On May 25, 1965, Muhammad Ali fought Sonny Liston in one of the most talked about heavyweight fights in history at the Androscoggin Colisee’ of Lewiston, Maine. Forty-five years later, another heavyweight battle was fought in the Colisee’ and it will undoubtedly be talked about just as much in Lewiston. St. Dominic and Lewiston were the top two high school hockey teams in Maine going into this game and the excitement built around this contest was as big as it gets.
The crowd piled into the arena knowing this game meant a lot to everyone involved. The student sections were packed, and a buzz was in the air. The players took the ice and broke in the freshly cut surface as they prepared for what promised to be a great battle. As the horn sounded to end the warm-up period, the players took their blue lines and removed their helmets as the families of the scholar athletes–Nicholas Mathon of Lewiston and Joshua Charest of St. Dom’s–joined their sons on the ice with the United States Air Force for the Scholarship Presentation. Immediately after they exited the ice, it was “go” time.
From the moment the puck dropped, action was non-stop. There were good opportunities early on both sides, but the goalies held strong. Midway through the first period, Dakota Keene joined his team on the ice after a penalty to net the first goal of the night, sending the St. Dom’s fans into a frenzy.
The second period belonged to the Lewiston Blue Devils. They peppered the St. Dom’s goalie with shots, and it finally paid off when Desmond Gagne found John McDonough on a power play goal. The game was all square coming into the third period.
The third period began and it was anyone’s game. The entire 17-minute period was filled with hard hitting action, each team wantindesperately to score. They would fire shots from the blue line and if they missed wide, it was a certain break-away attempt for the opposition. Neither goalie budged. The last three minutes of regulation seemed longer than the first two periods combined. When the horn sounded, the score was still 1-1 with sudden death overtime looming.
The arena was electric for that short break before overtime. When the puck dropped, everyone held their collective breath, only breathing after each shot that was blocked by the goalies. With just over a minute remaining in the game, like a man possessed, Lewiston’s Sam Cloutier headed toward the net. He fired a shot and the goalie held strong, but on the rebound, Cloutier slid a second chance opportunity past the goaltender. The Blue Devils cleared the bench immediately to tackle their hero and the entire arena realized at the same time that they had seen an all-time classic.
In a great gesture by the losing team, the entire crowd kept their seats to watch the Great American Rivalry Series Championship Cup presentation by The United States Air Force on center ice. Flashbulbs burst from every corner. It was truly a legendary night in Lewiston.
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- HOCKEY: St. Dominic vs. Lewiston – 2010