For most of the season the Lewiston boys’ hockey team made winning look easy, while the rest of Class A beat up on each other.

The Blue Devils outscored their opponents 92-16 during the regular season, winning each game by at least two goals. Even in the postseason, when games are supposed to be more difficult, Lewiston skated away with 6-0 and 5-1 victories in the quarterfinals and semifinals.

Then came the state championship game against Scarborough. Lewiston had defeated Scarborough 5-1 and 3-1 during the regular season, but needed double overtime to beat the Red Storm, 2-1, on Saturday night.

It was a battle the likes of which the Blue Devils hadn’t seen all season, but they still found a way to prevail and complete the first undefeated season in Class A since Biddeford in 2008.

Junior goalie Keegan McLaughlin, a first-year starter who stopped 25 of a higher-than-normal 26 shots in the state final, agreed that it was the hardest game of the season for him and the team.

“(Scarborough) had a lot of really good opportunities, they played real good,” McLaughlin said.


Lewiston Coach Jamie Belleau said going into the game that it was going to be his team’s toughest test, during a season full of them — despite acing every one of those tests — but it was still hard to put a 21-0 record into words.

“You know the schedule we play. There was probably one game on our schedule that (looked easy). Every other game after that — it was Scarborough twice, Bangor twice, St. Dom’s twice, EL twice — and it’s hard to win day in and day out, particularly with high-school age kids, and anybody,” Belleau said. “And the fact that in the playoffs you know everybody’s gunning for you, and the kids showed up and were able to get it done. It’s really a tribute to those kids and their work ethic.”

To make Saturday’s state final a battle, the Red Storm had to do its part in the match-up. According to Scarborough Coach Jake Brown — a Lewiston alum who was a senior during Belleau’s first season — his third-seeded team did make it tough on the Blue Devils.

Scarborough was a different team than the one that was in the midst of a three-game losing streak when it lost to Lewiston on Feb. 1. The Red Storm reeled off six straight wins entering the playoffs, then ousted Portland/Deering (easily) and Edward Little (in triple-overtime) to advance to the championship game.

“I think that stint where we lost a few games in a row, and then we rebounded, I thought we really played good hockey after that,” Brown said.

The Red Storm even played the better hockey at times during Saturday’s final, namely early in the second period, which led to a tying goal later in the frame.


Belleau brought up multiple times during the season that his team had to face adversity, even if it didn’t appear that way to outsiders. An unblemished campaign was proof that the Blue Devils handled those adverse conditions well each time.

“Life is not easy, this hockey rink is not easy. There’s five guys on the ice all the time that are trying to make things difficult,” Belleau said he repeatedly told his team. “And if you can weather that storm more often than not, and work hard, you’re going to give yourself a chance to win. If you got talent on top of that, that helps. You execute on top of that, that helps even further.

“But it starts with the intangibles. Your work ethic and all the things you can control. How do you respond to adversity? How do you respond when things are getting tough? So they’ve probably heard that day in and day out, and they’re sick of it, but that’s how we do it. And we talk about it every day.”

Belleau said his players probably thought he was a broken record.

The record this season, capped off by a 24th title for the program, proved unbreakable.

Wil Kramlich — 207-233-3657

Twitter: @WilTalkSports

Comments are not available on this story.