BANGOR – Each member of St. Dominic’s hockey team has had December 30th circled on their calendars, literally and/or mentally, since John Bapst went down to Lewiston and upset the Saints on their home ice – in their own tournament – 20 days ago.
“Yeah we did. Last time, it was our first game of the season and last year we beat them 11 to something so we thought it’d be a cakewalk, plus it was our tournament,” said St. Dominic’s Sean Andrews. “We knew that first game was a fluke and we just had to show it today.”
Show it they did… in emphatic fashion. The inspired Saints came out smoking and turned Thursday afternoon’s game at Sawyer Arena into a hockey hell for John Bapst on the way to a 9-1 victory.
“You could feel the intensity in the locker room,” said coach Bob Boucher, whose Saints are gunning for their second straight Class A state title. “These kids couldn’t wait to get out there.”
Andrews and fellow forward Joey Dumais, who were among the four players with two goals apiece in the game, certainly couldn’t.
“We’ve been ready for awhile for this one. The first game was just kind of a fluke, but this game, from the first to the third, we just wanted to keep pounding goals into the net,” Dumais said. “We were juiced from the beginning of the game to the end. Even though it was 9-1, we still wanted to keep going.”
That was obvious in the third period, when the 4-1 Saints outshot John Bapst 16-0 en route to a 43-14 shot advantage in the game.
“We obviously knew they were gonna come at us and come at us hard,” said coach Ray Thibodeau, whose Crusaders dip to 3-2. “They certainly played with more heart and intensity. I don’t know if we caught them on an off day, but they obviously got a lesson when we beat them and we probably did them a favor by the look of things.”
Last time, John Bapst was able to keep the middle of their side of the ice clogged up, making it hard for the Saints to execute their crisp passing attack. Despite 48 shots on net in their last meeting (John Bapst had 30), the Saints still lost 4-3. This time around, the Saints concentrated on working the puck around the wings to open things up.
“We knew we had to get to the points to spread ’em out and pass more along the boards to open up the middle and get slop passes and rebound goals,” Andrews explained.
The Saints didn’t make too many sloppy passes. In fact, virtually every one went right to a teammate’s stick… quickly.
St. Dominic was also much more aggressive offensively this time around too, attacking with all three forwards.
The Saints got on the board first when Dumais, stationed on the right side of the Bapst net during a power play, grabbed the loose puck after Bapst goalie Dominic Dinardo (34 saves) deflected a shot and stuffed it in with 9:02 left in the first period. St. Dominic made it 2-0 on another power play goal with 20 seconds left in the period.
Bapst made it 2-1 58 seconds into the second as wing Zack Means scored after center Nate Susi fed him with a nice lead pass on a 3-on-2 breakaway up the left side. That’s as close as the Crusaders would get as the Saints kept the puck on the Bapst end for most of the remaining minutes and sophomore goalie Eric Hagemann finished with 13 saves.
Saints 9, Crusaders 1 St. Dominic (4-1) 2 3 4 – 9 John Bapst (3-2) 0 1 0 – 1
First period – 1. SD, J. Dumais (Moore, Carlisle) 5:58 (pp); 2. SD, Conant (Andrews) 14:40 (pp); Penalties: JB, Fisher, high-sticking, 5:48; JB, Bailey, roughing, 7:36; SD, Theriault, roughing, 7:36; JB, bench (served by Lin), too many men on the ice, 12:58
Second period – 3. JB, Means (Susi), 0:58; 4. SD, B. Langlais (Tyburski) 7:59; 5. SD, Andrews (Conant) 11:54; 6. SD, Moore (J. Dumais) 12:31; Penalties: SD, Tyburski, high-sticking, 1:41; SD, Manson, holding, 13:36
Third period – 7. SD, Moore (unassisted) 3:33; 8. SD, Conant 4:43 (pp); 9. SD, J. Dumais (Carlisle) 7:25; 10. SD, Langlais (Jalbert) 10:54; Penalties: JB, Fisher, roughing, 4:20; SD, Tyburski, tripping, 13:52
Shots on goal: St. Dominic 18-9-16-43; John Bapst 6-7-1-14
Power-play Opportunities: St. Dominic 3 of 3; John Bapst 0 of 2
Goaltenders: St. Dominic, Hagemann (14 shots-13 saves); John Bapst, Dinardo (43-34), Curtis (0-0)