LEWISTON — It was the kind of first period the St. Dom’s boys’ hockey team could take a liking to.

The Saints jumped all over Waterville on Wednesday night with four goals in the opening period and never looked back in a convincing 7-3 victory.

“I was expecting a pretty tight game,” said St. Dom’s coach Steve Ouellette. “I didn’t think we’d have a 4-0 lead or anything. I don’t think we’ve had a period like that where we’ve put in that many goals. That’s something we’ve been missing all year even though we have a lot of offense. Hopefully, we found something tonight to carry forward.”

Their last meeting needed overtime to settle things and the game still ended in a 3-3 tie. This time around, the Saints didn’t even need the entire first period to end all suspense. St. Dom’s scored twice in the first 2:34 and added two more later in the period.

“We definitely came out a lot stronger,” said sophomore forward Kyle Holtet. “We came out a little slower last game and it didn’t really work for us.”

Holtet had a career-high five points with two goals and three assists. Danny Nadeau added a pair of goals while Dakota Keene had a goal and three assists. Saints goalie Austin Christopher had 16 saves in the win.

“He’s really come along,” said Ouellette of Holtet, who had a goal and three assists in the first period. “He’s really matured in the last five or six weeks. He’s earned his ice time. He’s done a nice job. He’s been getting points, but he’s also been playing well on the defensive side.”

The Saints (11-3-1) wasted little time taking command of this one. Just 41 seconds into the game, Keene backhanded in a rebound. He had fired a one-timer that goalie Cody Thibodeau stopped. When the netminder couldn’t find the loose puck at the left post, Keene whirled around to get the back of the stick on it to chip it into the net.

Then at 2:34, Keene set up Holtet in front for a backhander. St. Dom’s added another at 3:59 while the teams were skating four-on-four. Spencer Martin got the puck off from Holtet off a draw at the right circle. He blasted a shot from the point to make it 3-0. Then with 2:15 left in the period, Holtet set up Dylan Rodrigue for the fourth tally.

“I thought they were more surprised than we were,” said Holtet of his team’s start. “We came out strong from the beginning.”

The Saints, ranked second in Eastern A, picked up where they left off in the second period. Just 2:01 into the second Martin had his shot from the point redirected in front by Holtet.

“We knew we just had to shoot it on net,” said Holtet. “We knew (Thibodeau, a junior) was a first year goalie last year. So we had to put shots on and go to the net.”

Though Waterville (7-8-1) picked up its play and started to generate some quality shots on net, a couple bad penalties nixed that rhythm. St. Dom’s scored on the power play with 6:07 left in the second. Nadeau scored on the two-man advantage to make it 6-0. The Saints even had another five-on-three chance follow but failed to score.

Waterville, ranked fifth in Eastern A, did get on the board with 2:11 left in the period. Kyle Bishop chipped in a loose puck at the right post for a power-play tally.

Though the Saints took four straight penalties in the third, Waterville struck out on the power play. Instead, the Saints got the man-advantage tally when Nadeau scored his second of the game with 4:57 left. Waterville added its’ second goal from JT Whitten a minute later. Bishop added a breakaway tally with 15 seconds left in the game.

“They’re always tough when you play them, but I think they’ve always got a little extra playing in Waterville,” said Ouellette of the first meeting. “Tonight, I think getting up early made a difference.”

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