LEWISTON — March matters most.

Saint Dominic Academy hopes that trend continues when it meets Bangor High School for the Class A East hockey championship Tuesday. Game time is 6 p.m. at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

No. 1 Bangor (16-3) has earned consecutive trips to the regional final and defeated No. 3 St. Dom’s (12-7-1) twice the regular season, by scores of 5-3 and 6-1.

That’s OK with the Saints, who have shown an ability to put recent history to rest. St. Dom’s avenged a pair of one-goal losses with a 4-2 victory over Lewiston in Saturday’s semifinals.

“We’ve got some work to do there,” St. Dom’s coach Steve Ouellette said. “If we come out and play our three periods, I like our chances against anybody.”

Both St. Dom’s and Bangor recognize the value of a quick start in the title game.

The Saints scored a goal 35 seconds into the semifinal, and the momentum carried them to an insurmountable lead. St. Dom’s took nine shots against Lewiston goaltender Nick Hawk in the first 19 minutes, eight seconds. Four went in.

“That was crucial for us,” St. Dom’s senior forward Chase Hainey said. “It got our energy up, got our confidence up.”

High-powered Bangor inflicted that early damage against St. Dom’s in their initial meeting, putting the Saints in a hole they couldn’t escape.

“We were short-handed as far as we had some injuries going into that game,” Ouellette said. “We actually played a good game, but we let in three goals on the first six shots.”

Penalties soured the Saints’ hopes in the rematch.

“We just got out of our game plan. We didn’t stick to it,” Ouellette said. “Bangor’s got a lot of talent. They’re going to eat you up if you make mistakes and give them power plays, and we did.”

Bangor’s biggest issue in a 5-1 semifinal victory over Brunswick was staying out of the penalty box, as well.

The Rams led 2-0 before giving up a 5-on-3 goal late in the second period.

It was still 3-1 when the Dragons enjoyed another two-man advantage in the third, but Bangor goaltender Rye Powell and the Rams’ senior-dominated defense snuffed it out.

Trevor DeLaite had a natural hat trick in the third period to close it out for Bangor, which slipped past St. Dom’s 3-2 in double-overtime in the 2013 semifinals. The Rams’ hopes of reaching their first state final then fell victim to four first-period goals in a 5-1 loss to Lewiston.

“I’m excited to be back,” Bangor coach Quinn Paradis said. “Everyone’s going to have to battle. It’s going to be a fun night.”

Scoring balance is a hallmark of both teams.

Junior captain Brad Berube (14 goals, 24 assists) leads St. Dom’s with 38 points. Caleb Labrie (22-12—34) is the top goal scorer, and Hainey (18-12—30) has played both sniper and set-up man during the playoffs.

Bangor can’t fall asleep on juniors Cam Stewart (9-12—21) and Dillon Pratt (7-10—17) or sophomore Austin Roy (8-11—19), either.

Berube, Pratt, Hainey and Labrie each scored against Lewiston.

“We still turned over the puck too many times just giving it up, but we ate the puck at times when we needed to,” Ouellette said. “Overall we did a nice job.”

DeLaite, a sophomore, leads Bangor with 31 points, but the Rams also get significant production from junior left wings Sam Kenney (12-15—27), Jordan Tracy (8-13—21) and Nick Graham (12-1—13), junior right wings Jake Fournier (11-8—19), Owen Trundy (7-10—17) and Andrew Elston (5-10—15) and senior center and co-captain Cam Dickson (7-8—15).

“We’ve gotten production from all three lines,” Paradis said.

Bangor has the better defensive numbers, having surrendered an average of two goals per game.

Senior goalie Rye Powell (.910 save percentage) is the rock in back of seniors Justin Courtney, Kyle Farley, Galen Perry and Ryan Gagne, junior Sam Huston and sophomore Ben Crichton. Courtney is a candidate for the Travis Roy Award.

“What makes our team so great is the depth factor,” Paradis said. “You never know where it’s going to come from. One night it might be Courtney and the next night it’s Kenney. That’s what keeps other teams on their toes.”

St. Dom’s has a hot goalie, as well, in senior Caleb Dostie, who made 30 saves against Lewiston. Dostie and Zack Roy split time during the regular season, each logging five victories.

Mitch Lorenz, Chris Laverdiere, Matt Keaney, Bryan Bonenfant, Avery Jones, Jon Sturgis and Matt Chasse have anchored the Saints at the blue line. Jones is the lone senior.

“I think we’re becoming a team,” Dostie said. “We have to maintain focus.”

It’s a championship doubleheader. In the second regional final, immediately following the East game, Scarborough and defending state champion Falmouth face off for West supremacy.

The state game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday at the Colisee.


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