LEWISTON, Maine — Senior forward Josh Gaudette fueled a five-goal explosion in the third period to help Waterville break open a tight Eastern Maine Class A hockey semifinal with Bangor Saturday afternoon.

Gaudette had a hat trick on the day after capping the flurry his third goal of the third period and his No. 2 Waterville Purple Panthers advanced into the regional final with a 7-2 victory over No. 3 Bangor at The Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Gaudette also assisted on two other goals for the 12-6-1 Panthers, who will play the winner of Saturday’s late semifinal between Saint Dominic and Lewiston here again on Tuesday night.

Senior goalie Ryan Cormier also was integral for the Panthers with 25 saves on 27 shots.

The 11-7-1 Rams got goals from Phil Frost and Nick George. Chris Howat made 17 saves on 24 shots.