April 27, 2018
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Lewiston hockey team rolls by Bangor

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

BANGOR — The Lewiston High School Blue Devils haven’t won an Eastern Maine Class A hockey championship since 2008.

They served notice that they are a legitimate state championship contender on Tuesday night, outshooting Bangor 35-10 over the final two periods and using four third-period goals to subdue the Rams 6-1 at Sawyer Arena.

The senior line of Sam Cloutier between left wing Colt Steele and right wing Ben Wigant combined for four goals and five assists as Lewiston improved to 3-0-1.

Bangor fell to 3-1.

“We didn’t come ready to play and coach (Jamie Belleau) gave us a pretty good talk in the locker room after the first period,” said Cloutier, who had a pair of goals and an assist. “We picked it up in the second period and finally got our legs in the third.”

The quicker and deeper Blue Devils took a 2-1 lead into the third period, but outshot Bangor 24-5 over the final 15 minutes with three of the Bangor shots coming off dump-ins.

“We didn’t mentally prepare ourselves to play in the third period,” said Bangor senior left winger Phil Frost. “They’re a great team, but we shouldn’t have given them that much space.”

“Our two lines couldn’t compete with their three lines in the third period. We just ran out of juice,” said Bangor coach Denis Collins.

Goals by Cloutier, his fourth of the season, and Jon McDonough (2nd) sandwiched a goal by Bangor’s Zach Papsadora (3rd) in a first period dominated by the Rams, who took nine of the game’s first 10 shots and had a 13-8 edge after the period.

Lewiston carried the play in the second period, but Ram junior goalie Chris Howat made 11 saves to keep it a one-goal deficit.

Steele, a Lewiston native who played for the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs (Eastern Junior Hockey League) last season, made it 3-1 off a Wigant pass 3:07 into the third period.

“The puck bounced out to me and I know Colt is always there in the middle. He’s always right where he’s supposed to be and I put it right over to him,” said Wigant, who had three assists.

“There was no one on me and I knew the goalie was sliding over so I went far side,” said Steele, whose wrister from the middle of the slot beat Howat to the glove side for his fifth goal of the season.

Steele also had an assist to go with his two goals.

The linemates teamed up for a beautifully-executed power play goal finished off by Cloutier 3:44 later.

“I just came out of the corner and passed it to Colt on the point. He slid it to (Wigant) and (Wigant) saw me coming across the middle. It couldn’t get any better than that,” said Cloutier who simply had to redirect Wigant’s pass past the helpless Howat.

Steele extended the lead 1:39 later when he again found open real estate in the middle of the slot and fired a Cloutier pass over Howat’s glove.

“Our line has great chemistry,” said Steele.

Kyle Lemelin capped the scoring with his first goal of the season.

Cloutier opened the scoring with a 40-foot wrister past Howat’s glove, Papsadora tied it with a centering pass that glanced in off goalie Cam Poussard’s skate and McDonough broke the tie by sweeping home a Brandon Tiner rebound during a wild scramble.

Poussard finished with 22 saves while Howat made 37 stops.

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