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Boys hockey: Class A state championship matchup a toss-up between Lewiston and Bangor

Mar. 8—The Class A boys hockey state championship game between Lewiston and Bangor will be a chess match.

Top-seeded Lewiston (16-4-0) and third-seeded Bangor (14-5-1) bring similarly stout résumés into Saturday's state final at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, which is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

"I think both teams are pretty equal," Bangor coach Quinn Paradis said. "I think it will be whoever has a better game Saturday, and plays the cleaner game and stays out of the box."

Lewiston is looking for its 25th Class A state championship, while Bangor — which also draws from Narraguagus this season — is looking for the program's first. Lewiston is 10-0 in the playoffs all-time against Bangor.

The strength of both teams is their respective scoring depth.

The Blue Devils have eight players with 10 or more points this season, while the Rams have six players with double digits in points.

Dylan Blue (15 goals and 10 assists), a Travis Roy finalist, and his twin brother Ethan Blue (12 goals and 13 assists) lead Lewiston with 25 points. Freshman Cam Plourde (10 goals and 11 assists) is third with 21 points.

"They have a couple of good lines, just like we do," Lewiston coach Jamie King said. "They are big and strong. I think we beat them 4-3 at home and they beat us 3-0 up there."

Bangor has two players with 20 or more points: Miles Randall with 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists), and Marc-Andre Perron has 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists).

The Rams have been finding their form for the past couple of weeks.

"The past two-and-half weeks have been very good to us," Paradis said. "On Friday, our first (playoff) game against Marshwood, we had five different goal-scorers in a 5-0 win. (Wednesday) night, Marc-Andre had a hat trick and Jackson Guimond had two, and a lot of assists from a lot of guys."

King added that each team has three lines that can contribute.

Goaltending will also be another position battle to watch out for. It will be a duel between the top two goalies in Class A, in regard to goals-against average.

Lewiston's Gabe Pomerleau has a 1.49 goals-against average and Bangor's Cody McCue has allowed an average of 1.52 goals per game.

After Wednesday's 4-0 semifinal win against Thornton Academy, King said Pomerleau is one of the best goalies in Class A, along with Drew Johnson of Thornton Academy and Brandon White of Falmouth.

Pomerleau has a 14-3 record and a .937 save percentage. McCue has a 10-2 record and a .915 save percentage.

McCue has taken the reins of the crease, playing in six of the past eight games for the Rams.

"We had been going back and forth between Cole Fernald and Cody McCue throughout the regular season," Paradis said. "During the last week of the regular season, Cody emerged for us. It has been a really good battle between two goalies. Cody had a good game against Marshwood and we decided to go back to him against Portland."

King said the Blue Devils will need to get pucks on McCue's net.

"He has been playing well for them," King said. "I think he has three or four shutouts. It's about the game plan we are sticking to: Get the pucks to the net and stuff like that."

With both teams mirroring each other, the coaches are looking forward to their players getting on the ice at a neutral site.

"Playing in Lewiston is always tough," Paradis said. "I really like our chances outside of Lewiston. It's a neutral site for both teams. Their drive isn't as long as ours, but we are a road team and a lot of success has been coming on the road."

The Rams have eight road or neutral site wins this season.

There will be no secrets between the two teams.

"We know what they got, and I am sure they know what we have," King said. "We will see how it turns out on Saturday."

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