LEWISTON — The final weekend in in February is usually the quarterfinal round for high school boys hockey in Maine.

Friday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee felt like a playoff game as Lewiston defeated Edward Little 3-0.

“We definitely treated this game a little different than a normal (game),” Lewiston junior defenseman Damon Bossie said. “We treated this one like a state championship game. It had that feel. They are probably one of the best teams we will play this year.”

Nervousness and shaky play are part of most rivalry games. Friday was no different, as both teams had missed opportunities.

“We are coming off a tough game (a 5-3 win over Falmouth) last night, and we played that way,” Edward Little coach Norm Gagne said. “We got beat to every loose puck tonight, and we didn’t win any battles tonight. That’s the name of the game, they were hungrier tonight, that’s it. We had a couple of good chances, but we never hit the net.”

Each team has five seniors on its roster, so inexperience played a factor.

“It’s a rivalry game, pandemic or not, Lewiston-EL game, two programs that had some success,” Lewiston coach Jamie Belleau said. “A lot of new faces on our end, kids who have not played a game like that before.”

Lewiston freshmen forward Nick Pelletier tapped home a Damon Bossie slap shot to put the Blue Devils up 1-0 with under six minutes remaining in the first half (boys hockey is playing halves this season because of COVID-19 protocols).

“I just wanted to get it on net, and (Pelletier) happened to be there,” Bossie said.

Both goalies made a couple of outstanding saves in the final five minutes of the half. Lewiston’s Keegan McLaughlin stopped two-point blank while the Blue Devils were on the penalty kill. Gage Ducharme made a key save at the other end.

“I try to keep going with the game, I try not to think about bad things or shots,” McLaughlin said. “I try not to look ahead, that’s really about it.”

McLaughlin made 13 saves in the game to earn the shutout. Ducharme finished with 11 saves.

The Blue Devils took a 2-0 lead with under a minute remaining in the first half and while on the man advantage. Daxton St. Hilaire set up in front of EL’s crease and put home a rebound after Ducharme couldn’t swallow up a shot by Bossie. Mason Beaudoin also had an assist.

Lewiston went 1-for-5 on power plays, while EL was 0-for-2.

Belleau hoped the momentum would carry over into the second half of the game.

“I wanted them to put pucks into good places, be aggressive, be strong on pucks and made sure they kept their composure” Belleau said.

Lewiston added to its lead when Cody Dionne netted the Blue Devils’ third goal of the game.

“They do a good job getting pucks on net and crashing the net,” Gagne said. “We were a little lax in our (defensive zone) coverage, we got running around a few times and let them get free shots from the point. They got three guys looking for rebounds, and they are pretty quick on getting on loose pucks.”

Before the game there was a moment of silence for former Lewiston hockey player and longtime hockey official Scott Anctil, who died Thursday after a battle with Frontotemporal dementia. Scott’s son Tanner is a sophomore forward for the Blue Devils. He had an assist on Dionne’s goal.

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