Lewiston goalie Gabe Pomerleau pounces on the puck before Edward Little’s Joey Samson can take a shot on Jan. 31 at Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. Pomerleau, a junior, led Class A and B in goals-against average and save percentage this season. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Lewiston High School goaltender Gabe Pomerleau played his best hockey in the stretch run this season.

The junior recorded five of his seven shutouts in the Blue Devils’ final seven games, including the postseason, which ended with Lewiston winning its first state championship since 2020.

He finished the 2023-24 season with a 15-3 record, as had the best goals against average (1.41 per game) and save percentage (.940) among starting goaltenders in Class A and B.

Pomerleau was announced last week as a Class A All-State goalie. He also has been chosen as the 2023-24 Sun Journal All-Region Boys Hockey Player of the Year.

“It was definitely a memorable season with the boys. It was a great season, I had a good one,” Pomerleau said. “The family I have now, I know them all: Ethan (Blue); Dylan (Blue) was a Travis Roy finalist,  he had a great year; Cody (Dionne) was a great captain and leader. It just wasn’t about me — I did my job and gave my team the best and we ended up with a state (championship).”

Pomerleau said he prepared during the offseason to help Lewiston win the 25th boys hockey state championship in school history.

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“Summer is where I get better in the gym,” Pomerleau said. “It’s as much on-ice as it’s off-ice. I am around coaches like coach (Cam) Robichaud and Chris Pomerleau. They help me out. Coach (Jamie) King is the coach of the year. He’s great, he (told) me, ‘You are our guy junior year.’ I knew I had to get better for the season. I think I did it and delivered for him.”

Cam Robichaud, an Auburn native, is the head coach of the New Hampshire Mountain Kings of the North American Hockey League who also runs a hockey-specific training facility, Puc Development, in Lewiston. Chris Pomerleau is Gabe’s dad and the coach of the Maine Gladiators 16U team, for which Gabe plays goalie.

Gabe Pomerleau was ready to be Lewiston’s No. 1 goalie after sharing the spot last year. Then, from nearly the start of this season, he had to battle through lingering injuries.

“When I hurt my groin and my shoulder, I have to play through it,” Gabe Pomerleau said. “I got better through (physical therapy) and played through it for my team.”

The injuries began during the second game, when Pomerleau hurt his groin in Lewiston’s 2-0 victory over Edward Little.

Pomerleau hurt his shoulder against Fryeburg/Lake Region/Oxford Hills on Feb. 17 and didn’t finish the game. He reaggravated the shoulder injury three days later against Falmouth in the regular season finale.

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“He took a hit in Falmouth,” Lewiston coach Jamie King said. “I was like, ‘Oh, no, this is going to be a tough run.’ Will (Routhier), the backup, was ready to go out there for us, but Gabe stayed out there.”

Lewiston’s Gabe Pomerleau looks over at his coach, Jamie King, after being recognized as a first-team All-State goaltender during Saturday’s Class A boys hockey banquet at St. John’s Community Center in Brunswick. King was recognized as coach of the year. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Pomerleau and the Blue Devils shut out Falmouth 4-0 and locked down the No. 1 seed in the Class A playoffs.

“A guy came across the crease and clipped me,” Pomerleau said. “But it says a big thing about our Lewiston tradition, and playing through it and we have no excuses.”

King said Pomerleau has a lot of confidence in himself. When pucks did get by Pomerleau, he was able to reset — particularly after Lewiston’s 7-4 state quarterfinal win over Windham/Westbrook/Bonny Eagle.

“Gabe is a competitor,” King said. “In one of the games at the beginning of the year, he said, ‘Coach, I am not going to give up any goals.’ I said, ‘That’s not a great goal for the season because we are going to give up goals.’ After the Windham/Westbrook game, I think he gave up three or four goals.

“I brought him in the next day and said, ‘You really need to stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize — which is to win the state championship.'”

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Pomerleau didn’t allow a goal in the 4-0 win over Thornton Academy in the state semifinals or the 5-0 victory over Bangor in the Class A championship game.

“I have been told, ‘It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish,'” Gabe Pomerleau said. “I ended the year great. And I have to give a big thanks to my defense, too.”

Pomerleau’s hockey season isn’t over.

After the victory over Bangor on March 9, he practiced with the Mountain Kings for two days last week. He will backstop the Gladiators at the upcoming USA Hockey’s Tier II 16U national tournament in Dallas, Texas, from April 2-7.

“I showed what I can do in high school hockey, and I want to show what I can do at the next level,” Pomerleau said.

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