February 24

Eastern Class A hockey: Lewiston levels Cony/Monmouth

The Blue Devils dominate from start to finish in a 9-0 quarterfinal victory.

By Bill Stewart bstewart@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

LEWISTON — The Cony/Monmouth boys’ hockey team knew it would need a near-perfect performance Monday night to upend Lewiston in an Eastern Class A quarterfinal at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

The Rams didn’t get it.

Matt Poulin and Brendon Croteau each scored a hat trick to lead No. 2 Lewiston past No. 7 Cony/Monmouth 9-0. Kyle Lemelin had a goal and three assists for the Blue Devils (15-4), who outshot the Rams 31-4.

“We just got outskated tonight,” Cony/Monmouth Coach Chad Foye said. “That’s the bottom line. They skate so well. It’s tough to get by them or through them. They are a really good team.”

It marked the second straight season the teams met in the playoffs. The Blue Devils skated to a 9-0 victory in the regional semifinals last season.

Lewiston advanced to Saturday’s semifinals against the winner of Tuesday night’s quarterfinal between No. 3 St. Dominic (10-7-1) and No. 6 Edward Little (10-7-1).

Cony/Monmouth finished 9-9-1.

“We’re pretty happy with the season,” Foye said. “We let a few games slip away.”

The Blue Devils feature plenty of skilled players, beginning with their top line of Poulin, Evan Gosselin and Lemelin.

The trio got it going early and often to help Lewiston pull away.

“There’s no question Poulin, Gosselin and Lemelin have been the dominant line in the state last season, and they lead us this year,” Lewiston Coach Jamie Belleau said. “They get us going.”

Poulin opened the scoring with 8:53 left in the first period when he finished off a two-on-two short-handed rush with Lemelin. Lemelin came down the right side and slipped the puck out front to Poulin, who beat a defender and then Cony/Monmouth goalie Tommy Small with a nice backhander.

Poulin made it 2-0 when he buried a shot from the high slot with 1:35 remaining and the Blue Devils on the power play.

Things went from bad to worse for Cony/Monmouth in the second period, when Lewiston doubled its lead with a pair of goals just 36 seconds apart. Lemelin made it 3-0 before Croteau scored the first of his two goals.

Cony, meanwhile, struggled to generate scoring chances, particularly after the second period.

Lewiston led 5-0 after two periods and erupted for four goals in a six-minute span early in the third.

“The first period we were sufficient,” Belleau said. “As the game went on we started moving the puck better.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

bstewart@centralmaine.com

Twitter: billstewartkj

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