Thursday, December 12, 2013
By Paul Betit firstname.lastname@example.org
LEWISTON — When Thornton Academy won its first Class A boys’ hockey championship a year ago, it was unexpected.
C.J. Maksut had that kind of season for Thornton Academy, leading Class A with 32 goals, including three in the state final against St. Dominic, and best yet, skating off with his teammates, holding a state title plaque.
Staff photos by Shawn Patrick Ouellette
The celebrating was done for the second straight season by Thornton Academy, which compiled a 20-1-1 record in a dominating season, capped by the 5-1 win over St. Dom’s.
RECENT CLASS A CHAMPS
2012: Thornton Academy
2011: Thornton Academy
This season, everybody expected the Trojans to win and they delivered.
C.J. Maksut scored three goals Saturday night to lead the Golden Trojans to a 5-1 win over St. Dominic at the Colisee.
“With a large senior class, it helps,” Thornton Coach Jamie Gagnon said. “When you have a lot of guys who have been here before. They understand the commitment involved and what it’s going to take to accomplish their goal.”
It was the 12th consecutive win for the Trojans, who skated to 8-1 and 6-2 wins over the Saints in the regular season.
Thornton (20-1-1) took control when it took a 3-0 lead in the first period.
“We thought it was critical to capitalize on opportunities because we didn’t expect to get a ton of them,” said Gagnon, in his first season as coach of the Trojans. “To break out to a lead was certainly helpful, and then we were able to concentrate on defense. We were able to play very well defensively.”
Maksut, the leading scorer in Class A, put in a rebound two minutes into the game. He scored after goalie Austin Christopher stopped two shots by Andrew Carignan.
Three minutes later, Carignan turned a centering pass from Filip Takac into his 21st goal on the Trojans’ first power play of the game.
With more than seven minutes left in the period, Maksut made it 3-0 when he finished off a rush down the left side with his 31st goal of the season.
The shots on goal stood 9-9 after the first period, so the play was fairly even. But the Saints (15-7) were frustrated because Thornton goalie Joe Ferrante didn’t allow one rebound in the first 15 minutes.
“A lot of people underrate Joe and underestimate him, and he’s played phenomenal,” Carignan said, “Tonight he kept us in the game early. He’s been our backstop all season.”
The Trojans continued to apply pressure in the second period, outshooting the Saints 8-2 in the first 10 minutes.
“We could skate with them. That wasn’t the problem,” St. Dom’s Coach Steve Ouellette said. “What got us here is a lot of hard hitting and driving to the net, and unfortunately a lot of that got taken away from us.”
Greg Lodge sent Thornton into a 4-0 lead when he put in a one-timer from the top of the slots with more than eight minutes left in the period for his 14th goal of the season.
Troy Haefele spoiled Ferrante’s bid for his fifth shutout of the season when he stuck in a rebound for a power-play goal with more than eight minutes remaining.
Maksut completed his hat trick by sending the puck into an empty net with 12 seconds left.
“The effort these guys gave was unbelievable,” Ouellette said. “Coming into this season nobody expected us to be here.”
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:
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Adam Christopher, the St. Dominic goalie, could do little to stop the Thornton Academy offense that scored three goals in the first period – including the third by C.J. Maksut.
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Greg Lodge of Thornton Academy heads to the ice after being tripped while reaching for the puck around Spencer Martin of St. Dominic.