Callie Samson, left, of Saint Dominic Academy celebrates with Maddie Samson after Maddie scored to put the Saints up 2-0 over Lewiston High School on Friday.
LEWISTON — After dispatching Greely in one of its closest games of the year, all that was standing in the way of the St. Dominic Academy girls’ hockey team and a perfect regular season was rival Lewiston/Monmouth/Oak Hill.
The Saints got off to a slow start, then had to work for their goals against Blue Devils freshman goalie Camree St. Hilaire, but they pulled away and skated away with a 8-2 victory at Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Friday night.
Just a day removed from holding off the regional rival Rangers, the Saints (18-0) were slow to get going Friday. St. Hilaire kept one shot from going in near the right post four minutes in, but was helpless two minutes later when St. Dom’s sophomore Kristina Cornelio slithered through the defense and beat the Blue Devils’ netminder going right to left.
“Just it’s been a long week, just trying to get our legs into the game,” Cornelio said.
“I’m not sure about sluggish, maybe a little bit tired. I think that (the win against Greely) was physically and mentally draining, a very competitive game. But they woke up pretty quick,” St. Dom’s coach Paul Gosselin said. “Usually that happens. You get that effort, whether it’s Kristina or anybody else, it just gets the momentum going. Once the spark gets lit, the fire burns.”
St. Hilaire was helpless again 1:36 later when Emma Theriault’s point shot in traffic bounced out of a scrum in front of the net and right to Maddie Samson near the right post. Samson then beat St. Hilaire before she could recover.
The Blue Devils (7-10-1) had a few chances to chip away at the deficit in the final minute of the first period, but one shot was kicked away by St. Dom’s goalie Payton Winslow, and two others went either just wide right or left.
They kept that momentum going into the second period, however, getting a couple more good looks at the net on the first shift of the frame.
“There were certain games this year … where we get a couple goals scored early (against us), we just kind of fell apart, and they didn’t do that,” Blue Devils coach Ron Dumont said. “When you get behind the 8-ball, that’s when you find out what kind of character you got, and I think they showed that they kept playing tonight.”
There was nothing to show for it on the scoreboard, however, and the Saints soon added to their side of it. Cornelio was denied from the left, but regained the puck and scored from the right 1:29 into the second.
Again the Blue Devils had chances to light the lamp for their side, but Jessica Clavet rang a shot off the post six minutes in, then Winslow made consecutive saves off the opening faceoff of a Blue Devils power play.
Avery Lutrzykowski made it 4-0 with just over two minutes remaining in the period, scoring on a rebound of a Cornelio shot that was blocked by St. Hilaire, who stopped 13 of 15 shots in the frame.
St. Hilaire gave way to junior Meagan Gosselin for the third period to continue the Blue Devils’ season-long trend of splitting net time between their two goalies. St. Hilaire made 23 saves in her two periods of work.
“Camree looked great. She did a heck of a job,” Dumont said. “Like I told her, ‘I didn’t remove you because you didn’t do a good job.’ She did an excellent job.”
The Saints scored on their first shot against Gosselin, though it took more than four minutes to happen, when Bugsy Hammerton’s shot through traffic made it in the goal.
The Blue Devils showed progress from their previous matchup with the Saints, a 7-0 loss on home ice. Katie Lemieux ended the Saints’ shutout bid 5:27 into the third with a power-play goal assisted by Jordan Mynahan. Clavet also later scored with the man-advantage, and Mynahan once again had the assist.
“I think, obviously, if you can score a couple goals, they were both power-play goals, so that’s kind of nice,” Dumont said.
In between were St. Dom’s goals by Addie Suckow and Cornelio, who was able to complete a hat trick — a feat she said “never” gets old.
“I think my line definitely contributes a lot, but every person on the team puts their all into the game,” Cornelio said. “We kind of just look for anyone to pick us up, because that can happen. Especially Addie and Madison today, they got good goals.”
Izzy Frenette capped the scoring on an assist from Suckow, finishing off an undefeated regular season for the Saints.
“It’s awesome,” Gosselin said. “Just a great measure of all the hard work they put into practice. It’s a good reward.”
“That means a lot,” Corenelio said. “We really worked hard this season, in practice, in games especially, and we’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing.”
Avery Lutrzykowski of St. Dominic Academy shoots on Lewiston goalie Camree St. Hilaire during the second period in Lewiston on Friday. St. Hilaire made the save.
Jaylin Cloutier, left, of Lewiston and Callie Samson of St. Dom’s chase down the puck in Lewiston on Friday.