Taking on the two-time defending Class A champion in the state final might seem like a daunting task for a program that hasn’t won the title in eight years.

But Biddeford’s boys’ hockey team doesn’t get rattled by much, as it proved throughout its playoff run in the South regional.

The Tigers (15-6) have clawed their way back into all three of their postseason games – including overtime victories in the regional semifinals and final.

They’ll face their toughest challenge yet against Lewiston (18-2), a team that swept Biddeford during the regular season. The championship game is 6 p.m. Saturday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

The Blue Devils have won 22 state championships. Biddeford has won four state championships, the most recent in 2010.

“We’ve talked all year about being able to come out with hard hats, get after it and have a lot of grit in our game,” said Biddeford Coach Jason Tremblay. “We’re going to try to give ourselves a shot in the third (period), and we’ll take that shot.”

Five of Biddeford’s games have been decided in overtime, with the Tigers coming out on top in four of those games. The exception was on Dec. 30, when Lewiston edged Biddeford, 5-4.

“You can’t ignore the fact that you’ve played them twice and had some success, but the reality of it is that it’s a playoff game,” said Lewiston Coach Jamie Belleau. “The record and prior success goes out the window.”

Since losing 5-2 to Lewiston in its regular-season finale, Biddeford has recorded a comeback victory in its first playoff game and then two overtime wins.

Down 3-2 late in the second period of its regional quarterfinal against South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete, the Tigers scored four unanswered goals for a 6-3 victory.

After Falmouth rallied from a two-goal deficit late in the third period to force overtime in the semifinals, Trevor Ouellette scored the winner for Biddeford.

And when top-seeded Cheverus – a team that had beaten Biddeford twice in the regular season – took the lead with 1:12 left in Tuesday’s regional final, the Tigers tied it 40 seconds later before winning the South title in double overtime, 6-5.

“They’re a loose bunch,” Tremblay said with a chuckle. “They’re not showing a lot of nerves, which is good.”

Biddeford’s ability to perform under pressure is even more impressive given that two of its top three scorers are freshmen. Nick McSorley leads the team with 39 points (21 goals, 18 assists). Senior Logan Magnant is next with 37 points (13 goals, 24 assists), and Ouellette has 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists).

Liam Turner, Trenton Ouellette, Chase Locke, Evan Paquette and Colin Lavigne – a Travis Roy award semifinalist – anchor the Tigers’ defense in front of goalie Owen Sullivan, who has a .922 save percentage.

Lewiston is also battle-tested. After letting a 1-0 lead slip away late in the North final against rival St. Dominic, the Blue Devils won 2-1 with a goal 1:28 into overtime.

The Blue Devils’ offense is led by Alex Robert (44 points), Sam Frechette (26 points) and Jack LeBlond (22 points). Ryan Bossie – a Travis Roy award semifinalist – heads the defense in front of goalie Conrad Albert. Albert has allowed just three goals in two playoff games after splitting time with Jacob Smith during the regular season.

“We’re going to have to execute our game plan, keep our composure and keep moving our feet,” Belleau said. “If we do those things, it usually results in success, but they’re a tough opponent to play right now. That’s the way it should be.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

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