LEWISTON — The Cony/Monmouth hockey team knew it would need a near-perfect performance Monday night to upend Lewiston in an Eastern A quarterfinal at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
The Rams didn’t get it.
Matt Poulin and Brendon Croteau each scored a hat trick to lead No. 2 Lewiston past No. 7 Cony/Monmouth 9-0. Kyle Lemelin had a goal and three assists for the Blue Devils (15-4-0), who out-shot the Rams 31-4.
“We just got out-skated tonight,” Cony/Monmouth coach Chad Foye said. “That’s the bottom line. They skate so well. It’s tough to get by them or through them. They are a really good team.”
It marked the second straight season the teams met in the playoffs — the Blue Devils skated to a 9-0 victory in the regional semifinals last season.
Lewiston advanced to the Eastern A semifinals Saturday, when it will play the winner of Tuesday night’s quarterfinal game between No. 3 St. Dominic (10-7-1) and No. 6 Edward Little (10-7-1).
No. 7 Cony/Monmouth finished 9-9-1.
“We’re pretty happy with the season,” Foye said. “We let a few games slip away.”
The Blue Devils feature plenty of skilled players all over the ice, beginning with their top line of Poulin, Evan Gosselin and Lemelin.
The trio got it going early and often to help Lewiston pull away.
“There’s no question Poulin, Gosselin and Lemelin have been the dominant line in the state last season, and they lead us this year,” Lewiston coach Jamie Belleau said. “They get us going.”
Poulin opened the scoring with 8:53 left in the period when he finished off a two-on-two short-handed rush with Lemelin.
Lemelin camde down the right side and slipped the puck out front to Poulin, who beat a defender and then Cony/Monmouth goalie Tommy Small with a nice backhand.
Poulin made it 2-0 when he buried a shot from the high slot with 1:35 remaining and the Blue Devils on the power play.
Things went from bad to worse for Cony/Monmouth in the second, when Lewiston doubled its lead with a pair of goals just 36 seconds apart.
Lemelin made it 3-0 with 11:26 remaining in the period before Croteau scored the first of his two goals under a minute later.
Cony, meanwhile, struggled to generate scoring chances, particularly after the second period.
Lewiston led 5-0 after two periods but exploded for four goals in a six-minute span early in the third.
“The first period we were sufficient,” Belleau said. “As the game went on we started moving the puck better.”