LEWISTON — It was tougher and rougher than the top-seeded team in Class A East hockey expected, but Bangor earned a return trip to Androscoggin Bank Colisee later this week.

Trevor DeLaite had a hat trick and Sam Kenny contributed two goals and two assists Saturday night in a 5-1 semifinal victory over Brunswick.

No. 1 Bangor (16-3) will be back Tuesday to play in the regional final for the second straight year, against the winner of Saturday’s late game between Lewiston and St. Dom’s.

Matt Brooks scored the goal for No. 5 Brunswick (10-8-2), who weren’t an easy mark after a 6-0 loss at Bangor during the regular season.

“That was a tough, physical game. There were something like 31 combined penalties,” Bangor coach Quinn Paradis said of the first meeting. “I guess it’s a love-hate relationship. But no, I tip my hat to them. They played us tough.”

Fifteen penalties were the relatively clean clip this time around, but the playoff tension made for a much tighter game until the floodgates opened late.

Leading only by two goals at the time, the Rams and senior goaltender Rye Powell were forced to ride out nearly two full minutes of a Brunswick 5-on-3 late in the third period.

Powell knocked down a bid by Ryan Maciejewski to keep the Dragons on the board. Maciejewski missed high on the rebound attempt.

“After the second period, I said, ‘Guys, we’ve got to stay out of the box.’ Their best offense is on the power play,” Paradis said.

Bangor carried the puck to the other end, where DeLaite potted his second of the game by way of Cam Dickson and Kenny with 3:38 remaining.

DeLaite chalked up his third 33 seconds later to put it away.

Kenny connected twice in a span of under three minutes in the middle of the opening period.

His first goal was a blast from the right circle. Kyle Farley made the connection from the Bangor zone. Farley zigzagged around a Brunswick defender and left himself with an unguarded look at Brunswick goalie Blake Alexander at 7:27.

“Momentum is everything in hockey,” Kenny said. “We wanted to come out hard.”

The Dragons’ senior netminder was forced to make multiple stops on several occasions in the period. That numbers game eventually caught up with Brunswick.

Justin Courtney tipped DeLaite’s service from the blue line. Alexander hit the deck to break it up, but Kenny swept it into the net on the power play at 10:07.

“He’s a kid who can do it all,” Paradis said of Kenny. “He played defense. We had to move him up and he’s come up huge for us.”

There was an aggressive, physical tone from the get-go, with the referee convening both speaking captains when pushing and shoving ensued after Kenny’s second goal.

Brunswick’s best chance was a 2-on-1 late in the period, but Powell stonewalled Maciejewski just before the net was dislodged from its moorings.

Careless giveaways, breakaway saves and six penalties characterized the second stanza, and the last two whistles went the Dragons’ way to make a game of it.

After the second penalty in a 47-second stretch provided the Dragons’ first 5-on-3 of the evening, Brunswick won the faceoff and Dwayne Palmer found Brooks alone at the point.

Brooks beat Powell with a scorching blast at 13:42.

Alexander backed up his dozen saves in the first period with 11 more in the second chapter. The best was a knockdown of Andrew Elston’s uncontested bid immediately after Powell made two brilliant stops at the other end.

He finished with 33 stops. Powell had 21 saves for Bangor.