LEWISTON — The Lewiston High School Blue Devils girls’ hockey came out of the gate slow and couldn’t execute their game plan as the Greely Rangers came away with the 3-1 victory at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in an Eastern Maine showdown.
“We didn’t come out of the box and its unfortunate because it put us on our heels,” Lewiston head coach Ron Dumont said. “I think we kept that pattern throughout the game.”
Greely (9-2-1) jumped out to the 1-0 lead when Paige Tuller’s pass attempt at the offensive blue line deflected off a Blue Devils player right to Meg Finley in the slot. Finley caught Lewiston goalie Brianna Lajoie out of position and slid the puck in the net on the backhand at the 9:36 mark.
“I wasn’t sure if that was a shot or a pass,” said Greely head coach Nate Guerin of Tuller’s play at the blue line. “We ask (Finley) to drive to the net regardless of the play and she did.”
Dumont said his team didn’t make the necessary changes.
“We spent way too much time in defensive zone,” Dumont mentioned. “Greely didn’t change anything because things were working. We weren’t making the adjustments that we were talking about. We weren’t moving our feet and not making plays.”
Lewiston (10-3-0) answered when Faith Ide’s innocent shot on net from the right circle bounced off Maura Perry’s glove into the net with 2:43 remaining in the period.
It was a scoreless second period, but the Rangers could have easily made it 2-1 or 3-1 if it wasn’t for Lajoie in net. She made at least two consecutive saves on three separate occasions in the period. In all, she made 13 saves in the period while her teammates only mustered three shots on goal.
“I give her all the credit in the world,” Dumont said of Lajoie in the second and third period. “I thought the (defense) played very well, but they were getting gassed spending time in their own zone.”
For the entire game, she made 29 saves for Lewiston while Maura Perry stopped 13 shots for Greely.
“She’s one of the best (goalies) we have seen all year,” said Guerin of Lajoie. “She’s strong as a senior. She’s a real leader and she’s big in the net. Her teammates compete for her and play hard around her. She’s tough to score on.”
Finley scored her second of the game when Lajoie lost sight of the puck after making the initial stop on Tuller. Finley was right there to light the lamp at the 8:44 mark of the third period. Mary Morrison notched the secondary assist.
Danita Storey iced the game for Greely with an empty goal from her own blue line with 1:04 left to play.
Both teams didn’t commit a penalty in the game.
“I am disappointed, but there’s nothing we can,” Dumont added. “We got to go to the next game and we need to fix (our mistakes). Greely is a real good team; they are the defending state champions. We’ve been on a run. Hopefully this is a wake-up call.”