FALMOUTH—Falmouth junior goalie Sam Kidder stood on his head as long as he could, but ultimately there was no stopping Lewiston senior Kurtis Pelletier Monday evening at Family Ice Center.

Kidder made key save after key save in a scoreless first period, but just 2 minutes, 36 seconds into the second period, Pelletier finished to put the undefeated Blue Devils on top.

Even though they were outplayed for much of the first two periods, the Yachtsmen went to the second intermission even, as with 27 seconds to go, junior Owen Drummey finished to tie it, 1-1.

Pelletier’s second goal, on a rebound with 11:24 to play, put Lewiston ahead to stay and he completed his hat trick with 9:20 on the clock.

Falmouth tried to rally and got within one on a goal from freshman Aaron Higgins 35 seconds later, but with 2:41 remaining, senior Sam Laroche delivered the dagger and Pelletier scored one final time for good measure with 1:45 left and the Blue Devils went on to a 5-2 victory.

Lewiston won its 12th game this winter, beat the Yachtsmen for the second time in six days and in the process, dropped Falmouth to 5-5-1.

“We’re a young team and we make young team mistakes,” said Falmouth coach Deron Barton. “We have some success making adjustments from the last game, then we have some new mistakes. The important thing is we’re getting better and better and stronger and stronger every game.”

All eyes on Lewiston

Lewiston’s two-year reign as Class A state champion came to a close last year with a regional final loss to eventual champion St. Dom’s, but the Blue Devils appear poised to regain the crown this winter, passing all 11 tests heading into play Monday.

Lewiston opened by winning at defending Class B champion Greely (4-2), then downed host Biddeford (7-1), visiting Scarborough (5-1) and host St. Dom’s (3-0) to wrap up the 2019 portion of the schedule. The Blue Devils opened 2020 by defeating visiting Edward Little (5-0), doubling up visiting Thornton Academy (4-2) and beating visiting Biddeford (5-1) and Bangor (6-2). Most recently, Lewiston has won at South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete (2-0), at home over Falmouth (3-1) and at home over St. Dom’s (6-0).

Falmouth missed the playoffs a year ago, but is back in its traditional contending spot this season.

The Yachtsmen started the campaign with a 3-3 tie at Biddeford, then beat host St. Dom’s (6-2), lost at home to St. Dom’s (3-2), fell at Thornton Academy (5-3) and finished out the old year with a 4-3 victory at Bangor. After losing at Greely in overtime in the “Dudley Cup” (4-3), Falmouth won at Yarmouth (3-0), beat visiting Marshwood (5-1) and blanked host Windham (3-0). In their last outing, last Wednesday, the Yachtsmen fell at Lewiston, 3-1.

Monday, Falmouth hoped to return the favor and beat the Blue Devils for the first time since Feb. 3, 2018, but instead, Lewiston made it four in a row in the series.

The first period was one of frustration for the Blue Devils, as Kidder was up for the challenge.

Less than three minutes in, Kidder denied Pelletier, then turned aside a rebound shot from senior Ben St. Laurent.

Later in the period, Kidder saved shots by junior Mason Beaudoin, junior Michael Belleau, freshman Brock Bergeron and sophomore Damon Bossie.

Falmouth’s best chance was a shot after a turnover by sophomore Sean MacDonald, but it was saved by Lewiston junior goalie Keegan McLaughlin.

With 38 seconds to go, it appeared the Blue Devils broke through, as Beaudoin beat Kidder in traffic, but after a lengthy discussion, the officials determined that Kidder had been interfered with and the goal was waved off, sending the contest to the first intermission still scoreless.

Kidder started the second period by denying senior Drew St. Hilaire, but with 13:59 left, Falmouth took a penalty and the Blue Devils would capitalize on the ensuing power play.

After junior Logan Tripp and St. Hilaire had shots saved by Kidder, Pelletier finished with 12:24 on the clock and this time, the goal stood. St. Laurent was credited with an assist.

After the teams traded penalties, but no goals resulted, Lewiston went back on the attack, only to have Kidder deny freshman Daxton St. Hilaire and Bergeron.

Then, with 27 seconds to go, Drummey ripped a rocket past McLaughlin to tie the score (sophomore Xaiver Grenier and freshman Sam Belliveau were credited with assists).

It was still anyone’s game when the third period commenced, but the Blue Devils would finally solve Kidder and score four times to secure the victory.

Falmouth had an opportunity to take the lead two minutes in, but Belliveau was robbed in front by McLaughlin.

Then, after Kidder denied Beaudoin and turned aside Daxton St. Hilaire’s rebound, Pelletier scored for the second time with 11:24 remaining to put Lewiston ahead for good (St. Laurent and senior Ryan Pomerleau got the assists).

The Yachtsmen had one look to tie, but with 10:15 to play, freshman Cam Charron’s shot was saved by McLaughlin.

The Blue Devils got some breathing room with 9:20 remaining, as after a turnover, St. Laurent set up Pelletier for his hat trick goal.

Falmouth didn’t roll over and got back within one 35 seconds later, when senior Thomas Downey fed Higgins for a goal to cut the deficit to 3-2.

The Yachtsmen never got a good look to tie, but before Barton could pull Kidder for an extra attacker, Lewiston made it 4-2 when Laroche (from Tripp and Belleau) scored with 2:41 to go.

After going on the power play, the Blue Devils ended any lingering doubt with 1:45 remaining, as Pelletier scored for the fourth time (with St. Laurent and Drew St. Hilaire getting assists).

Lewiston ran out the clock from there and left town with a 5-2 victory.

“We were right there and we were right there last time too,” Barton said. “Our conditioning is good. We can skate and our execution is getting better. If we can leverage our systems and push teams, we’ll work hard and we have a chance of winning. Sam always gives us a chance to win. We just have to get better putting the puck in the net when we have the opportunities.”

Gearing up for the postseason

Lewiston, which appears to have the top spot for the Class A playoffs wrapped up, goes to Edward Little Wednesday and visits Scarborough Saturday.

Falmouth (now fourth in Class A) is back in action Thursday at home versus Thornton Academy. The Yachtsmen play at Portland/Deering Saturday night.

“Lewiston’s a great team, but anybody’s beatable,” Barton said. “This year, with the format the way it is, we can’t focus too much on tonight, but just focus on the next (game) and work on getting better. The middle of February is when we really start counting the beans. Between now and then, we just have to get better and stay healthy.”

Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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