PORTLAND — Shorthanded goals were the reason the Red Hornets made it to the North region final, but a shorty against them played a major role in their playoff run coming to an end. 

Paige Pomerleau’s shorthanded goal with 42 seconds left in the first period gave top-seeded Lewiston some breathing room, and from there the Blue Devils skated away to a 5-0 victory over third-seeded Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland at Troubh Ice Arena on Wednesday. 

The Blue Devils (20-0) claim their second regional title in a row. They will be making their record-extending sixth trip to the state final against Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Saturday afternoon. The Capers defeated Scarborough 3-2 in overtime in the South final.

“It’s really, really nice to be able to have a second go at it that quick,” Blue Devils coach Ron Dumont said. 

The Red Hornets (11-7-3) were vying for their first-ever trip to the state championship game, after scoring two third-period shorthanded goals to rally to beat St. Dom’s/Winthrop/Gray-New Gloucester in the regional semifinals, but they had to play defensively from the start.

Lewiston outshot its rival 10-0 in the first period, including Pomerleau’s shorthanded rip from the high slot over Red Hornets goalie Manny Guimond that made it 2-0. Lilly Gish had the assist. 

“Manny just always seems to go down, we always just seem to score on her high, and that’s all that she gives pretty much,” Pomerleau said. 

“That was a beautiful shot. Not many kids can make that shot,” Dumont said. “Yeah, that really got us rolling and settled everybody down.” 

Gemma Landry gave the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead 11:36 into the game with a goal off a rebound of Madison Conley’s initial shot. 

“We just realize not every shot is going to go in, but as long as you keep pressuring the net and shooting on the goalie, it will eventually get in there,” Landry said. “I saw that hole opening, and for a second I literally thought I was going to whiff it, you know, like miss the net or Manny was going to make an unbelievable save — she’s a great goalie.

“So it was a little scary to see that come through, but once I saw it in the net it was like a weight being lifted on my shoulders.” 

Leah Landry made it 3-0 about four minutes into the second period, taking control of a loose puck near the right post and poking it in. Bailee St. Hilaire and Leah Dube assisted on the goal.

Molly Sirois had the Red Hornets’ first shot on goal with 5:40 left in the second period, but the shot from the right circle was stopped by Lewiston goalie Camree St. Hilaire.

“We were trying to pick our spots, obviously, but at times throughout the season we’ve struggled offensively,” Red Hornets coach Dana Berube said. 

St. Hilaire then made a high save on Eve Martineau’s shot 20 seconds later, and then a glove save on Caroline Tracey’s power-play shot in the final minute of the period. Tracey had five goals in the Red Hornets’ first two playoff games. 

Lewiton’s Madison Conley scored 1:25 into the third period to push the lead to 4-0, and Gish scored on the power play late to round out the scoring. Gemma Landry assisted on both goals.

“At times in that second (period), I thought we were mentally and physically exhausted. We kept sticking with it, and like usual, when you’re down by three, we’re looking to try to get the next one and close that gap a little bit,” Berube said. “Didn’t do too much with that power play (that carried over into the third), and then they buried one right away. I thought that was the one that (did us in).” 

St. Hilaire stopped all nine shots she faced for her 15th shutout of the season. 

Guimond stopped 25 of 30 shots in the final high school of her career, during which she started every game in each of her four seasons.

“She had a lot of good saves in that game,” Berube said. “She made some spectacular saves.” 

“We knew we had to bring our A-game with no mistakes,” Berube said, “and we just didn’t have that in us today.”


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