LEWISTON — Sam Kenney provided the spark as top-ranked Bangor skated to a 5-1 victory against fifth-seeded Brunswick in an Eastern Class A boys’ hockey semifinal Saturday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
Kenney, a former defenseman, had two goals and two assists to help send the Rams to the regional final for the second consecutive year.
Bangor will play for the regional championship Tuesday night at the Colisee against St. Dom’s, a 4-2 winner over Lewiston.
It was the Rams’ second victory of the season against the Dragons (10-8). On Jan. 28, they skated to a 6-0 win on their home ice at Sawyer Arena.
Brunswick kept it close until Bangor scored three goals in the final 13 minutes.
“They have three good lines and they spread out all the players over those lines,” Brunswick Coach Mike Routhier said.
“You really can’t match up per se, so each line we put out there has got to do their job.”
Kenney scored his goals in the first period to stake the Rams (17-3) to a 2-0 advantage. First, he finished a rush down the slot less than eight minutes into the game. Three minutes later he flipped in a rebound from the slot on a power play.
“Momentum is everything in hockey and we really wanted to come out hard,” Kenney said.
“We’ve got a lot of heart and we have a lot of hustle, and we like to bring that to every game. I think we did that tonight.”
Kenney is in his first season as a forward after playing defense for its first two varsity seasons.
“He’s a very versatile player,” Bangor Coach Quinn Paradis said. “The first two years we had him on defense for us. This year we moved him up and he’s got the defensive-offensive mind. It works out great to our advantage.”
Bangor held a 14-7 edge in shots in the first period, but play was more even during the second period.
Both goalies stopped breakaways in the second period. Brunswick’s Blake Alexander denied Andrew Elston 10 minutes into the period, and Bangor’s Richard Powell stopped Dwayne Palmer less than a minute later.
With less than two minutes left in the period, Matt Brooks made it 2-1 when he scored on a shot from the slot after Palmer won a faceoff as the Dragons started a power play with a two-man advantage.
Trevor Delaite, a sophomore forward, put in a rebound less than three minutes into the third period for Bangor’s second power-play goal.
After the Rams killed off two penalties, Delaite scored two goals less than a minute apart to complete the scoring. Kenney assisted on two of Delaite’s goals.
“(Sam) doesn’t get the recognition that a lot of other guys do, but he stepped up and did what he had to do for the team,” Paradis said. “That’s what makes our team so great is the depth factor. You never know where it’s going to come from.”