Friday, March 7, 2014
By Mark Emmert email@example.com
BIDDEFORD — They’re calling it “the drive for 25” and there was no question who was in the driver’s seat Wednesday.
The St. Dominic boys’ hockey team looked like a championship contender with its most complete performance of the season, dismantling a solid Biddeford squad 8-0 at the Biddeford Ice Arena.
The Saints ran their record to a rather unremarkable 4-3-2, but it was their third consecutive victory and senior captain Brad Berube is encouraged that his team is finding its stride.
“I think we’re very deep. Our defense is great and our goalies are stepping up as seniors. I think our team knows what to do to win that 25th state championship and I think our team can pull it together,” Berube said.
“People are getting more focused as a team. We’re starting to be a family.”
The Saints have been bonding over team dinners, Berube said. They certainly feasted on the Tigers (3-5-1), putting up four first-period goals to drain any drama from the contest.
The Saints were quicker to the puck, and stronger with it once they got there, dominating play at even strength by creating a seemingly endless sequence of odd-man rushes.
Berube was in the center of it all. He assisted on the first three goals and scored the final one short-handed.
“He’s got a second gear and speed and he’s got great ice presence, good vision,” Saints Coach Steve Ouellette said. “He uses guys and he’s not afraid to share the puck.”
That was evident early. Seven Saints scored goals, and their first seven were all at even strength. The prettiest was the second one, when Berube gathered a puck in front of his bench and sent it forward and across the ice precisely onto the stick of a rushing Caleb Labrie. He finished the breakaway by waiting for goaltender Brandon Daigle to commit before flipping the puck past him. The rout was on.
“That was all practice,” Berube said. “One of our plays is where he cuts behind the defense, and I kind of give him a little chip. We run that in practice, passing it to space, and that’s what we did. I passed it to space and he buried it.”
Meanwhile, St. Dom’s senior goalie Zack Roy was up to every challenge, swallowing the puck whenever needed to earn the shutout. He has been starting the past four games as Ouellette promises to ride the hot hand.
“He made the first saves. He did a good job,” Ouellette said. “He got his shot and he hasn’t done anything not to keep it.”
Roy called it his best game this season.
“The biggest saves were probably the scrums in front of the net,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been moving well, stopping pucks, helping my team out as best I can.”
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