LEWISTON — Biddeford High boys’ hockey coach Jason Tremblay expressed two sentiments after his Tigers reached the Class A state championship game for a second straight year.

“Maybe we’re the underdog,” Tremblay said.

True enough. Biddeford’s opponent, St. Dominic, has some impressive wins, including a 6-0 rout of the Tigers on Jan. 5.

But, Tremblay added: “It’s wide open this year, anyone’s ballgame.”

This has been a year of parity. No team is secure as the favorite.

Biddeford and St. Dominic meet at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Earlier at the Colisee, Greely and Old Town/Orono will play for the Class B championship at 1 p.m. It’s a rematch of last year’s title game won by Old Town/Orono 3-2 in overtime.

Last year Biddeford lost to Lewiston 2-1 in the Class A final.

The Tigers and Blue Devils almost had a rematch, but No. 2 seed St. Dom’s upset the three-time defending state champion, 3-2, even though Lewiston dominated 54-17 in shots on net.

Biddeford is also a No. 2 seed. Portland/Deering upset No. 1 Thornton Academy in the Class A South semifinals, then Biddeford beat the Bulldogs 3-2 in the regional final on Tuesday.

Here’s a look at the four teams playing for titles:

St. Dom’s (15-4-1) has won 25 state titles (it was thought to be 24 but during a research of team history, the school found another title, won in 1946). The Saints are a perennial power but with poor luck. Their last state championship came in 2000. Since then St. Dom’s has lost in five title games, the last two in overtime (to Falmouth in 2014 and Scarborough the next year).

The Saints’ obvious strength is goalie Gaston Fuksa (1.69 goals-against average), who withstood an onslaught from Lewiston in the Class A North final Tuesday.

For a school of 162 students, St. Dom’s has some depth with a solid rotation of defensemen and forwards. The top line features Will Fletcher (44 regular-season points) and Dominic Chasse (43).

The Saints’ offense has been contained at times (two shutout losses and a 1-1 tie to Yarmouth), and penalties can be a problem. In their rout of Biddeford in January, the Tigers had five power plays. The Saints did a fine job with the penalty kill that day because the Tigers’ power play is good (30 percent success rate).

Biddeford (15-6) is looking for its fourth state title in the last 14 years, having won in 2007, ’08 and ’10.

The Tigers shorten their bench, using only two lines and three defensemen. Biddeford’s top line is dangerous – Nick McSorley (59 points), Trevor Ouellette (40) and Nick Reissfelder (29) with forward-turned-defenseman Colin Petit always an offensive threat.

Goalie Justin Larnerd (2.88 goals-against) has been steady in the playoffs. Another telling factor in that 6-0 loss to St. Dom’s was the Tigers were outshot, 54-26. Larnerd made 48 saves.

Top-seeded Greely (18-2) showed its offensive might in two playoff wins in Class B South.

Leading Gorham 1-0 into the second period, Greely turned it on for a 10-1 rout in the semifinals. Then the Rangers really got dramatic, trailing Cape Elizabeth 2-0 after the first period, only to win 9-4.

With losses only to Class A powers Lewiston and St. Dom’s this year, Greely has been on a mission since its heartbreaking title-game loss last year – the Rangers led 2-0 before the Old Town/Orono rallied.

Forwards Jake MacDonald and Andy Moore (both with 55 points) make up a 1-2 punch. Jackson Williams (36 points) and Peter Lattanzi (24) can score. Defensemen Caleb Duff (28 points) and Ryan Moore (13) are also leaders. Goalie Jared Swisher has a 2.55 goals-against average.

The Rangers are looking for their fourth title in 11 years, having won in 2009, ’12 and ’13.

Old Town/Orono (15-5) apparently has recovered from its mini-skid at the end of the regular season and appears primed to defend its title. The Black Bears were 13-2 through 15 games, the two defeats to Class A teams. But they finished with three losses, including 6-4 to Waterville/Winslow.

The Black Bears have since rebounded with a re-energized roster. Defenseman Cam Tower returned for the playoffs from a broken collarbone. Defenseman Dylan Street, out for almost two months with an illness, is also back. Goalie Kohle Parker (2.31 GAA) also returned after missing two games.

Old Town/Orono is back to what it does best – playing defense. Facing Waterville – a team with 77 goals this year – in the Class B North final, Old Town/Orono won, 1-0.

Forward Tyler McCannell is still around. The team’s leading scorer the past two seasons, McCannell scored two goals against Greely last year, and the goal in the North final Wednesday. Tanner Evans and Sam Henderson are among the other forwards to watch.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH


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