Former Lewiston High School hockey players now playing for the Lewiston/Auburn Nordiques at center ice of the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston prior to Monday afternoon’s practice on March 18, 2019. From left to right are Alex Rivet, Joe Bisson, Cole Ouellette and Sam Frechette (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dilli

LEWISTON — In Friday night’s 13-0 L/A Nordiques win over the Long Beach, there was a four-on-four situation. When Nordiques coach Cam Robichaud sent out his four guys, three of them had been playing together for most of their lives at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Those three players were Lewiston natives and former Blue Devils’ players Joe Bisson, Alex Rivet and Cole Ouellette.

“We had a four-on-four and three of the four were Lewiston High School boys,” Robichaud said. “Someone yelled on the bench: ‘What is this? A Lewiston reunion?’”

While it had been two years since all three of them were on the ice together — or along with the fourth Lewiston native on the team, Sam Frechette —  in a competitive game, they still had the magic of playing hockey together from when they helped the Blue Devils to a 6-2 victory over the Falmouth Yachtsmen to win the 2017 Class A state championship.  Rivet finished a nice play for a goal that made it 6-0 Nordiques in the second period.

“Playing against them (in midget hockey) and playing with them, I know their habits and it translated on the four-on-four because I was out there with Cole and Joe,” Rivet said. “I got a pass to Joe and I gave the pass to Joe, then I went to the net and got a pass pass from Joe. That connection, it started when we were at Lewiston.”

Frechette was a member of the Blue Devils team that won three Class A state championships in a row from 2016-2018, while the other three were on the first two state championship teams in 2016 and 2017.

One can say Rivet is the middle “child” as a 2000-birth year who has practically played with the other three all his life before going to Middlesex Prep in Concord, Massachusetts for the 2017-18 season. That is where he played for most of this season before joining the Nordiques in time for the playoffs. Typically, he would play a year with Ouellette and Bisson as they were 1999-birth years, when they would move up to the next level of youth hockey. Rivet would play with Frechette, who’s a 2001 birth year, when the latter would move up to the same level as Rivet.

“It’s been pretty nice playing with old teammates like Rivet, Cole and Frechette.” Bisson said. “It just (brought) back memories when we won the states at Lewiston. Just a whole bunch of different feelings coming back when we are all together playing on the same ice.”

The chemistry on the ice stems from their friendship off the ice. That’s the biggest key to their success on the ice, in addition to their ice vision, passing, skating or shooting skills.

“That’s the biggest part that no one understands, hanging out off the ice is as important practicing together and getting the chemistry. It makes a huge difference,” Ouellette said.

Now with that championship experience in high school, they hope it can translate to the junior level as the L/A Nordiques are playing for the NA3HL Coastal Division Championship, starting on Thursday at the Colisee at 7 p.m. against the Northeast Generals. Game two will be in Attleboro, Massachusetts on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Game three, if necessary, will be back at the Colisee Saturday at 7 p.m.

The winner of the three game series goes to the Fraser Cup Championship tournament in Woodridge, Illinois starting next Wednesday and runs until the 31st.

Robichaud likes the winning pedigree the four bring from the high school level.

“They have won in this building,” Robichaud said. “They’ve have seen the fan base and the excitement from the crowd during these types of games. They aren’t surprised by the atmosphere and they are used to it, they are comfortable playing in it. So experience can go a long way in a series, so it’s nice to have that. At the end of the day, they want to show they can win at the next level.”

All four them hope they can raise another banner or two to the rafters in the rink that they have been playing in for most of their lives.

“Playing in the playoffs in this building, it’s obviously a different atmosphere, and the guys, we did go through it last year,” Ouellette said. “It’s unfortunate that we didn’t make it to Chicago, but the plan this year is obviously to take care of this round (against the Generals).”

“I think I am very fortunate to play in the rink that I grew up in,” Frechette said. “It’s always a home ice advantage for me.”

The four know their championship experience will be helpful to the team, but they also know they are just one piece of the puzzle.

“Us four, we know what it takes to win a championship. We did it multiple times,” Bisson said. “I think we got a good group this year to pull off another championship and to go deep in the playoffs this year. We got a good group.”

Frechette believes the key is not getting too hard on yourself when something doesn’t go right.

“I think I can bring something there going deep in the playoffs,” Frechette said. “I’m always keeping a positive mindset throughout. We are always going to face adversity in a game and maybe keep a positive mindset.”


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