WATERVILLE — The Waterville hockey team played as good a first period as it had all season on Monday, generating solid scoring chances and slowing down St. Dominic.

That changed in the second period.

Cody Rodrigue scored a hat trick and St. Dominic scored six second-period goals to break open a close game in a 7-0 victory over Waterville at Alfond Rink.

“We fell apart,” Waterville coach Dennis Martin said. “I don’t know why. I don’t know how you can go from way up to playing like we did.

“We played a super first period, I was like, ‘All right, here we go.’ It was one of the best periods we’ve had. I thought we would just keep it going.”

Instead, it was the Saints who got going in the second period.

Rodrigue scored his second goal of the game just 30 seconds into the period when he crashed the net and converted a rebound off a Chase Hainey shot.

The goal ignited the Saints (5-2-0) and deflated the Purple Panthers (1-10-0), who’ve allowed seven or more goals in each of their last four games.

“We let up that one goal and then we kind of let up,” Waterville senior captain forward JT Whitten said. “I felt we had them after the first (period). We were just dumping it in and grinding them. We were shooting from everywhere and we played pretty good.”

Added St. Dom’s coach Steve Ouellette: “I’m sure when they get down it’s mentally draining. They still gave the effort, though. We just skated three periods and played a good game.”

The Saints, who were without key forward Spencer Martin, scored three more goals in a five-minute span to turn what was shaping up to be a close contest into a rout.

Rodrigue scored his third goal with 3:56 left in the period to make it a 4-0 game. Danny Nadeau made it 5-0 48 seconds later, prompting Martin to replace starting goalie Cody Thibodeau with Dakota Gendreau.

“We had to break up their momentum,” Martin said.

Thibodeau finished with 18 saves while Gendreau turned aside six shots.

Brad Berube scored a goal and two assists to lead the Saints.

Waterville came out strong and had several scoring chances. However, it would be the Saints who opened the scoring when senior forward Rodrigue scored off a shot from the point just 3:21 into the game.

Junior goalie Austin Christopher kept the Saints in the game with key saves early before the offense sprung to life in the second period. He earned the shutout with 22 saves.

“We needed him early,” Ouellette said.

Added Whitten: “We just have to keep our heads up. We just have to keep playing.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640
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