. “We got a lot of goals in the third period, so we just don’t stop, we don’t give up hope. We just keep our team with hope, keep our heads up and grind through it.”

The Blue Devils will need their yellow line to keep producing in the playoffs, though Belleau wouldn’t say what the line will look like in the postseason, when Smith is expected to return.

“We’re going to do what we need to do to win, but we can’t lose fact of the depth. Our depth has been something that helps us. It wears people down,” Belleau said. “We try to play 11 to 12 forwards a game, we play six D a game. And it’s easy as a coach to lose sight of that, and to quickly start jumping to individuals, and that’s where the team’s got to buy in, and I got to be patient and the coaching staff’s got to be patient. Because I think our depth is one of our strengths.”

For this ship that’s got its eyes on a championship, it really is “all hands on deck.”


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