St. Dominic Academy disposed of Auburn rival Edward Little, 4-0, in the Eastern A semifinals at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Saturday to set up a regional final with yet another familiar opponent: Lewiston. The crosstown rivals will square off Tuesday at 8 p.m. 

The top-seeded Saints (16-2-1) didn’t have the same trouble they did with the fifth-seeded Red Eddies when the teams met on Valentine’s Day, a 4-3 St. Dom’s overtime victory. Still, there was no love lost between rivals. 

“This time around we didn’t underestimate them,” St. Dom’s freshman Gavin Bates said. “We knew that they could play and we really brought our ‘A’ game.” 

It didn’t take long for Saturday’s contest to turn into a rough-and-tumble affair. In all, 26 penalties were called — 14 for the Saints and 12 for the Red Eddies. There were 11 penalties each called in the second and third periods. 

“It’s a rivalry game,” Edward Little coach Craig Latuscha said. “Class A high school hockey game against a team that we traditionally, usually like at the rink. When you get on the ice things change a little bit. They got penalties, we got penalties. It is what it is. In the end it came down to who could put the puck into the back of the net and they did.” 

The difference was St. Dom’s ability to capitalize on its chances, while Edward Little (10-10) couldn’t push through with the man advantage. The Saints scored twice on the power play, the first off a blast from Bates from the right point. Just four seconds into an interference penalty to Dixon Dilodovico, Bates fired a shot past Edward Little goaltender Devin Dumont that deflected off the far post for a 1-0 lead at 12:52 of the first. 

Getting that first goal helped generate some momentum for the Saints, who hadn’t played a game since Feb. 18. 

“EL was on a good roll, so they had a lot of momentum going into this game,” Bates said. “To get that first, to get the team knowing that we can beat them is a good momentum change.”

The other power-play goal was the dagger. Fifty seconds into the third period, Mitch Lorenz knocked in a puck sitting on the goal line to put the Saints ahead 4-0. 

“We knew it was going to get chippy,” St. Dom’s senior Brad Berube said. “That’s just the kind of game it was. We just had to keep our heads.” 

In between those goals were two more by St. Dom’s, and a lot of penalties. Those markers came from St. Dom’s most experienced players: seniors Austin Roy and Berube. Roy netted the Saints’ second of the contest at 2:18 of the second period, beating Dumont with a shot from the left circle. 

Six penalties and 11 minutes later, Berube made it 3-0. When Roy couldn’t get a shot off while skating to the net, he tracked the puck down at the red line and no-looked a pass behind him to Berube, who scored his team-leading 16th goal of the season. 

Although the game’s result was decided early in the third period, the chippiness did not end. Eleven penalties followed the contest’s final goal. St. Dom’s goaltender Kyle Welsh had his night end early after Edward Little’s Liam Benson took a defender with him into the Saints netminder. Benson received a double-minor for roughing. 

“You have to focus when you’re up like that after a while you have to focus that, ‘Hey, you’re the team that’s moving on.’ You can’t do anything that’s going to jeopardize a player on our team from moving on,” St. Dom’s coach Steve Ouellette said. 

Welsh made 24 saves. Ridge Servidio finished the final 3:04 and made one save. 

Dumont stopped 23 for the Eddies. 

The Red Eddies fired 25 shots on net, but were 0-for-10 with the man advantage. They were 0-for-8 in their previous meeting with the Saints. 

Although the glass slipper didn’t fit for the Red Eddies, Latuscha believes his team made significant strides. 

“It’s a really good season for our kids, especially for the seniors,” Latuscha said. “This is the fourth straight year we’ve made the playoffs. Next year we’re going to come back with a huge junior class and our senior class as well. We have to continue to work hard and get better.” 


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