LEWISTON — A little tired and a little shocked, Waterville survived a penalty-filled second period and did something it hasn’t done much of this season: Explode offensively.

The defending Class A state champions scored five times in the third period to beat Bangor 7-2 in the Eastern A semifinals Saturday afternoon at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“We crashed hard and dumped the puck low,” said Waterville senior left wing Josh Gaudette, who scored three goals in the third period. “We took more shots. We didn’t have a lot of shots the first two periods. We peppered the goalie with shots in the third.”

No. 2 Waterville (13-6-1) will play No. 4 St. Dominic in the regional final Tuesday night at the Colisee. St. Dom’s upset No. 1 Lewiston 2-0 in the second semifinal Saturday.

No. 3 Bangor, which lost to Waterville for the second straight season in the Eastern A semifinals, ended its season 12-7-1.

Entering the playoffs, Waterville scored just six goals in its final four games and was shut out twice, by Thornton and Lewiston. In two playoff games, however, Waterville has erupted for a total of 14 goals.

“We drove to the net and did a lot of things,” Waterville coach Dennis Martin said. “When you play tough teams you have to fire stuff on net and we started to get momentum and we just kept going with it.”

Waterville jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second period, but then took five penalties in the period and went on the penalty kill four times. Bangor rallied to tie the game at two, but Waterville goalie Ryan Cormier stopped eight shots in the period to keep the Panthers in the game.

And they capitalized.

The Panthers took control of the game in the third, scoring twice in the first five minutes, then twice on an extended 5-on-3 to put the game away.

“We had to kill the penalty to start the third and penalty kill has been our forte all year,” said Martin, who’s team entered the game with a 92.3 percent success rate on the penalty kill. “We killed that, got some momentum and our guys worked hard and we got a bounce. We capitalized on our chances.”

Waterville took the lead when Gaudette knocked in a rebound of a shot by Katy Massey 3 minutes, 17 seconds into the third. Then defenseman David Cook made it 4-2 with a breakaway goal. Gaudette scored on a breakaway of his own with 7:51 left, then Bangor was whistled for two penalties on the same play, giving Waterville a 5-on-3.

Waterville took advantage, with goals by Nick DeBlois and Gaudette.

“We haven’t been getting offense from everyone this year and today everyone pitched in,” Waterville defenseman Matt Lee said. “We got scoring from a lot of lines, so that was really good.”

Waterville took a 2-0 lead when Kyle Bishop backhanded in a pass from DeBlois just 2:44 into the second, but took five penalties in the second and lost the lead. One second after Bishop’s goal, Bangor went on its first power play and in the midst of that power play was able to pull its goalie on a delayed penalty call. The Rams took advantage when Phil Frost knocked in a rebound.

Still on the power play, Bangor tied the game when George shot through a screen by Joe Seccareccia with 6:36 left.

“No. 33 (Ryan Cormier) kept them in the game in the second period, he was phenomenal,” Bangor coach Ted Taylor said. “We had our hands in the air a couple times, thinking we had scored, and he had made the save.”

In the midst of the line change, Waterville took a 1-0 lead in the first. Massey dumped a pass to Gaudette in the neutral zone, before heading to the bench. Gaudette broke in alone on a 1-2, but was quickly followed by DeBlois, fresh off the bench. Gaudette dropped the pass off to DeBlois, who ripped a wrister past Bangor goalie Chris Howat with 6:18 left.

Cormier finished with 26 saves for the Panthers, including 11 in the first period. Howat had 17 saves for Bangor.

St. Dom’s 2, Lewiston 0: Shayne Curtis made 30 saves as the Saints upset top-ranked Lewiston at the Colisee.

No. 4 St. Dom’s (12-8-0) will play Waterville in the regional championship game Tuesday in Lewiston. The regional final is a rematch of last season’s Class A state championship game, which Waterville won 3-2.

No. 1 Lewiston ended its season 15-3-1.

St. Dom’s scored the only goal it would need early in the first period when Alex Parker scored from Matt Roy 4:35 in.

Spencer Martin scored an insurance goal, punching in a rebound of a shot by Cam Brown with 3:02 left in the second.

St. Dom’s did not put a shot on net in the third and managed just 11 in the game, but Curtis’ spectacular play kept them in the game.

Scott Martin — 621-5618

[email protected]

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