BANGOR. Maine — Three-time defending Class A hockey state champion Lewiston High School may have been hit hard by graduation but the Blue Devils proved on Wednesday night at Sawyer Arena that they are again the favorites to annex yet another title.
Sophomore center Logan Tripp and senior left wing John Mathon each scored two goals to lead swift-skating Lewiston to a 5-2 victory over Bangor in fast-paced affair between two of the state’s three unbeaten teams.
Jamie Belleau’s Blue Devils, who didn’t return a player who scored more than three goals during the regular season last year, improved to 10-0 while Bangor fell to 7-1.
“Any time you come up to Bangor where they’ve had good teams the past few years, it’s always a tough place to play,” said Belleau. “To have a relatively inexperienced group and go down 1-0 early and then to respond well and take the lead and pad the lead a little in the second, there’s a lot of positive things (to take from the game).”
Bangor freshman goalie Jake Hirsch, making just his second career start in place of All-Class A North second-team selection Jacob Henry — who had his appendix removed — finished with 28 saves while Lewiston senior Jacob Smith made 27 stops.
“We haven’t seen any competition like that this season,” said Sherwood. “We played pretty decently. We obviously could have played a better game but they’re a great team.”
Junior right wing Ryan Pomerleau scored what proved to be the game-winner 15 seconds into the second period.
Senior left wing Josh Sherwood scored both Bangor goals, including the opener just 3:12 into the game.
“It was a good team effort,” said Tripp, whose first-period power-play goal tied the game and whose early third-period goal gave Lewiston some valuable breathing room at 4-2.
Sherwood opened the scoring when the puck pinballed over to him in the left circle and ripped a 20-footer past Smith.
But the Blue Devils scored goals 57 seconds apart late in the first period to take a lead they would never relinquish.
Tripp tied it on the power play off a pass from Kurtis Pelletier (two assists) with a quick wrister from the right circle.
“It was a great pass. I was able to gain a little time and space and put it over (Hirsch’s) shoulder, short side,” said Tripp.
Mathon was set up by Michael Belleau and Joseph Gendron as they forechecked effectively and the puck slid to Mathon in the right circle. His one-timer trickled through Hirch’s pads.
“I just got it on net. I didn’t even know it went in,” said Mathon.
Pomerleau expanded the lead to 3-1 when he drove the net and swept a Pelletier rebound behind Hirsch.
“We knew they had a freshman goalie and we thought he might be a little shaky so we got pucks to the net and traffic in front of him,” said Pomerleau.
Sherwood pulled one back for the Rams at the 12:47 mark by capitalizing on a Ben Brook faceoff win.
Sherwood maneuvered toward the center of the ice from the left wing and flipped a wrist shot that found its way through a maze of players and into the net.
“It was definitely a fast-paced game,” said Bangor junior right wing David Brown. “We didn’t have our best game. But Lewiston has a lot of depth. They play four lines and they played very well.”
But Tripp converted his own rebound early in the third period when the puck bounced over to him in the low slot and he got off a point-blank backhander that was saved by Hirsch. The rebound came right back to him and he tucked it home.
Mathon closed out the scoring by jamming home his own rebound midway through the period.
“We got a little off our game plan,” said Bangor coach Quinn Paradis. “We didn’t play like I thought we were going to play. But we lost to a great team.
“(Hirsch) played very well. He gave us a chance to win. We had some breakdowns and they made us pay for them,” Paradis added.
Bangor hosts Cheverus of Portland at 6:30 p.m. Friday.