Lewiston’s Ridge Field watches the puck float in front of Saint Dominic goalie Miloslav Gaston Fuksa during the second periof of Tuesday night’s playoff game at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

Biddeford and St. Dominic Academy already met once in boys hockey this season, but the second meeting has a little more meaning than that early January encounter.

And what happened in that initial clash doesn’t hold much meaning for what will happen in Saturday’s Class A state championship game.

The Saints won 6-0 at home two months ago, but that Tigers team was missing some of its best players.

Biddeford coach Jason Tremblay said “not a thing” can be taken from that game in his opinion.

“We are healthy and much different then we were over two months ago,” Tremblay said.

That loss dropped the Tigers to 4-3. They have gone 11-3 since, including three playoff victories.

The win pushed the Saints’ start to 5-2. They finished 10-2-1, with two of those victories in the playoffs, and earned a quarterfinal bye in the North region.

“Any of this playoff stuff, I mean, you can gauge from previous history, but you really can’t depend on that information wholly because it’ll be a bigger crowd here, more adrenaline flowing through your teammates, and us coaches, too,” St. Dom’s coach Bob Parker said. “So it’s about handling it. Biddeford played in that game last year, so they got one up on us there.”

The Saints fell a game short last year, falling to Lewiston in overtime in the North regional final. The Blue Devils then edged Biddeford for the state title.

Tremblay said his team has “drawn on last year’s experience and we will take that with us into the finals. They know what to expect.”

Biddeford’s Nick McSorley (8) fights for control of the puck with MOB’s Brady Cormier, center, and Paidric Green during their quarterfinal game at Biddeford Ice Arena last month. McSoreley and Biddeford face St. Dom’s in Saturday’s Class A state championship game. (Portland Press Herald photo by Brianna Soukup) Portland Press Herald photo by B

Back from that state runner-up team are some of the Tigers’ top players. Goalie Justin Larnerd is a senior with a .900 save percentage. Forward Nick McSorley followed up his impressive freshman campaign with a 50-point regular season (and nine playoff points already). Fellow sophomore Trevor Ouellette has reached the 40-point plateau with playoffs included, and senior Colin Petit has contributed 38 points to go along with his valuable leadership.

But Tremblay said that with a rotation of only 10 players “all of them” stand out.

The Saints, meanwhile, have more depth, rolling three forward lines and three defensive pairings consistently. Parker talked glowingly about his second and third lines, and his top line features two players (junior Will Fletcher and sophomore Dominic Chasse) who have each produced more than 40 points.

They also have Travis Roy semifinalist Gaston Fuksa in goal.

“It starts in the net for them with Fuksa, obviously a very solid goalie,” Tremblay said. “But, people have to respect their depth, and I feel they have six quality D and three solid lines. They have guys that can score, two-way players and shutdown defenders. So teams’ depth has always been tough for us. Bottom line, it’s the last game of the year so we have to work at not being tired.”

Parker said he expects Tremblay to get creative with his game plan to negate the depth disparity.

Tremblay said his team has played well from the defensive zone out, and has been opportunistic on offense. The latter goes hand in hand with Parker’s preparation for the Tigers’ potentially “different game,” for which neutral-zone awareness will be key.

The Saints scored at a higher rate (4.67 goals per game compared to 3.89) and were more stingy (1.78 goals allowed per game versus 2.94) than the Tigers, but Parker used words like gritty, grindy and hard-nosed to describe the opponent.

“It’s a lot like (the Lewiston-Auburn) area. So it’s almost like playing a cousin of yours,” Parker said.

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