LEWISTON — Kyle Lemelin got mad while the Scarborough boys’ hockey team got even.
The Lewiston star senior was sitting in the penalty box, stewing over a rare careless play, when the Red Storm knotted the game late in the third period Monday.
There was only one thing to do.
With 37 seconds left, Lemelin stared down two defensemen and Scarborough goaltender Ben Bragg. From the right circle, he fired a perfectly placed wrist shot that rose above Bragg’s glove and into the top of the net for a 4-3 Blue Devils victory.
“I couldn’t believe I did it,” Lemelin said of the boarding penalty he took just after he put his team ahead 3-2. “That really got me going.
“I needed to score. I had all the time in the world at the top of the dot and I ripped it. I hesitated a little too much. I should have shot it right away. But it worked out.”
The final period was a whirlwind of shifting momentum. At 8:23, Scarborough (7-2-1) tied the score 2-2 on a terrific power-play goal from Cam Brochu, who waited in the left circle for a defender to slide by before sniping the puck past Lewiston’s Nick Hawk.
Three minutes later, Lemelin appeared to have netted the game-winner when a rebound bounced out to him and he had half of a net to shoot at. He didn’t miss.
“I needed to bury it and I hit it as hard as I could,” said Lemelin, who had plenty of time to line up his shot.
“(Missing the net) was in the back of my mind, but I tried not to think about it.”
Shortly after that, he was sitting disconsolately in the penalty box with even more time to think.
As a result, he could only watch as Scarborough’s Erik Grantz fired a slap shot through two screening teammates and into the net for a 3-3 tie.
There was 1:17 remaining, and Lemelin got his quick redemption. “I think the team knew Lemelin was going to come back after that penalty and make up for it. We can depend on him,” Lewiston forward Matt Poulin said. “We’re lucky to have a leader like that who can step up when you need him and put the game away.”
Lewiston (9-2) controlled play for the bulk of the game, earning a 25-12 advantage in shots on goal.
Scarborough Coach Norm Gagne lamented his team’s abnormal hesitancy to send the puck toward the net.
“We didn’t shoot. It’s not like us,” he said. “The nerves played a part, too, where when we did have opportunities, we couldn’t handle the pass and it would slide off our stick.”
Lewiston has made a habit of battling back from deficits and playing strong third periods. Coach Jamie Belleau said it’s not by design, but he was happy with the outcome.
“I’d rather have us control the game from the drop of the puck,” he said.
“But they’ve responded well in some big games. It shows that we have some character; it shows that when we face a little adversity, we keep working hard.”
Mark Emmert can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: