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Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame: Pete Lakas is a key contributor to the championship hockey team

Normand “Pete” Lacasse is admired by those around him for his outstanding hockey tenure as a forward at St. Dominic’s Academy and his long career in senior hockey, primarily with the LA Twins.

“I had good coaching: Ray Marcotte, who played for Bates (the Mill’s senior hockey team), and Larry Charest, my senior year,” Lakas said of his time at St. Dommes. “We had the best – which helped – and I had good lines, Leo Bergeron and (Roger) Sinclair.”

Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame inductee Normand “Pete” Rakas stands outside Lewiston’s Collise, where he once played high school hockey at St. Dominic Academy. Russ Dillingham/The Sun Journal

Lakas was recently inducted as a member of the 37th Annual Auburn Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame Class in a small ceremony held at Auburn’s Gippers Sports Bar. He and his fellow inductees Lynn McNutt Giroire and Dick Strong were originally selected to join AL Hall in 2020, but their admission was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. became.

Lacasse played for the St. Dom national team for four years from 1958-61. He helped the Saints win the 1959, 1960 and 1961 state championships after the Saints lost the state title game in their freshman season to Dixfield. He put up astronomical numbers during his senior season: in 37 games he had 41 goals and 42 assists.

We went to New England and so on. It was a good hockey[team],” Rakas said.

The Saints faced Lewiston in the best-of-three state finals, and the Saints won the series in two games. Lacas he recorded 3 goals and 2 assists.

After winning the state championship, the Saints qualified for the New England Championship in Providence, Rhode Island, losing 4–1 to LaSalle Academy of Rhode Island in the final. Rakas scored the only goal for Sun Dom. He finished the tournament with 4 goals and 2 assists in 3 games.

After Lacus’ high school career ended, he played senior hockey, playing for the Waterville Bruins in 1961-62 and the LA Twins in 1962-73.

Senior hockey is considered amateur hockey. The Twins played teams from all over New England and Quebec.

Normand “Pete” Luckasse (right) and son Gary Luckasse stand in front of Lewiston’s Coryse on Monday afternoon. Russ Dillingham/The Sun Journal

It was quality (hockey). There were college students, Canadians were coming to play, Canadians were coming to the team,” said Pete’s son, Gary Rakas. “It was good hockey.”

The Twins were affiliated with Bates Mill.

“When you think of the Twins, it’s an extension of Bates,” said Gary. “They brought in players. You worked in factories, but you were hockey players. It was something people should do and[the community]should support.”

For Pete Lakas, senior hockey was more than what happened on the ice. It also provided friendship out of it.

“When it comes to the Twins,[Pete]always said, ‘They all loved hockey, but they had a lot of fun on the ice,'” Gary said.

Pete Lakas said the game was very competitive, especially playing against Berlin, New Hampshire, which was similar to playing against Lewiston High School when he was at St. Dommes.

The competition was there. As good as Lewiston were, they were good,” said Rakas.

Gary said the match against Berlin was rough.

“I hear stories. They beat the crap out of each other and[the teams]had dinner and beer in the same place after the game,” Gary said. “

Pete Lakas’ breakout year for the Twins came in 1964 when he was named to the New England Amateur Hockey Association’s All-Star team. He scored his 32 points (15 goals and 17 assists) as a regular in his season, helping the Twins win his championship title in New England and qualifying for the National Championship in Rochester, Minnesota. helped the The Twins lost in the national tournament to St. Louis Parks, Minnesota (eventual national champions) and DeTrio, Michigan.

The Twins and Rakas won another New England Championship and returned to the Nationals in 1966 at Everest, Minnesota. They lost to hosts Iberes and St. Louis Parks to win their second national championship in three years. Lakas scored 13 goals (six goals and seven assists) in the regular season.

Lacasse credits his many successes with the Twins (where he was the third-highest scorer in the program’s history) to two linemates.

“The best line I ever played was Burt Jalbert and Yvon Pereran,” said Lacasse. “We clicked so well at times: ‘Why didn’t you shoot? I thought you had a better shot.It wasn’t a one-man team.Sometimes we passed too much.We were skating around (the net).

He said he was prepared to protect Jalbert and Pererin and drop the gloves if necessary.

Lakas began refereeing in 1972 as his playing career began to come to an end. He worked as a lineman in his league for the original North American Hockey, where his Nordiques played, and as a umpire at high school games.

While in the NAHL, he broke up fights involving Steve, Jack and Jeff Carlson. The characters Jeff and Steve Hanson in the movie Slapshot are based on Jeff and Steve Carlson.

“He broke up a fight with the Carlson brothers, (Alan) Grovenski (the leader of the Nordiques’ all-time penalty time),” Gary said.

Pete held that position until 1980. She also played first women’s hockey at Lewiston from 1975 until 1976 when she was one of the assistant coaches of her team, with her daughter Cheryl.

Lakas said no memory of his playing, refereeing or coaching career stands out above the rest.

“It was fun; I enjoyed every moment of it,” Pete said.

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