LEWISTON — Lucas Pushard started and ended the scoring, and in between Gaston Fuksa made save after save to lift St. Dominic Academy to a 4-2 victory over rival and three-time defending state champion Lewiston in the Class A North boys’ hockey final at Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Tuesday.

The Saints now advance to the Class A state final to face South champion Biddeford, which beat Portland/Deering earlier Tuesday for its second straight regional title.

Fuksa, who St. Dom’s Coach Bob Parker called “the man of the day, no doubt about it,” finished with 52 saves to deny the North No. 1 seed Blue Devils (17-3) another comeback victory and a fourth consecutive regional crown.

“I never feel that before, how it’s like to beat Lewiston, but I can finally know how it is to have that feeling,” Fuksa, who is from the Czech Republic, said.

Pushard started the game off with a bang, collecting Jacques Ouellette’s diagonal outlet pass just ahead of Lewiston goalie Jacob Smith and sneaking it by the netminder to give second-seeded St. Dom’s a 1-0 lead just 34 seconds in. Michael Cilley got the secondary assist.

“That was all just because of a lucky bounce, and this rink is crazy. There’s a lot of them,” Pushard said. “And as soon as I saw that bounce coming to my stick I knew I was going to bury it.”


“It’s exciting and everything, but it happened so early that you know that the game’s going to be really long, and you really can’t celebrate too long,” Parker said. “And Lewiston did come back pretty quickly on us.”

Kurtis Pelletier answered for the Blue Devils two minutes later by taking a shot from the right circle that tucked inside the top-left corner of the net. Ryan Pomerleau fed Pelletier the puck to earn the lone assist.

Fuksa made sure his team didn’t fall behind, stopping Pomerleau on a breakaway before turning the other way and recovering in time to make a diving save on Pelletier’s rebound shot. A Saints penalty after the whistle gave Lewiston a power play, but Fuksa made five saves to keep it 1-1.

The Saints (15-4-1) took the lead back less than a minute later when Jacob Lewis redirected Derek Wolverton’s point shot past Smith with 1:32 left in the first.

The Blue Devils carried their second power play of the game over into the second period, which was dominated by the man between the pipes for St. Dom’s. Fuksa stopped all 22 shots he faced, including five on the spilled-over power play from the first period and four more on another Blue Devils man-advantage.

“You know, we had good looks, we had traffic a lot of times,” Lewiston Coach Jamie Belleau said. “The second period we got away from it a little bit. But kids are holding their sticks tight, they’re trying to find a way to get pucks to the net.”


Lewiston had the first 18 shots on goal of the period, but the Saints had the only one that went in. Cilley collected Zach Pelletier’s delivery from the point and pushed it past Smith on a St. Dom’s power play with 46.6 seconds left in the second, giving the Saints a 3-1 lead going into the third.

Pelletier quickly cut the deficit in half, finding Fuksa’s five-hole for a goal 49 seconds into the third. Logan Tripp and Pomerleau assisted on the counter-attack goal.

“I tried to not think about that,” Fuksa said. “I have another 14 minutes and just stop every single shot.”

That was the last shot to get past Fuksa, who even made one save with his mask and stopped the final 13 shots he faced.

Pushard capped off the victory with a tap-in empty-net goal with 2.3 seconds left. Lewis had sent the puck out from his own defensive end and Pushard caught up with it to put in the final nail in the Blue Devils’ coffin.

“It’s just so satisfying to work that hard, be out there for three, four minutes and just get the job done finally,” Pushard said.

“I’m proud of my kids. We did everything we wanted to do,” Belleau said. “We executed, we put a lot of pucks to the net. You got to take your hat off to them. The goalie made some saves, and they played out some rebounds, but we were right there.”

Smith finished with 13 saves for Lewiston in his final game.

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