LEWISTON — The best season in the history of the South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete co-op boys’ hockey team has come to an end.

At the hands of the best squad in the state.

Top-seeded Lewiston wiped out a one-goal deficit and scored the next five goals to beat the fourth-seeded Red Riots 5-1 Tuesday evening at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in a Class A semifinal.

Lewiston (20-0) got goals from four players to advance to face No. 3 Scarborough in the Class A state final at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Colisee.

The Blue Devils won both regular-season meetings, 5-1 and 3-1.

“Playoff hockey is hard,” said Lewiston Coach Jamie Belleau. “This game always makes me nervous.

“We wound up winning 5-1, but they scored first and didn’t let us get quality opportunities, then we were able to capitalize.”

The Red Riots were up for the challenge in the first period. After goalie Liam McGibbon made four key saves, including a dazzling stop on Kurtis Pelletier, South Portland took the lead at 12:20 as Owen Anderson beat Blue Devils goalie Keegan McLaughlin with Dylan Hannan and Deven Hannan getting assists.

Lewiston then went on the power play, but couldn’t score.

However, with time winding down, the Red Riots couldn’t clear the puck and with 0.9 showing on the scoreboard, Brock Bergeron’s shot was slowed by McGibbon but not stopped, and it trickled into the net to tie the score at 1.

“I talked to the kids about facing adversity at some point in the game and there was adversity in the first period,” Belleau said. “(Scoring) at the end of the period showed a lot of no quit from our kids and they’ve done that all year.”

The Blue Devils then dominated the second period, outshooting the Red Riots 21-4 and going on top to stay.

Lewiston got the tie-breaking goal at 3:27 as Ryan Pomerleau set up Pelletier in transition and Pelletier beat McGibbon.

The Blue Devils had a chance to break it open when it went on the power play for five minutes, the final minute-plus being five-on-three, but couldn’t score.

South Portland then got a power play, but Lewiston scored a short-handed goal by Logan Tripp at 9:54.

In the third period, the Blue Devils put it away with goals from Bergeron at 4:43 and freshman Daxton St. Hilaire at 13:51.

McLaughlin made 13 saves for Lewiston.

The Red Riots got 33 saves from McGibbon and finished 12-7-1.

“This was a great ride to get to the final four of Class A for the first time,” South Portland Coach Joe Robinson said. “I feel bad for the seniors, but they should be proud. We want to stay at this level.”

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