Girls’ Hockey Player of the Year: Kristina Cornelio was sparkplug for St. Dom’s

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St. Dominic Academy’s Kristina Cornelio fires the puck into the net past Greely goalie Nica Todd during their game in Auburn on Thursday.

Not only did the St. Dominic Academy girls’ hockey team not lose a game on the way to a second straight state title, the Saints also never trailed at any point in any game.

Some of that can be attributed to sophomore center Kristina Cornelio, who scored 55 goals and added 29 assists for a dominant St. Dom’s team. Cornelio also had a knack for finding the back of the net early, putting the Saints ahead for good game after game.

“This year, I took it upon myself to get a shot on net when I could because you never know when it could go in,” Cornelio said.

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Cornelio got the season off on the right foot, scoring the Saints’ first goal of the season and netting a hat trick in an overpowering victory at Greely, the lone team to beat St. Dom’s during its championship season the previous year. Then came a five-goal game — including scoring the first three goals of the game — in the home opener against Brunswick.

“She scored 55 goals, and there were many times when I actually held her back, or she held herself back because she was trying to make a girl who hadn’t scored yet,” Saints coach Paul Gosselin said.

Cornelio’s scoring tally alone was more than the Saints gave up all year, allowing just 20 goals in 21 games.

“I think that she set personal goals, and really went to work to make sure that happened again, both from an individual point and a team perspective,” Gosselin said.

The skilled sophomore had a solid season as a freshman, but spent the offseason getting stronger, then made sure she didn’t waste any time in practice trying to improve as well. Cornelio also grew more confident on the ice, and said she came out of her shell.

St. Dom’s first line, which Cornelio centered along with wings Bugsy Hammerton and Avery Lutrzykowski, continued to grow, as well. The trio has played together for years, so they tried to spice things up on the ice this season.

“We always try new things, and sometimes we’ll get really creative. It’s fun to be a part of that,” Cornelio said. “We’re all so willing to make each other look good.”

The best way to look good in hockey is to put the puck in the net. Not satisfied with her ability to that, Cornelio set forth to get better at putting successful shots on target.

“She’s always very regimented working on her shot, making sure that it works. She’s always asking for ways to make it better,” Gosselin said. “She doesn’t accept the norm. She’s always looking to get better with it.”

That shot went in three times in the state final, and Cornelio also added an assist in a 10-2 victory over Falmouth. It was a much more comfortable win than a year ago, when the Saints squeaked past Scarborough 2-1.

“We really calmed our nerves and we played our game,” Cornelio said.

In St. Dom’s only close games this season — 2-1 over Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland and 3-2 over Greely — Cornelio tallied a goal and an assist in each.

“She’s very driven, and just has that will to win. She wants to succeed in everything she does,” Gosselin said. “I think that she goes and attacks it.”

Cornelio has proven everything she can at the high school level. Now she is moving on to prep school, according to Gosselin, with the hopes to eventually play Division I hockey.

“It’s a bittersweet pill to swallow, because I’d love to keep her, but I know that she has to leave,” Gosselin said.

wkramlich@sunjournal.com

First team

Pos. Name School Class

F Kristina Cornelio St. Dom’s Soph.

F Avery Lutrzykowski St. Dom’s Soph.

F Mariah Vaillancourt EL/Leavitt/Poland Sr.

D Izzy Frenette St. Dom’s Soph.

D Kaylee Younk EL/Leavitt/Poland Sr.

G Payton Winslow St. Dom’s Jr.

Second team

Pos. Name School Class

F Bugsy Hammerton St. Dom’s Soph.

F Saige Arseneault EL/Leavitt/Poland Jr.

F Haley Frohlich EL/Leavitt/Poland Sr.

D Emma Theriault St. Dom’s Soph.

D Ally MacKenzie EL/Leavitt/Poland Sr.

G Manny Guimond EL/Leavitt/Poland Fr.

Honorable mention

Pos. Name School Class

F Jordan Mynahan Lewiston/Monmouth/Oak Hill Jr.

F Katie Lemieux Lewiston/Monmouth/Oak Hill Soph.

F Madi Simard EL/Leavitt/Poland Sr.

D Katya Fons St. Dom’s Jr.

D Angel Drouin EL/Leavitt/Poland Sr.

G Meghan Gosselin Lewiston/Monmouth/Oak Hill Jr.

G Camree St. Hilaire Lewiston/Monmouth/Oak Hill Fr.

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