LEWISTON — All Jason Tremblay asked of his Biddeford players Saturday was that they give themselves a chance in the third period of the Class A boys’ hockey state championship game against two-time defending champion Lewiston.

Despite getting outshot 32-15, the Tigers trailed by just a goal with five and a half minutes left. But in the end, it was the Blue Devils who demonstrated their own resiliency and held on for a 2-1 victory and their third straight state title.

A goal by Logan Magnant with 5:25 remaining gave Biddeford a chance to force overtime, but the Tigers (15-7) couldn’t complete the comeback as Lewiston (19-2) earned its 23rd state championship.

“We were sitting there at 2-0, (then) all the sudden it’s 2-1 and we’re pressing (for a tying goal),” Tremblay said. “(We) had a shot in the end, and that’s all you can ask for.”

Alex Robert gave Lewiston a 2-0 lead with 7:03 remaining, but Magnant answered, assisted by Nick McSorely, just 1:38 later.

“You always know in a state championship game that it’s going to come down to the wire no matter what,” Robert said. “So you just always have to keep it simple, get pucks deep and get them on net. As a team, we kept our head, kept it simple and did everything right.”

The Tigers pulled their goalie with 1:27 left for a 6-on-5 advantage, which worked out for them in the South final against Cheverus when they scored with less than a minute remaining to force overtime. But Biddeford’s reputation for late-game comebacks didn’t fluster the Blue Devils.

“It was a little nerve-racking, but I felt a little more confident this game than I did last game,” said Lewiston’s Jack LeBlond, referring to the Blue Devils’ 2-1 overtime win against St. Dominic in the North final.

Biddeford forward Colin Petit nearly tied the score with 1:11 remaining, but Conrad Albert stopped Petit’s dangerous shot.

“That’s where we get back to talking about our composure, responding well to adversity and not getting frustrated,” Lewiston Coach Jamie Belleau said. “We tried not to talk about a three-peat – this is a different team. It was their time to put their mark on Lewiston hockey history.”

Biddeford goalie Owen Sullivan was largely responsible for keeping the Tigers in the game, stopping 30 shots. Albert finished with 14 saves.

The Blue Devils outshot Biddeford 14-5 in the opening period. Sullivan blocked shot after shot – including a one-on-one bid by Evan Cox.

“Our goaltender was excellent, especially in the first period,” Tremblay said. “I told him afterward, ‘You’re the reason we had a shot at the end.’”

A holding penalty on Biddeford’s Evan Paquette with 59 seconds left in the first period gave Lewiston a power play that carried over into the second. The Blue Devils couldn’t convert, and the Tigers got the first four shots of the period before LeBlond scored at 1:51, assisted by Cox.

“Evan Cox came around the net and sort of just threw it (toward the net),” LeBlond said. “I got a stick on it, and somehow it went in.”

A few minutes later, Sullivan made three saves during a Lewiston flurry to prevent the Blue Devils from padding their lead.

Down 1-0 early in the third, the Tigers had perhaps their best chance at tying the score after a dump-in by Ian Couture hit Conrad and stopped at the right post – not quite crossing the goal line. Tyler LaFlamme rushed in to try to push it across the line, but officials reviewed the play and ruled no goal.

Biddeford was seeking its first state championship since 2010.

“It’s hard – you’ve got 10 seniors that were all in, and when you’re all in, it hurts,” Tremblay said. “These guys definitely didn’t have fear, and I couldn’t be more proud of the effort they put in tonight.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

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