AUBURN — When Leavitt scored for a 1-0 lead in a boys’ hockey season opener Saturday, the Portland/Deering players may have been deflated.

But Bulldogs Coach Jeff Beaney had another perspective.

“The returning players might have thought ‘oh no, here we go again,’ but for me, I thought it could be the best thing that happened,” Beaney said.

Portland/Deering woke up and eventually took a 2-1 first-period lead, then poured it on with five goals in the third for a 7-1 rout at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

Mason Martell scored two goals and Dominic Tocci had four assists from his new position as a defenseman. Alex Girsch made 17 saves.

It was the high school coaching debut for Beaney, who coached the University of Southern Maine men’s team the previous 28 seasons.

“A little lost,” Beaney joked. “But the biggest thing is getting a feel for the players.”

Portland/Deering has not been a contender for years. When the Bulldogs’ job opened up, one of Beaney’s former players at USM, Matt King, reached out to Beaney. King’s son, Cam, is a forward for the Bulldogs.

Beaney, 55, left the USM program midseason last year, forced out after a 1-9 start.

“I still wanted to coach,” Beaney said. And with high school players, Beaney found a refreshing change.

“They’re wide-eyed and just really excited,” Beaney said.

The Bulldogs were a little too excited at the start of Saturday’s game. They have depth, with three and sometimes four lines, but were creating no flow.

“We didn’t play any position,” Beaney said. “We were running around, golfing it.”

Blaine Arsenault’s goal gave Leavitt a 1-0 lead 7:11 into the game.

But Portland got it back quickly. Tocci brought the puck up and drew a crowd of defenders. He was ridden off the puck, but King was right there and wristed it in at 8:13.

Tocci was a forward last year.

“I did that a few years ago (at USM),” Beaney said of the position switch. “(Jon) Lounsbury ended up being an All-American, and the (Brian) Collum kid did the same thing.

“(Tocci) is getting into it. He realized he can control the game back there.”

Tocci, a senior captain, said the transition is coming along.

“Beaney’s changed everything, but it’s been good for us,” Tocci said.

Tocci’s freshman brother, Donato, is playing alongside him. Donato scored at 13:15 of the first period, assisted by his brother and Phil McCallum. It was the first of four power-play goals for the Bulldogs, the rest of them coming in the third period.

“I thought we played well for two periods,” Leavitt Coach Joe Hutchinson said. “But when you don’t play disciplined, you lose games.”

Portland/Deering also got goals from Joe Pichette, Giovanni Ruotolo and Lucas Harris.

“It was important to get this first win, but the goal is to continue playing as a team,” said Beaney, whose team has games against Lewiston, Biddeford, St. Dom’s and Falmouth coming up this month.

“We have to build depth to play the big teams,” Beaney said.