LEWISTON — With senior goalie Jason Halvorsen stopping virtually every puck Thornton Academy sent his way, Cheverus simply needed to generate some offense Saturday.

After a slow start, the Stags did precisely that in the second and third periods of a 5-1 victory over the Golden Trojans in a Class A South boys’ hockey semifinal at the Colisee.

Cheverus got two power-play goals from Luke Church, two goals from Jackson Wilson and another from Justin Ray. That was more than enough in tandem with Halvorsen’s 27 saves as the Stags advanced to the regional final for the third time in four years.

“It was just one of those games I had to come to play,” said Halvorsen. “I had my teammates in front of me. Thornton is very good. They have great skaters, very fast.”

On Tuesday, at a time to be announced, Cheverus (14-4-1) will return to Lewiston to face third-ranked Biddeford (14-6), which upset Falmouth in overtime in its semifinal.

Thornton Academy carried play in the first period and had an 8-1 advantage in shots on goal, but Halvorsen stopped every shot to keep the game scoreless after 15 minutes.

The Stags’ offense awakened early in the second period, as Wilson finished Alex Brewer’s feed at 2:03 for the lead.

After Halvorsen preserved the lead with several key saves, Cheverus went on the power play and at 12:18, Colby Anton fed Church for a blast that Thornton Academy goalie Seth Dube couldn’t stop and the Stags had a 2-0 lead.

“Anton gave me a great pass,” said Church. “I was calling for it, he hit me perfect, and I just gripped it and ripped it and good things happened.”

Church scored another power-play goal with 10:43 remaining in the game (as he rebounded Ray’s shot).

Halvorsen lost his shutout with 6:21 to go, when Chandler Bilodeau scored short-handed for Thornton Academy.

Cheverus put it away behind goals from Ray (on a rebound of an Anton shot at 12:30) and Wilson (an empty-netter, from Brewer, with 13 seconds remaining) as it advanced.

“We stuck with what got us here and we got some breaks,” said Cheverus Coach Dan Lucas.

“(Thornton has) one great line and we knew if we could keep them contained and not give them too much ice between the blue lines, we could wear them down and we did.”

The Stags beat the Tigers twice this year, 4-2 at home and 4-3 in overtime in Biddeford. After falling in the 2015 and 2017 regional finals, Cheverus is seeking its first berth in a state final since winning back-to-back championships in 2005-06.

“It’s all about effort now,” Halvorsen said. “We play a great team in Biddeford and we’ll have to bring it. Hopefully we can do it.”

The Golden Trojans had a 28-22 shots advantage and got 17 saves from Dube, but couldn’t generate enough offense and their season came to a close at 12-8.

“We had good chances, but (Cheverus) played excellent,” said Thornton Academy Coach Michael Roux. “We have great senior leadership in here. They changed the program. We went from four wins to 12. That’s all the seniors. I have no complaints.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.