LEWISTON — Trevor Ouellette scored a hat trick. Goalie Justin Larnerd stopped nearly everything, including a penalty shot.

They paced Biddeford, with its lean roster, to a 3-1 win over South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport in a Class A South semifinal Saturday at the Colisee.

Ouellette broke a 1-1 tie with a power-play wrist shot at 8:46 of the second period for the winner.

Second-seeded Biddeford (14-6) will play for a second straight South championship at 6 p.m. Tuesday against No. 5 Portland/Deering (10-10), a 2-1 upset winner of top-ranked Thornton Academy.

Larnerd made 22 saves. He poke-checked away a penalty shot in the second period and was in position for several point-blank one-timers in the third.

“Their goalie played fantastic,” South Portland Coach Joe Robinson said. “I said before the season the team to beat was Biddeford. They have one of the best forwards (Nick McSorley) in the state and one of the best goalies in the state.

“They’re a small group but what they have is really talented.”

The Tigers play only nine skaters, with six forwards and three defensemen.

“It’s gutty,” Coach Jason Tremblay said. “It’s gone under the radar how much they’ve battled.”

Biddeford was facing another battler. The Red Riots (11-9) emerged from their usual underdog status this season to get the No. 3 seed. Along the way they went 3-0 against the top seeds in these playoffs. Two weeks ago they lost to Thornton 5-3, with the Trojans needing two third-period goals.

On Saturday, South Portland paid special attention to McSorley and held the Tigers to two shots on net in the first period.

But that first shot was a score. Ouellette walked in and went five-hole with a backhand for an early Biddeford lead, at 3:25.

South Portland dominated most of the period and finally broke through at 12:31. Owen Anderson sent a puck in and Andrew Burns buried it, making it 1-1.

Biddeford enjoyed nearly half the second period (7:25) on the power play, including 1:01 of a five-on-three. But the Tigers had trouble.

“They were really executing their penalty kill,” Ouellette said. “I thought it was going to give them momentum but we finally snuck one in.”

With 31 seconds left on their last power play, Ouellette took a pass in the left circle from McSorley and fired. It hit the goalie’s glove and bounced over him, and in, at 8:46.

At 10:40, Bradley McMains of South Portland was tripped on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot. Larnerd skated around his net, waiting.

“The key thing is to stay relaxed,” Larnerd said. “We practice it every practice. Everyone knows the poke-check is coming. That’s my go-to.”

And just like he does in practice, Larnerd poked away the puck when McMains got too close.

In the third period, Deven Hannan of the Red Riots was twice in position for a one-timer, but Larnerd was right there for the stop.

“He played unbelievable,” Tremblay said. “He saw everything and we took care of the rebounds”

Ouellette sealed it with a rebound off the glass at 10:38 of the third period.

“We gave them a game,” Robinson said. “We had our chances.”

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH

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