BIDDEFORD – Thirty-one seconds. That’s how long it took for the Thornton Academy boys’ hockey team to reassert itself as a dominant force in Maine on Wednesday night at the Biddeford Ice Arena.

The Trojans blew open a tenuous one-goal lead with a pair of goals in the second period and went on to beat Lewiston, 4-1.

After the offense did its job, the special teams took over. The Trojans (2-0) gave Lewiston (1-1) four power plays in the third period alone but allowed no goals.

“It’s huge. We pride ourselves on our special teams, especially the kill. We’re working on that all the time,” Thornton Coach Jamie Gagnon said.

They got plenty of work. The Trojans committed seven penalties.

The game was a rematch of last season’s Class A final that Thornton won in double overtime, 4-3. Plenty has changed since that game. In addition to both teams losing myriad players, Thornton added a key one in senior Rob Downing.

Downing, who left Arizona to play his senior season with the Trojans, scored twice.

“Coach told us all before the game, ‘Boys, we need to put them away early,’ ” Downing said. “If you’re up early, it helps get everything flowing.”

Not much was flowing for the first half of the game. Thornton’s quick-strike offense earned a 2-1 lead in the first period. Lewiston was sticking around before Thornton heated up for about half a minute.

Drew Lavigne started the resurgence with a shot from the blue line. Downing got a stick on the puck for a 3-1 Thornton lead with 3:11 remaining. While they were still announcing Downing’s goal, C.J. Maksut stood with the puck about 20 feet from the Lewiston net. He thought about what to do, faked a shot, then eventually flipped a shot into the top right of the goal for a 4-1 Thornton lead.

Lewiston certainly had opportunities. In the first period, Thornton totaled three penalties but the Blue Devils couldn’t capitalize. During the first power play, called 1:33 into the first period, Lewiston didn’t manage a shot on goal.

With Thornton leading 1-0 thanks to Downing’s first goal, the Blue Devils began to find their legs late in the period. Lewiston scored when Shawn O’Connell fired a shot at Thornton goaltender Joe Ferrante. Lewiston’s Matt Poulin got his stick on the shot to redirect it into the net and tie the game with 6:21 remaining.

It took Thornton all of 26 seconds to respond. That’s when Andrew Carignan fired a shot to the bottom right side of the Lewiston net for a 2-1 Thornton advantage.

For Lewiston, that was the theme of the night. It had chances but couldn’t capitalize and Thornton would pounce. The Devils went 0 of 7 on the power play and Coach Jamie Belleau wasn’t exactly surprised, though he wasn’t happy.

“We held onto the puck for too long and didn’t make decisions quick enough,” Belleau said. “A lot of the guys are young on our special teams unit. In the third period I thought we got a little better.”

Indeed. Lewiston outshot Thornton 11-4 in the third period and 22-19 over the whole game. But it was Thornton that took advantage of its shots.