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Boys hockey: Lewiston shuts out Bangor to win 25th state championship

Mar. 9—PORTLAND — Aizyk Laliberte can add his name to the extensive Lewiston boys hockey lore.

The sophomore's hat trick helped lift the Blue Devils to a 5-0 victory over Bangor in Saturday's Class A state championship game at Cross Insurance Arena.

"I wasn't expecting that through the first period; I didn't like how I played," Laliberte said. "I got mad and took my anger out on the ice."

It's Lewiston's 25th state championship.

"Like I'm telling them tonight, there's a lot of tradition at Lewiston hockey," Lewiston coach Jame King said. "There's a lot of bloodlines in that locker room that knows someone who won a state championship."

Cody Dionne joins his older brother and dad in winning a state championship for the Blue Devils.

"I have been living in Lewiston my whole life, my brother grew up here, my grandfather, my father," Dionne said. "To carry that legacy of winning it means so much to the tradition and culture. Again, you can't put it into words."

Gabe Pomerleau had a 21-save shutout for the top-seeded Blue Devils, who finish the season with a 17-4 record.

"We knew we could play with these guys," Pomerleau said. "When we play our game, no one can beat us. The only ones that can beat us is us."

Bangor coach Quinn Paradis said the Rams had an off night.

"It was a tough loss, we didn't play our best today," Paradis said. "They had a great game and they played really well, and you get outworked all the way around. Our (penalty kill) wasn't good."

Lewiston scored three goals on the power play.

It was an even-strength goal that got Lewiston's scoring started, as Hayden Brown's shot from the slot gave the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead in the first period. Linemates Andrew Theriault and Austin Landry had the assists.

"Hayden gets shot out of a cannon sometimes," King said. "We are fortunate to have him this season. He was a catalyst of our team too. He has been working hard on that third line for us. They got that first goal, which was nice."

Lewiston peppered Bangor goalie Cody McCue with high shots throughout the game. Late in the first period, one hit McCue right in the mask. But just the one shot from Brown got by him.

The third-seeded Rams (14-6-1) had an early breakaway in the second period, but Pomerleau made a big stop of his own.

"I was going back to what I practiced for," Pomerleau said. "Come out, come out square, and charge the puck."

Dylan Blue had two chances just over four minutes into the middle frame, but McCue (23 saves) stopped them both.

After trying to create rebounds all game, Lewiston finally did when Cam Plourde's shot from the slot bounced off McCue and Laliberte put home the second-chance opportunity on the power play a little over 11 minutes into the second.

"He was a little down on himself and we told him he needed to step up," King said of Laliberte. "We got into him and I think that sparked him."

Pomerleau had to make another stop on a breakaway late in the period to keep the game 2-0.

Lewiston went into the third period with a power play, but Bangor successfully killed that penalty.

Later in the third, the Rams jammed the puck at the Lewiston goal line and the players pointed to the goal after the whistle, but the officials ruled no goal following a review of the replay.

"It was a shot from the point, rebound and they all came crashing," Pomerleau said. "I had to reach back and grabbed it. They put it to review, but I knew it wasn't in the net."

Paradis had no issue with the call.

"It was in, but it wasn't all the way over the line," Paradis said. "It has to be all the way over the line to be a good goal, and it wasn't. It's tough. That's why you play hockey games, and they were the better team today."

After a penalty on Bangor's Jackson Guimond, Laliberte scored another power-play goal midway through the third period for a 3-0 lead.

After coming out of the penalty box, Dionne stole the puck and a little backhander over McCue stretched the lead to 4-0.

"Our goalie played great, but when you give up (three) power-play goals, it can't happen," Paradis said.

Laliberte capped the hat trick late by firing the puck on net and catching McCue off-guard on the power play for a 5-0 lead.

"I was near the blue line at the boards. I took a shot at it and hit the post and went in," Laliberte said.

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