St. Dominic freshman Leondro Naous scores to put the Saints up 3-1. Dominic Chasse, left, had the assist. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

LEWISTON — St. Dom’s only had five seniors on its roster this season, so its was a young team to begin with.

Saturday night, the youngest of the young Saints played an integral role in earning the school’s first Class A state championship in 19 years in a 4-2 victory over Biddeford at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

The first three goals for the Saints were scored by underclassmen — the first and second by sophomores Dominic Chasse and Lucas Pushard and the third by freshman Leondro Naous.

Past St. Dom’s championship teams relied on upperclassmen, for the for most part. As with everything, things have changed with the times.

“Well, we are a different team; that’s all I got to say,” Naous said. “Nineteen years, it has to be something special to do that.”

Underclassmen playing an important role is nothing new to this group of Saints.

“The underclassmen have been the key the past couple years, ever since I have been in high school,” junior Will Fletcher said. “We’ve always had powerful, strong, good players who have been underclassmen, and they always contributed.

“It’s not the same hockey that used to be seniors and juniors. These freshmen and sophomores can come out and make an impact in a a game.”

Fletcher knows from experience. He led the Saints in scoring last year as a sophomore and was the team’s second-leading scorer as a freshman in 2016-17. The 2015-16 season’s scoring leader was also a freshman, Reese Ferrell.

Chasse was the team’s second leading scorer in the regular season this year, finishing one point behind Fletcher for the team lead. Chasse tallied 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points.

St. Dominic sophomore Dominic Chasse fires a shot on goal during the first period against Biddeford on Saturday. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slov

Fletcher said he used his experience the past couple of seasons to help this year’s young guns. He tried to keep them positive during games, telling them that one mistake won’t cost the team the game so they must get over any mistake they make quickly.

“It starts with the older guys,” Naous said. “Just (working) with us in practice, taking us under their wing, showing us what to do when we are doing something wrong. We are learning as much as we can, really.”

Confidence was a factor Pushard believes not only Saturday night but throughout the season.

“Playing last year helped for me and (Dominic),” Pushard said. “But for Leo, he got a goal at the end of the season, the confidence keeps rolling.”

Naous scored a goal in four of the final six regular-season games. He also assisted on Fletcher’s first goal against Bangor in the Class A North regional final.

St. Dom’s coach Bob Parker said the young guys played their role perfectly against Biddeford.

“The objective of Leo’s job was to go to the paint with his stick on the ice, and he did exactly that,” Parker said.  “He buried one. That was our plan before the game.”

Naous scored with 1:04 remaining in the second period. His goal, the game winner made the score at the time 3-1.

Chasse said his goal to open the scoring at the 6:55 mark of the first period lifted weight off the team’s shoulder.

With seven juniors, six sophomore and Naous set to return, the the potential is there, if everyone stays, to add another title to the Saints’ mantle.

“We have a great young group. I am excited for the years to come to see what happens because they are relentless no matter what,” Chasse said.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: