LEWISTON, Maine — Bangor High School’s search for its first-ever Eastern Maine Class A hockey title will have to wait another year.
Third seed St. Dominic Academy of Auburn, a 5-3 and 6-1 loser to Bangor during the regular season, received a goal from sophomore center Austin Roy with just 1:50 remaining to upset the top-seeded Rams 3-1 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Tuesday night.
St. Dom’s is now 13-7-1 and will play West champ Falmouth in Saturday’s 6 p.m. state final at the Colisee. No. 1 Falmouth beat No. 2 Scarborough 5-2 Tuesday night.
Bangor finished at 16-4. It is the second straight year Bangor has lost in the Eastern Maine final. Lewiston beat the Rams 5-1 a year ago.
Roy broke the 1-1 tie when he pounced on a loose puck in the neutral zone, put a move on a Ram defenseman to create a two-on-one and went around him to the outside before snapping a 20-foot wrist shot from the left circle over the glove of Bangor goalie Rye Powell and off the post.
It was his seventh goal of the season.
“I made a quick move [to get free] and then when I looked up, the upper right corner was open,” said Roy.
“That’s playoff hockey,” said an emotional Powell. “I had the angle covered. It hit the post and went in. Nobody could have stopped that shot.”
“It was a great shot,” said Bangor senior defenseman Justin Courtney, who was the lone defender back on the play and had to cover the potential pass recipient.
Bangor nearly tied with 40 seconds left while the Rams were on the power play but Sam Huston’s wrister from the bottom of the right circle glanced off the crossbar.
“Another few inches to the left and we would still be playing,” said Courtney. “We didn’t get the bounces.”
Chase Hainey added an empty-netter with 5.5 seconds left. It was his 16th.
Bangor outshot St. Dom’s 26-13.
Caleb Dostie finished with 25 saves in a stellar performance while Powell wound up with 10, including a few gems.
“We limited their chances like we wanted to but we didn’t capitalize on our chances,” said Courtney.
“When you hold a team to 13 shots and lose, it’s tough to swallow,” said Bangor coach Quinn Paradis. “Their goalie was phenomenal.”
The Rams did a good job creating chances thanks to their size advantage and ability to cycle the puck in the offensive zone. But the Rams missed the net frequently and the Saints did an efficient job protecting the net front.
“The guys did a lot of things well like blocking shots,” said St. Dom’s coach Steve Ouellette.
“And they cleared rebounds,” noted Dostie.
Brad Berube’s power-play goal in the first period for St. Dom’s was answered by Jordan Tracy’s power-play goal in the second period.
Tracy scored the equalizer at the 4:25 mark when he took a pass from Jake Fournier, took a stride in the circle to Dostie’s right and got off a low wrister that squeezed between the goalie’s pads.
It was Tracy’s 11th goal of the season.
His goal came just a minute after Powell had held his ground and made a good save on an unattended Hainey, who was set up just beyond the top of the crease by Roy.
The Saints had a glorious chance to snap the tie with 6:50 left in the period when Cam Stewart dished it to Dillon Pratt, who cruised down the left wing only to miss the short side with his open wrister.
Bangor had a great opportunity to break the tie while shorthanded when a Sam Kenney pass sent Jake Fournier in alone. But Dostie slid over with Fournier and kicked out his backhander.
“I always use that move. He made a very good save,” said Fournier.
“He telegraphed it. I knew he was going to his backhand,” said Dostie.
St. Dom’s carried the play in the opening stages of the game but the Rams began gaining a foothold six minutes into the period and Dostie came up with a gem when he extended his right pad to kick out an Andrew Elston re-direction off a Trevor DeLaite pass.
On its first power play, Bangor generated a number of chances, including a blistering slap shot from the midpoint off the stick of Cam Dickson that was denied by Dostie.
An offensive zone cross-checking penalty on Bangor gave the Saints their first power play and they capitalized when Matt Chasse’s blast from the point created a rebound in the congested slot and Berube jammed it home from just beyond the crease.
It was Berube’s 12th goal of the season.