AUBURN — It’s difficult to define the Saint Dominic Academy “red” line of Tyler Sirois, Calvin Stewart and Mike Richard.

That likely explains why they get their names in the newspaper, individually or collectively, with the frequency of football offensive linemen.

You can’t call them scorers. Each had two goals apiece during the regular season. Or enforcers. Not one is a towering, physical presence with telltale missing teeth.

“They’re just a hard-working line,” St. Dom’s coach Steve Ouellette said. “Lunch pail guys.”

Time to pack the sandwiches for Saturday.

Sirois, Stewart, Richard and the Saints will make their second appearance in the Class A schoolboy state championship game in the past three seasons. Game time against defending champion Falmouth is 6 p.m. at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“We’re pretty familiar with each other,” said Stewart, whose younger brother, Cam, is the team’s fourth-leading scorer. “Most of the guys on the team say we do a really good job at grinding down the other team and wearing them out.”

If it’s absolutely necessary to find a common denominator for the trio, they’re all seniors. Only four other Saints share that distinction, and two of those are the goaltenders, Caleb Dostie and Zack Roy.

In addition to that experience, they have known each other since not long after they learned to skate.

“We’ve been playing little kid hockey together, all the way up, all through the programs,” Richard said. “We just know how each other plays. Calvin, he’s more of the finisher. Me and Tyler grind it out and try to get Cal the puck.”

The boys grew up in relatively the same area — Sirois is from Greene, Stewart from Sabattus and Richard from Turner — and had their first stint as linemates before high school.

“All three of us are grinders. None of us are really goal-scorers who make the pretty goals and come up in a big moment,” Sirois said. “But we’re a line that can hold just about any other line in the league. We’ve proven to not give up many goals.”

That has been a recurring theme. Led by Dostie, who is in the midst of the hottest streak in his career, the Saints have allowed a total of three goals while taking out Edward Little, Lewiston and Bangor in succession.

Ouellette credited Sirois, Stewart and Richard’s productive shifts and success at both ends of the ice with helping St. Dom’s maintain its blistering pace from start to finish in a 4-2 regional semifinal win over Lewiston.

“None of them are enormous giants. They’re really the line that digs, grinds it out, plays with heart and different things like that,” the coach said. “They’re not the big scoring machine type line. Their job is to give us a lot of quality minutes and just play hard.”

The competitive nature kicks in, of course, and each player gets respectfully defensive about his offense.

“We can play offensively too,” Sirois said. “But we don’t really score that often. Our defense, both our defensive players and our offensive players playing together as a defensive unit, have really come around.”

“Coach expects us to score and everything, but we just go out there and hold everything together, tire them down,” Richard added. “I think we’re pretty good on both sides of the puck. We play the systems pretty well.”

Likely more important than any individual numbers they generate is the trio’s impact on St. Dom’s bottom line, by virtue of age and experience.

The Saints fell to 6-6-1 with a 3-2 loss to Lewiston on Feb. 1. After a four-game winning streak, their Senior Night festivities were spoiled by a 6-1 defeat at the hands of Bangor.

Yes, the same team St. Dom’s topped Tuesday, 3-1, in the Class A East final.

“I think after that (Bangor loss) we really started kicking it in gear,” Sirois said. “It made us realize that hey, if we want to make a good run in these playoffs, we’ve really got to step up our game.”

That rededication already has caught two higher-seeded opponents by surprise.

Left them seeing “red,” you might say.

“Being the underdogs definitely helps, because everybody’s not expecting anything. It relieves a lot of the tension,” Richard said. “We show up and we know that if we play our game that we can beat anybody.”


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