AUBURN — Chase Hainey couldn’t believe his good fortune.
Mere moments, and an Edward Little timeout, after his short-handed goal had given St. Dom’s a 5-0 lead in Tuesday night’s Eastern A quarterfinal, he had yet another opportunity to score a man down when the puck deflected off an EL defenseman’s skate and right into the path of a rushing Hainey.
“It was great work by Brad (Berube, on the ensuing faceoff), but I had no idea that I would get that lucky bounce off of their defenseman,” Hainey said. “I saw him move the other way so I just took it around the middle and low and luckily in it went in.”
Hainey’s two short-handed goals six seconds apart capped the Saints’ four-goal flurry in the first 1:55 of the second period as they pulled away from Edward Little by the same 9-0 score they had beaten them by 10 days earlier.
No. 3 St. Dom’s (11-7-1) advances to face No. 2 Lewiston in the semifinals at 8 p.m. Saturday at Androscoggin Bank Colisee. No. 6 Edward Little closes its season 10-8-1.
Hainey, Berube and linemate Austin Roy finished with two goals apiece, as did Caleb Labrie. Berube and Hainey tallied three assists each and Roy had a pair.
“I like the effort,” St. Dom’s coach Steve Ouellette said. “I think everybody played a pretty solid game. I thought we won a lot of one-on-one battles along the boards and corners and below their net.”
The Saints won corner contests for their first two goals, netted by Berube. Roy and Hainey fed him for the first marker three seconds after EL had killed off the game’s first power play at 5:50.
Berube made it 2-0 with a one-timer off a feed from Hainey at 12:39.
“Both of my linemates set me up really good,” Berube said. “Both of them were passes out of the corner. I just drove to the net and I was able get a stick past them and just pump it in.”
Berube returned the favor to Roy for his first goal 21 seconds into the second period.
“We wanted to keep the game simple with small passes and just play as a team,” Berube said.
On the next shift 20 seconds later, Labrie made it 4-0 with his first from Cam Stewart.
Fifty-nine seconds later, Labrie went to the penalty box for contact to the head. Nine seconds into EL’s only power play of the game, Hainey scored off a feed from Berube and EL coach Craig Latuscha called a time out to try to give the Eddies a chance to regroup.
“The first period I thought we played good,” Latuscha said. “Second period, we came out like we did the last time against them and kind of played flat and they scored three or four quick ones right there in a row. That really demoralizes your team when something like that happens.”
The Saints kept pouring it on with Roy’s second goal 39 seconds into the third. All that was left was for them to finally capitalize on a power play (1-for-6), which is what Dillon Pratt did for their ninth goal.
St. Dom’s outshot EL 38-5. Zack Roy picked up the shutout for the Saints.
“We’ve got a really young team and it’s been a pretty good season,” said Latuscha, whose team graduates six seniors. “We faced a team that has a lot of talent and should go deep in the playoffs. We did the best we could, but they obviously played a little bit better.”
Based on their two regular-season battles, the third installment of St. Dom’s-Lewiston promises to be a nail-biter. The Blue Devils won both meetings by a goal, 6-5 in OT and 3-2.
“It’s going to be the battle that I think everyone’s expecting,” Ouellette said. “Both teams obviously came out and took care of business (in the first round). I think it’s the game we both want.”
“We’re all excited,” Hainey said. “It’s a nice way to close out my senior year.”