AUBURN – Not to say that depth in hockey is overrated, or anything, but convention and tradition still allow you only three forwards at a time. And if those forwards are the right three forwards, as is clearly the case at Leavitt this winter, you’re capable of doing some serious damage in the Western Class B playoffs.

No. 4 Leavitt’s first line of Justin Rouillard, Steven Rouillard and Evan Longchamps combined for four goals and eight assists Tuesday evening, and the Hornets denied a late rally by No. 5 Winthrop/Hall-Dale for a 7-4 quarterfinal victory at Ingersoll Arena.

Longchamps and Ben Boulay each scored two goals for Leavitt, and the Rouillard brothers set up Gabe Cloutier’s strike to give the Hornets a two-goal advantage with 1:58 remaining. Longchamps completed the scoring with an empty-netter and ushered Leavitt (14-7) into Saturday’s semifinals against top-seeded Greely at Portland Ice Arena.

Leavitt and Greely split their two regular-season meetings.

“Anybody can go win it from here,” said Justin Rouillard, one of four Leavitt seniors. “This is playoff hockey. It’s anybody’s game.”

Senior co-captain Sam Frost notched two goals and an assist for Win-Dale (10-9). He triggered the Ice Dogs’ comeback from a 5-1 deficit with a power-play goal at 12:35 of the second period.

Mike Fleischmann connected in the opening minute of the third period and Mike St. Pierre stuffed home a rebound to cap a 5-on-3 power play with 9:31 to go before the rally ran out of steam.

“The kids showed a lot of character, making a game of it,” said Win-Dale coach Dave St. Hilaire. “We did better than we expected (this season). Eight of our top 13 skaters are freshmen or sophomores.”

Senior Tavis Hasenfus made 40 saves for Win-Dale.

Twelve skaters and goalie Richard Thibault (36 saves) suited up for Leavitt, down from 20 players at the beginning of the season. Injuries, illness and defections thinned the ranks, but the Hornets showed Win-Dale that they still wield plenty of firepower.

“I think we lost some of the attitudes,” Justin Rouillard said. “That’s not to say they weren’t talented players, but now we do a better job staying out of the (penalty) box.”

After Longchamps and Frost swapped goals in the first period, the Rouillards collaborated for the Hornets’ go-ahead tally 28 seconds into the middle stanza. Justin picked up the goal on a wraparound.

Leavitt landed its next three goals on consecutive shots. Boulay delivered at 3:00 and 5:33. Steve Rouillard, a freshman, got into the act at 6:01.

The Hornets’ big three entered the game with more than 110 total points. Justin Rouillard and Longchamps have now topped 100 as a tandem.

“The two older kids on that line, especially, can really bury the puck,” St. Hilaire said.

Win-Dale took advantage of five minor penalties in the second and third periods to create odd-man opportunities and make a run. Seth Kimball assisted both Frost’s second goal to make it 5-2 and St. Pierre’s score for a 5-4 deficit

Cloutier clanged one in off the left post to restore the two-goal lead and seal the victory.

“A lot of it was willpower,” said Leavitt coach Ron Rouillard, father of the two front-liners who share his name. “I really only used two lines in that third period. They were determined to win.”

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