One team wears blue, the other red, but the two participating teams in Saturday’s Class A boys hockey state championship game might as well be mirror images of each other. 

“They’ve got depth.” 

“Their defense is good.” 

“They are well-coached.” 

“They have good structure.” 

Any of those quotes could be attributed to either Lewiston coach Jamie Belleau or Scarborough coach Jake Brown. Those pillars of success are part of the reason why both have guided their teams to the state final. 

“We played a lot of hard games, but I’ve tried to impress upon the kids that this will be the hardest game we play all year. And so they need to be prepared for that,” Belleau said. “They need to respect their opponent, they need to stick together as a team, they need to play with discipline, they need to respond to to adversity well, and keep doing the things they’ve been doing all year and work hard. They do those things and they’re going to give themselves the best chance to win.” 

The No. 1 Blue Devils (20-0) swept a pair of games against the No. 3 Red Storm (15-4-1) during the regular season, 5-1 at home in mid-December and 3-1 on the road on the first day of February. 

“We can’t make it easy for them,” Brown said. “We did not manage the puck well against them both times this season, and if you give them the puck, they make you pay.” 

The Blue Devils have made their two previous playoff opponents pay, scoring six and five goals, respectively, seven of the 11 goals coming in second halves of the games. 

Yet Lewiston faced adversity in both those games, Belleau said after each contest, and he stressed that his team doesn’t want to get beat — as opposed to losing to a better Scarborough team — on Saturday, and the team does expect “a battle.” 

The Red Storm are on an eight-game winning streak since losing three in a row, with the second Lewiston loss in the middle. The team has scored at least three goals in each of those wins, and never let up more than three. 

It was a third goal that was the difference in triple-overtime to beat Edward Little in the semifinal. 

“Even when we were down by a goal or when we were in overtime, I think sometimes you see teams panic and go away from their identity, but I thought we stuck to our style of play and did not panic. I like the way we handled the pressure and atmosphere as well,” Brown said. 

“We need to have a good start,” Brown added. “Past results go out the window when the state championship is on the line. I think we have a lot of momentum and confidence right now and we want to make sure we play with confidence Saturday.” 

Lewiston’s Logan Tripp, left, celebrates his second-period goal during Tuesday’s playoff game against South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Edward Little’s Logan Alexander, right, gets off a pass after being ridden off the puck by Scarborough’s Cameron Budway, left, and Owen Denbow during Tuesday’s semifinal hockey game at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

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