St. Dominic’s boys hockey team celebrates one of their goals during the Class A North boys’ hockey semifinals on Saturday night at The Colisee. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
LEWISTON — Three shots in three minutes.
That’s all it took Saturday to completely change the Class A North boys’ hockey semifinal between rivals St. Dominic Academy and Edward Little.
With fewer than five minutes to go in the second period the game was scoreless. A trio of Saints shots on goal and a pair of Red Eddies penalties later and St. Dom’s had complete control and a three-goal lead.
The third-seeded Saints played stout defense from there to beat the No. 2 Red Eddies 3-0 at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
The Saints (10-8-2) owned the advantage in shots on goal in the first period, thanks to a five-minute power play that saw eight on-target attempts. But Red Eddies (11-7-1) goalie Gavin Toussaint was up to the task, turning away 14 shots in the first 15 minutes.
“I thought that the first period, in getting through that first period after that five-minute major was great,” EL coach Norm Gagne said. “And I told them, I said ‘now we can get back to what we’re doing,’ but we didn’t. And I just think fatigue set in.
“I thought Gavin kept us in the game.”
As the stalemate wore on the intensity only grew. Each team had one penalty each in the first period, then one more apiece in the first half of the second period. The third EL penalty was the one the Saints finally capitalized on. Zack Pelletier’s initial shot squirted past Toussaint and out of the crease, but Jaden Webster pounced on the loose puck and put it back in past Toussaint with 4:43 left in the period.
“As the game goes on, it’s 0-0, first goal means a ton. We were getting opportunities, and we talked between periods about getting more traffic in front of Toussaint, because he was seeing the puck way too well,” St. Dom’s coach Bob Parker said. “We got some traffic in there … and it was a great goal, and it definitely made the momentum go our way.”
Less than two minutes later Derek Wolverton’s shot from the point got through traffic and Toussaint to make it 2-0. Jacob Lewis scored five seconds into another power play 71 seconds after that to make it a three-goal game.
“We had to get to the net. We had to get more than one person to the net,” Parker said. “We were getting two and three, and each goal was like that. We had traffic going. It was impressive. We were achieving what we were trying to do.”
The Red Eddies had three chances on the power play in the third to get back in it, but couldn’t convert with the man-advantage.
“We were so tired we couldn’t take advantage of their penalties,” Gagne said.
“We changed our man-down coverage a couple different times along the way and the kids did a great job,” Parker said. “They were blocking shots. Gaston (Fuksa) was doing a fabulous job.”
Fuksa made 23 saves for the shutout. Toussaint stopped 28 of 31 shots for EL.
The final straw for the Red Eddies was a goal that wasn’t midway through the period. The goal lamp lit up, but not before a whistle had been blown for the last of EL’s five penalties.
“We beat ourselves, and I was telling Bobby, I said ‘you guys were the better team, there’s no question,'” Gagne said. “I was praying that we wouldn’t have a game like that.”
The Saints now move on to the regional final, where they’ll face rival and top-seeded Lewiston at the Colisee on Tuesday.
(Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)St. Dominic’s Michael Cilley looks for a teammate to pass the puck to as Edward Little’s Dylan Campbell plays defense during the Class A North boys’ hockey semifinals on Saturday night at The Colisee. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal) (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)St. Dominic’s Mack Pelletier keeps the puck away from Edward Little’s Alex Landry during the Class A North boys’ hockey semifinals on Saturday night at The Colisee. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)Edward Little’s Marius Morneau and St. Dominic’s Benjamin Gosselin struggle for control of the puck during the Class A North boys’ hockey semifinals on Saturday night at The Colisee. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)