AUBURN — Michael Zaccaria had a game to remember.

The Portland/South Portland/Deering/Waynflete junior goalie made 44 saves in a 2-1 win over St. Dominic Academy in the Class A quarterfinals Saturday night at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

“It was an experience like no other, honestly,” Zaccaria said. “First playoff varsity game for me — this is my first season playing varsity. It was electric even for an away game for us. The fans still supported and showed out.”

The seventh-seeded Beacons (10-8-1) only managed 12 shots on goal.

For the second-seeded St Dom’s (13-4-2), history didn’t repeat itself 19 years nearly to the day when the Saints withstood a Nick Broadwater 75-save performance in a 5-0 victory over Deering in a Western Maine Class A quarterfinal game.

The Portland co-op will take on third-seeded Bangor on Wednesday in the state semifinal at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.


Zaccaria shut out Bangor in the regular season in a 0-0 tie.

Beacons co-coach Jeff Beaney said what makes Zaccaria’s performance different than the tie against Bangor or the 44-save performance in a 2-1 win against Lewiston were the stakes involved.

“Playoffs, on the road, Bangor and the Lewiston games were at home,” Beaney said. “To do it on the road, he has always made big saves and in important times in the game. There’s a lot of goalies who make good saves, but can they make that save to save the game to keep you in the game?”

The drama of Saturday’s contest heated up in the final minutes.

Zaccaria made back-to-back point-blank stops with about six minutes remaining and then made another outstanding stop shortly after.

“He has stood on his head before, but nothing like that,” senior forward Toby Lappin said. “He showed up ready to play more than any of us.”


St. Dom’s coach Dan D’Auteuil said the puck didn’t bounce the Saints’ way.

“We took so many shots and so many chances,” D’Auteuil said. “We couldn’t find the back of the net.”

Jayden Lynn did his best to keep St. Dom’s in striking distance by making a key save with under five minutes remaining. It was the Beacons’ seventh and final shot on goal in the frame.

St. Dom’s finally got on the board with 1:31 remaining when Curtis Wheeler’s pass below the goal line found Spencer Morgan in the slot and Morgan one-timed the puck home to give the Saints a chance.

“They have been doing that a lot together,” D’Auteuil said.

Ben Dumais, who got stopped twice earlier in the period on a breakaway, had the puck roll off his stick with 35 seconds remaining after receiving a pass from Timothee Ouellette.


With 14 seconds remaining, the Beacons got called for putting their hand on the puck in the crease, and the Saints were awarded a penalty shot. Dumais took the opportunity but rang the puck off the post.

“I had a little scouting report from my coach, from goalie coach, I got everything,” Zaccaria said. “I always like to know where they shoot — I am watching Live Barn. I like to know where everyone shoots.”

Beaney looked to the crowd for their reaction.

“Well, on the penalty shot, I was looking at the stands,” Beaney said. “I was waiting to look at what side was going to stand. I give (St. Dom’s) a ton of credit, they were in a tough situation, 2-0, and they battled. They are a great team. They battled and battled. I thought Mike was tremendous in the net. I am happy for our kids. We had to defend a certain way and we didn’t get a ton of shots.”

St. Dom’s kept the puck in the offensive zone after the ensuing faceoff and Dumais got one more shot off before the buzzer, but Zaccaria made his 16th stop of the period.

“Ben, Timmy, Curtis, Spencer, everybody was battling hard,” D’Auteuil said. “The defensemen, they were all working hard. Nobody quit, everybody was making the effort, we just couldn’t get that bounce. Sometimes that happens.”


After a scoreless first period, Lucas Milliken used his speed to beat a St. Dom’s defender. He skated to the net and slid the puck past Lynn to give the Beacons a 1-0 lead in the middle frame.

“Lucas turned the corner and got it in,” Beaney said. “I think it was our third or fourth shot.”

St. Dom’s was in control of the game up until the goal, and even still after the tally. The Saints had 17 shots on Zaccaria in the first period and had another 12 in the middle frame.

“I was locked in as soon as I woke up,” Zaccaria said. “I even went to my brother’s hockey game and that kind of set the tone for me. I saw what they did, and I knew what I needed to do.”

Lappin snuck behind the Saints defense and received a pass from Jack O’Connell in the neutral zone. Lappin skated all alone in the offensive zone and beat Lynn cleanly for a 2-0 lead 2:27 into the third stanza.

“We have worked on that all year — it’s kind of our set play,” Lappin said. “We kind of had trouble with it running it in the beginning of the game, but we started to hammer it down a little bit and we finally got it to go.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.