Typically, it’s bad form to look past an opponent in the postseason

But you can’t blame Cheverus forward James Hannigan for his first reaction upon seeing the bracket for the Western Class A boys’ hockey playoffs last week.

Looming for the second-seeded Stags was a matchup with Noble/Wells, the team that ended their season a year ago. Both teams had to get past their quarterfinal opponents first, but that proved to be a mere formality.

Cheverus dispatched of Lake Region//Fryeburg Academy/Oxford Hills with ease Wednesday with a 12-1 romp at Troubh Ice Arena. The game was so one-sided that the third period was played with a running clock.

“It’s been in the forefront of my mind since I figured out that we could be playing Noble,” said Hannigan, a senior forward, of the rematch that will occur at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Colisee in Lewiston.

Noble/Wells, which beat South Portland on Tuesday in its quarterfinal, also ousted Cheverus in the quarterfinals a year ago, winning 4-3. All of its goals came on the power play. That result has simmered in the minds of the nine Stags’ seniors since, prodded by occasional reminders from younger classmates.

“It was one of the toughest games I’ve ever played,” Hannigan said. “Because we dominated them the whole game and they just got power-play goals left and right. It was devastating last year because we thought we had a good team.

“We talk about it a lot. Every once in while you hear something about how we lost to Noble last year and people keep that brewing in the minds of everybody. All the way down the line, even the freshmen that are on the team this year, they ask us how we lost to Noble last year. There’s no excuse. We didn’t play our game and we got beat. But this year we’re going to play our game and we’re going to take it to them.”

Cheverus (12-5-2) certainly took it to the seventh-seeded Ice Cats (10-9) on Wednesday. Defenseman James Kane scored 24 seconds into the game on a shot from the right point that actually bounced in off of an opposing player. The lead was 5-0 after one period. Hannigan had a hat trick in the second period as 10 players recorded a goal.

It was reminiscent of the regular-season meeting, which Cheverus won 10-0. But Kane said the players had to block that one out.

“We just had to forget about the first game that we played against them, treat it as a game like Scarborough or Biddeford,” Kane said. “It’s a big game, playoffs, one and done basically.”

Said Hannigan: “Our mentality was to get on them early because we know that we beat them pretty big last time. So if we got on them early it would kind of build some confidence for us, tear their confidence down a little bit, and we could just roll on to an easy win, as we did.

“I wasn’t that worried. It was in my mind just because it was my senior year, last hurrah. But to be honest, I believe in these guys to the end.”

Cheverus won state titles in 2005 and 2006, but this will mark only its second appearance in the Western semifinals in the past nine years.

“At least this gets our Cheverus name in the conversation again. It was out of there for a while,” Coach Dan Lucas said.