BANGOR, Maine — Bangor High School hockey coach Quinn Paradis decided to change up his power play during practice on Monday and it paid huge dividends on Tuesday night.
The Rams scored four power-play goals on seven chances, including two by Travis Roy Award finalist Trevor DeLaite, and went on to post a 6-0 victory over hard-working Westbrook-Windham in a physical Class A North quarterfinal at Sawyer Arena.
DeLaite had three goals and an assist; junior defenseman Nick Cowperthwaite had a goal and three assists and Charlie Budd and Cam Cota had the other goals as fourth seed Bangor improved to 10-7-2 and will now take on top seed Lewiston, 14-2-2, in Saturday’s semifinals at the Colisee in Lewiston.
Cota had two assists to go with his goal.
Westbrook-Windham, the fifth seed, concluded a 13-6 campaign.
“We moved some guys around on the power play yesterday and it worked. So we figured it would work today and it did,” said Cowperthwaite.
“We just decided to put our five best guys out there [on the first power-play unit],” explained Paradis. “It’s do-or-die now. We knew special teams were going to be huge and they were tonight.”
“They moved the puck well on the power play, they found each other and set up well,” said dynamic W-W senior center Zack Callahan.
Westbrook-Windham coach Greg Leclair said he talked to his team before the game about not giving Bangor extra scoring chances by taking penalties.
“They’re a good team and they can the puck in the net. We took too many penalties and they made us pay,” said Leclair.
Bangor carried the play and outshot Westbrook-Windham 32-18 but Westbrook-Windham made the Rams work hard to generate their even-strength scoring chances by hustling in all three zones.
Budd opened the scoring with an even-strength goal from a tight angle at the bottom of the right faceoff circle 4:53 into the game.
“Josh Sherwood gave me a real nice pass and I saw a little daylight over his left [short-side] shoulder and, luckily, it went in,” said Budd.
DeLaite expanded the lead 4:53 later on the power play when he tipped Cowperthwaite’s snap shot from the point past W-W goalie Alex LeBlanc.
“It went top shelf,” said DeLaite.
Bangor goalie Derek Fournier, who finished with 16 saves before being replaced by Zach Alden (2 saves) in the third period, came up with three rapid-fire stops during a flurry later in the middle period to maintain the 2-0 lead. Two of the saves came off Callahan.
“That was probably our best shift of the game and Derek stepped up and made some big saves. He’s probably the best goalie in the state,” said Leclair.
Cowperthwaite made it 3-0 on the power play by firing home a rebound of a Cota shot and DeLaite made it 4-0 with 48 seconds left in the period when he pounced on a loose puck and beat LeBlanc to the short side with a wrister from the right faceoff dot.
Cota and DeLaite added third-period power-play goals as Cota deflected Cowperthwaite’s wrist shot past LeBlanc and DeLaite finished off a Ben Crichton pass on a five-on-three.
LeBlanc wound up making 26 saves.