Friday, March 7, 2014
By GREG REID Special to the Press Herald
PORTLAND - From the opening faceoff, St. Dominic made one thing clear to Cheverus: You can't score if you don't have the puck.
St. Dom's controlled play Thursday night, chipping away for a 4-1 victory n a Class A crossover game at the Portland Ice Arena.
Cam Stewart had a goal and an assist, Brad Berube added two assists and Grant Carrier (12 saves) was there when called up as the Saints (8-3-1), ranked third in Eastern Class A, collected their seventh straight win.
Jason Blier (28 saves) was spectacular at times for the Stags (8-3), who are ranked third in the West. Cheverus, playing for the first time since Jan. 19, suffered a second straight loss.
"This was our most complete game of the season," St. Dom's Coach Steve Ouellette said. "We really played well in every phase of the game. We knew Cheverus was looking forward to this game and they played like it. This is a big road win for us."
St. Dom's held a 23-11 edge in faceoffs.
"Right from the start they won the draw, sent it back and the pressure was on us," Cheverus Coach Dan Lucas said. "When we did get our chances, (Carrier) came up with big saves."
St. Dom's took a 1-0 lead at 6:47 of the first period on Cam Stewart's power-play goal. Matt Chaisse sent the puck from the right boards to Stewart in the slot. He beat Blier with a wrist shot.
"That first goal gives you momentum to build on," Stewart said. "It was a great pass from (Chaisse). The team played really well tonight and it was good to come out with a win."
Cheverus came right back three minutes later while on the power play, when Cam McLain scored on a scramble in front. Matt O'Leary assisted.
"After that layoff I was happy we came out even after the first," Lucas said. "We played well in the first, spent a lot of the second period in the box, and then the third, we were trying to play catch-up."
The Saints regained a 2-1 lead when Kyle Holtet scored on a power play from Will Desmarais at 10:01. The Stags killed off a five-on-three penalty. Between the need to kill penalties, St. Dom's strong work in the neutral zone and shot-blocking defensemen, the Stags failed to register a shot on goal in the period.
St. Dom's made it a two-goal game on Caleb Labrie's shot from the slot 1:45 of the third period. Calvin Stewart sealed it from the high slot at 12:57.
"We just need to work harder and put more pucks on the net," Lucas said. "You're not going to beat anybody with 13 shots on net."