LEWISTON — Magical? Not really. Heavenly? OK, if we must go there.

It has been a Saintly surge through mid-February into early March for Saint Dominic Academy, one that will end in the same manner as so many winters past: With a quest for Maine schoolboy hockey’s holy grail.

Two goals in the final 1:50 of regulation Tuesday night catapulted St. Dom’s to a 3-1 win over Bangor in the Class A East championship at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Sophomore Austin Roy deposited the game-winner just inside the crossbar, unassisted. Roy picked up the puck between center ice and the blue line, juked a defenseman and gave himself an uncontested shot.

“I looked up and saw top right and I guess I just fired for that,” Roy said. “I was skeptical of it, but then I heard the crowd. Just doing it for my team is one of those things you dream of.”

No. 3 St. Dom’s (13-7-1) took out Edward Little in the quarterfinals before ousting the top two teams from the regular season, No. 2 Lewiston and No. 1 Bangor.

Owners of a state-record 24 state titles, the Saints will try to win their first since 2000 here at 6 p.m. Saturday against Falmouth.

It wasn’t easy at any point from emotionally charged start to frenzied finish.

St. Dom’s was called for a roughing penalty after the whistle sounded on Roy’s goal, and Bangor (16-4) finished the game on the power play. The Rams pulled goalie Rye Powell with about a minute to go to make it 6-on-4.

But as has been the case throughout the postseason, St. Dom’s netminder Caleb Dostie was sensational.

“He had a great save on the breakaway. Then he had to follow that up with a save on a 2-on-1 or something when we were trying to have a power play. And then he finished up 6-on-4,” St. Dom’s coach Steve Ouellette said. “During the regular season we were trying to find who was going to be hot. Right now Caleb has stepped up and he’s going very well.”

Dostie caught a break when Sam Huston dinged the crossbar with 37 seconds left. Then Dostie cradled Justin Courtney’s drive on the rebound for his 25th and final save of the night.

After a timeout, Chase Hainey broke up Bangor’s final bid and sent it the length of the ice, just missing wide left of the empty cage. Brad Berube chased down the puck, however, and Hainey buried his second try.

“Our defense has been tremendous the past two games,” Dostie said. “Every rebound, they’re getting it and giving the other team no second opportunity.”

St. Dom’s had only one shot on goal in the third period prior to the two pucks that went in. Bangor’s overall advantage in that category was 26-13.

“Their goaltender was outstanding. They had a great game. They were on a hot streak coming into the playoffs. They peaked at the right time,” Bangor coach Quinn Paradis said. “They did very well breaking the puck out against us. We didn’t give them many opportunities. Hey, when you let them only have 13, it’s tough to swallow.”

St. Dom’s is 7-1 in its past eight games. The lone loss: 6-1 at Bangor in the regular season finale.

But this time was drastically different.

Scoring first helped. Hainey, Roy and Matt Chasse all played a role in setting up Berube on the power play with 1:58 remaining in the first period.

“Definitely getting the puck out of the zone fast,” Hainey said of the key to the game. “Their defense are big, so we knew if we could get to the outside we could beat them with speed, and that’s exactly what we did.”

Bangor took control of the tempo midway through the opening period and peppered Dostie with eight unanswered shots on goal. He snuffed out all of them, highlighted by a Saints penalty kill.

And St. Dom’s capitalized on its own man advantage to land the lead. Bangor broke up two shots in mid-windup before the puck kicked out to Chasse at the point.

Chasse’s try was knocked down in front of Powell, but Berube stuffed home the rebound for his 15th goal of the winter. Hainey also registered an assist.

“It was a fight for every inch of the ice,” Ouellette said. “I know the shots looked one-sided, but I thought action and territorial-wise it was pretty even.”

The Rams pulled even at 4:25 of the second, also on the power play.

Tracy pushed one through Dostie’s pads from the right circle for the equalizer, courtesy of Nick Graham and Jake Fournier.

“I thought we played very well tonight,” Paradis said. “We outshot them and at times outplayed them, but they’re the winning team.”

St. Dom’s defense echoed its efforts from Saturday’s semifinal win over Lewiston, limiting Bangor to one-and-done by clearing rebounds.

Hainey and Roy were repeat offenders at stepping in front of Bangor shots from the point and just beyond the hashmarks.

“Senior year, you do anything to get to the state championship,” Hainey said. “Blocking shots, doing the little thing. Getting the puck out of the zone. I’d do anything for this team.”

And when Bangor encroached past that resistance, Dostie was dynamite.

He robbed Fournier on a short-handed breakaway with four minutes remaining in the second period after Courtney broke up a long-range try by Dillon Pratt at the other end.

“(Fournier) telegraphed that really well,” Dostie said. “The way he had his stick angled there’s no other way he could have shot it.”

Both teams missed high and wide with multiple bids as the collars tightened in the third period.

Then the deflection of a puck near center ice turned a 2-on-1 for St. Dom’s into Roy’s goal for the ages.

“I guess I just saw my opportunity and took advantage of it. I just saw the puck on my stick and saw the corner,” Roy said. “I just did as quick a move as possible, trying to be agile. He was in the middle of a transition, so I made a quick head fake and went around him.”

Roy aimed for the upper right corner. This time, the Saints found the target.

“We kept talking about, ‘It’s the third period. You’ve got to get the puck on net.’ There were a couple of times we were close with some hard shots and missed the net,” Ouellette said. “We finally picked a corner.”

Bangor fell in the regional final for the second consecutive year. The Rams have never been to the state game.

St. Dom’s won its first in 1947.

“It was one of those games,” Ouellette said. “There was a lot of tension. We won some battles.”


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