If there were any doubts regarding the best team in Maine Class A hockey, the question was answered Saturday night.
The Lewiston Blue Devils (20-1-0) captured their second straight Class A State championship with a 6-2 victory over the Falmouth Yachtsmen (16-4-1) at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
“It feels good,” Lewiston coach James Belleau said. “These kids feel the pressure, coaches feel the pressure, parents feel the pressure, the school feels the pressure. When push comes to shove, this is all about them and we are there to guide them. They got to get the job done and I am enjoying this one. I enjoyed last year, but I am going to enjoy this one.”
Cole Ouellette had two goals for the Blue Devils while Jeromey Rancourt had a goal and two assists.
“Cole is a defenseman with a lot of offensive skill,” Belleau said. “He’s really talented and you have to sometimes take your chances with him. He can really change the dynamic of a game in a single shift. He did that on (the first goal). Sometimes it can cost us a little bit, but the other guys have to buy in and understand. We talk about roles and responsibilities, Cole has a certain role and the other guys roles when they are on the ice.”
After a scoreless first period, Lewiston’s offense woke up in the second period. Ouellette got things started as he entered the offensive zone with the puck and speed. He went in alone on Spencer Pierce, stopping right in front of the crease. Pierce who was expecting an immediate shot, went down kicked his right leg instinctively. Ouellette waited for the opening to put the puck in. The unassisted power play marker came 1:34 into the period.
“I do that move everyday in practice,” Ouellette said. “So I just tried it and see how it goes.”
Three and half minutes later, Alex Robert found the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
The Blue Devils scored their second power play marker of the period when Jeromey Rancourt found Alex Rivet with a little over four minutes to play in the period.
Lewiston out shot Falmouth, 19-2, in the middle frame.
“I think we got away from our game plan,” Falmouth coach Deron Barton said. “We knew we had to be physical and we sent the message in the first period. The second period we need to focus on end zone pressure and shots on net. It just didn’t happen. There was a couple – in my opinion in a game like this – some of those calls might have been calls. They should have been no calls, but in that case there you got to kill those penalties.”
The dominance continued in the third. Ouellette started the scoring again. He went in on a 2-on-1with Cody Doyon. A quick give-and-go exchange saw Doyon deliver a return pass, giving Ouellette an open net to shoot at. The goal came 3:44 into the period.
Thirty-seven seconds later, Joe Bisson’s blast from the slot made it 5-0. Rancourt and Ryan Bossie picked up the assists.
A full two minutes later Rancourt capped the scoring for the Blue Devils 6:21 into the period. Jean-Luc Dostie had the assists.
Rancourt who was feeling under the weather wasn’t going to let that stop him.
“I have a great team behind me,” Rancourt said. “I stick with them and we all make sacrifices to pull a big win off like this.”
Parker Wyatt of Falmouth went off for a slash that was a 5-minute major and a game DQ. Up 6-0 Lewiston was content to run the clock out, but Falmouth continued to press as they got their two goals in that span. Robbie Armitage scored on a breakaway and Brendan Hickey found the back of the net.
Jacob Strout made 12 saves in the victory while Pierce made 34 in the loss.
“They played a great defensive game,” Barton said. “We didn’t pressure them the way we had in the past. The longer that went on, the tougher it got for us to get any shots on net.