Maine Hockey Journal

Saints beat Red Eddies in regional semifinal

(PHOTO: RAM Sport)

(PHOTO: RAM Sport)

LEWISTON – Sophomore Gavin Bates and senior Travis Roy Award finalist Austin Roy provided three important goals for the St. Dominic’s Academy Saints in a 4-1 Class A North semifinal victory over the Edward Little Red Eddies Saturday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

The Saints move on to play a longtime rival in the Lewiston Blue Devils Tuesday night in the Class A North regional final match.

Just 1:14 into the contest sophomore Gavin Bates took a pass from Cooper Richard and rifled a shot past Edward Little’s goaltender Devin Dumont. Bates came down on the left side of the goal and shot across Dumont’s body to beat him past his glove.

The Red Eddies would get the equalizer with 8:09 remaining in the first. Senior forward Liam Benson swerved around a pair of St. Dom’s defensemen and slid a pass to Matt Verrill, who beat Kyle Welsh through the five-hole.

Just past the 5-minute mark of the first period and after a victorious faceoff in their offensive zone, Connor Samson took the lead for the Saints. Reese Farrell won the faceoff and Samson skated the puck in front of the Edward Little net. With Dumont in the butterfly position Samson backhanded a puck over Dumont’s blocker.

The second period saw two power play opportunities for each team, but no goals. The Saints outshot Edward Little 10-6 in the period. After Samson’s goal, there was a long lull where both teams seemed as though they were on autopilot until things picked up again in the third period.

With a 2-1 lead heading into the third period, the Saints knew they had to put more pucks in the net to finish off the Red Eddies.

That’s where Gavin Bates and Austin Roy come in.

“Both guys were definite leaders tonight,” said Saints coach Bob Parker. “They stepped up in the crunch time. The game was kind of monotone for awhile, and we were playing cat and mouse with them both ways, and when we went to the third period, those two guys stepped up and led the way and did a nice job.”

Bates, who scored the first goal of the game, skated through the neutral zone and swerved around the defense of the Red Eddies. Bates outwaited the goaltender and dove across the crease to slide the puck around Dumont and into the net. The goal put the Saints up 3-1 and came at the 6:31 mark of the third period.

“Gavin Bates took over the game, put the team on his shoulders,” said Edward Little’s head coach Craig Latuscha. “He’s a big boy, beat us on a one-on-one. It is what it is.”

Roy capped off the scoring for the Saints on the power play less than two minutes after the goal by Bates. Roy carried the puck to the front of the net and wristed a shot under the left arm of Dumont. Isaac Lapointe and Bates assisted on the goal.

With 12:26 remaining in the third period Edward Little’s Jason Cote had an opportunity on an incredible solo effort where he pushed the puck past a defenseman and skated in on the Saints’ goaltender Kyle Welsh. Cote took a quick shot to try and beat Welsh five-hole, but Welsh closed the door just in time to preserve the lead early in the period.

“Their goaltender played big when he needed to play big,” said Latuscha. “If we score that goal on the breakaway to make it 2-2, that’s a different game.”

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