LEWISTON — Thornton Academy skated into The Colisee with hopes of ending the North’s early dominance in boys’ high school hockey.

But 78 seconds into the game, the Trojans were on the penalty kill, with a 5-minute major for boarding.

Soon after that was over, Thornton was back in the box for roughing.

Lewiston capitalized, taking a 4-0 lead, and held on for a 4-3 victory Wednesday night.

The Blue Devils, three-time defending state champions, improved to 3-0, while the Trojans dropped to 1-2.

Junior defenseman Sam Laroche recorded a goal and assist to pace Lewiston. The Blue Devils outshot Thornton 40-21, as Trojans goalie Seth Dube made 36 saves.

Thomas Levasseur scored twice for Thornton, in the first and third periods.

Alex St. John scored the Trojans’ third goal, at 6:22 of the third period, closing the score to 4-3. But that was all.

“We have to go through adversity to be a championship team, and we did,” Thornton Coach Michael Roux said. “We came back in the second period and played hard, and then made it interesting in the third.”

Lewiston’s victory continued the lopsided results of North region contenders against the South. Even with Scarborough’s 3-0 win over Edward Little, the North group of Lewiston, Edward Little, St. Dominic and Bangor is 6-1 against South teams.

The consolation for Roux is that “everyone (in the South) has lost.”

The Trojans, whose other loss came to St. Dom’s, may still be the favorite in the South. They just have to get going – which is hard when you start a game trying to kill a major penalty.

“That was rough,” Roux said.

Lewiston pounced, outshooting Thornton 20-2 in the first period.

Only 20 seconds into the major, Laroche roofed a shot for a 1-0 lead, at 1:38. Four minutes later, Kurtis Pelletier skated across the slot and wristed a shot off a skate and in.

Four seconds after the penalty ended, with Thornton still getting its fifth skater into the mix, Ryan Pomerleau beat a screened Dube.

The roughing call came three minutes later. Ben St. Laurent won a faceoff back to Drew St. Hilaire and he tallied at 10:01.

Thornton needed a boost, and Levasseur provided it, bulling toward the goal and firing one in at 13:03.

Both teams had chances in the second. A couple Lewiston miscues in the third opened the door.

“We’re young. We’ll make mistakes,” Lewiston Coach Jamie Belleau said.

Lewiston lost nine key players from last year’s title team, some to graduation, with others moving on to prep schools or juniors.

Time to reload for the Blue Devils.

“Look, we’ve had a great JV program the last few years,” Belleau said, “and this is a great opportunity for kids who have been chomping at the bit to play at the varsity level, and establish their own identity.

“I like the way we weathered the storm tonight.”

Lewiston goalie Jacob Smith made a sliding pad save against Levasseur with 1:51 left. The Blue Devils countered with pressure, and Thornton could not pull Dube until 20 seconds remained.

Both teams play again on Saturday night. Thornton is home to South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete, while Lewiston is at rival St. Dom’s.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH


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