By the end of 45 minutes each game this season, no opponent was able to stay within a goal of Lewiston. 

One of the teams that came closest was South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete, and the fourth-seeded Red Riots (12-6-1) will get another shot at the top-seeded Blue Devils (19-0) in Tuesday’s Class A boys hockey semifinal (8 p.m., Androscoggin Bank Colisee). 

“We were only down 1-0 with six minutes or so to go when we had a power play goal called back. They then scored another shortly there after,” Red Riots coach Joe Robinson said. “They did out-shoot us, but we were right there. We know we can beat them, we just have to play our best hockey for a full 45 minutes.” 

If the fourth-seeded Red Riots’ previous two games are any indication, they’ll be there in the end. In their regular season finale they broke a second-intermission tie by scoring the only goal in the third period of a win at Falmouth, then they rallied past fifth-seeded Thornton Academy with two third-period goals in the quarterfinal round. 

There’s still room for improvement, according to Robinson. 

“We need to finally put all phases of the game together,” he said. “We need to be strong and diligent in the defensive zone and try not to do too much as individuals in the offensive zone. Use our speed and keep it simple. Get as many shots on net as possible and crash the net.” 

The Red Riots will lean on senior forwards Gus Lappin, Deven Hannan and Eric Walker. Hannan leads the team with 25 points, while Lappin totaled 21 in only 14 games. Walker is fifth on the team with six goals. 

They also have a Travis Roy Award semifinalist in senior goalie Liam McGibbon, who is sporting a .929 save percentage this season.

Kurtis Pelletier (24) of Lewiston High School reacts following his first period goal against Bangor High School in Lewiston on Saturday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

The Blue Devils have two semifinalists of their own in senior forwards Kurtis Pelletier (31 regular-season points) and Ryan Pomerleau (29). They play on a dominant first line for Lewiston, but Robinson said it’s the Blue Devils’ ability to run four lines that makes them so tough to match up against.

Meanwhile, Lewiston coach Jamie Belleau said the Red Riots also have forward depth and “a lot of players who are offensive threats.”

South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete forward Deven Hannan skates with the puck during the Red Riots’ 5-4 come-from-behind win over Thornton Academy in Friday’s Class A state quarterfinal. Bob Conn/The Times Record Buy this Photo

“If you make a mistake, they can make you pay quickly,” Belleau said. “We need to be strong in every aspect of the game, or they can make things difficult for us quickly.” 

The Blue Devils have made 19-0 look easy at times, but it hasn’t always been, including some tense moments during a 6-0 quarterfinal win over Bangor. The Red Riots want to create some more of those nerve-wracking sequences, as well as continue their strong third periods.


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