Lewiston’s Jordan Mynahan takes the puck down the ices as St. Dominic’s Emma Theriault keeps up during the hockey game at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn on Saturday evening. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
AUBURN — Callie Samson was in the right place at the right time in the final two minutes, keeper Payton Winslow was in the right place at the right time all night, and defending champion St. Dominic Academy showed its not ready to relinquish the crown just yet.
Samson swept the puck into the cage after an Avery Lutrzykowski wrap-around was stuffed with 1:25 to play in regulation and Winslow stopped 34 shots to lift the Saints past rival Lewiston/Monmouth/Oak Hill 3-2 at the Norway Savings Bank Arena on Saturday.
Samson was ready for the puck on her game-winning shot, having seen the same situation unfold in practice several times. And, the net was yawning.
“We do that a lot in practice, and we know to go to the goal and be ready for the puck to come across,” Samson said. “I don’t know what I would have done if I’d missed. That would have been so embarrassing.”
On the other end, Winslow saw the puck well — really well — and having a little inside knowledge didn’t hurt, either.
“I was really just trying to work the angles,” Winslow said. “And I used to play with some of them, so I know how they shoot, and I know where they go, and I can tell by how they’re coming down where they want to go. And I can try to make them shoot a certain way when I move a certain way.”
The win for the Saints avenged a 5-0 Devils win on New Year’s Day.
“We hadn’t been playing in more than two weeks when we played them the last time, and we’re a team that, the more we play, the better we play,” Samson said.
The teams started slowly, both electing to feel each other out for the opening five minutes or so. Neither team had any shots that were particularly dangerous, save for one St. Dom’s fire from the point that bounced in on a screened Camree St. Hilaire, who calmly kicked it away.
Freshman Gisele Ouellette started things off on the right skate for the Saints at 8:22 of the opening frame. Skating in one-on-one against a Devils defender, she tried to fire a shot glove side. The puck tipped high off the defender’s stick and floated over the prone keeper to put the home team on top by one.
The Saints got on the board again at 11:37 of the first when Emma Theriault fired a third-chance rebound past St. Hilaire after a mad scramble in front of the cage on a Saints shorthanded opportunity. Lutrzykowski had the first chance on a partial breakaway, and Ouellette tried to stuff the rebound home, but the puck kicked out between the circles to Theriault, who finished the job.
“We haven’t been behind all year,” Lewiston/Monmouth/Oak Hill each Ron Dumont said. “And then we were behind two. It’s not something we’re used to, but we came back.”
Just over a minute later, Sara Robert pulled Lewiston/Monmouth/Oak Hill within one on a sharp-angle shot from the right side of the cage. Deliberately high, her shot banked off Winslow and into the cage past a diving defender to put the Devils on the board.
Through the second period, Lewiston/Monmouth/Oak Hill’s depth began to show, and the Devils carried play more often through the center zone and into the Saints’ end. Molly Chicoine capitalized on one of a handful of failed clearing attempts when she wristed the puck back in from the blue line and on net. The puck deflected twice and beat Winslow low to the blocker side to even the contest.
“I think our depth was more of an issue earlier in the season,” St. Dom’s coach Paul Gosselin said. “But as we’ve worked on our conditioning, it’s gotten better. That said, there are times we still get a bit winded in the third period.”
After the Saints scored their go-ahead goal in the third, the Devils called their timeout. St. Dom’s followed with its own, giving its top players another 30 seconds to rest.
It was worth it.
Lewiston’s Katie Poland shoots the puck past St. Dominic’s Emma Theriault during the rival’s hockey game at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn on Saturday evening. St. Dominic’s Avery Lutrzykowski comes into the play form the right. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)St. Dominic’s Avery Lutrzykowski adn Lewiston’s Jaylin Cloutier take the puck around the back of the gaol during the hockey game at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn on Saturday evening. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)St. Dominic’s Addie Suckow and Lewiston’s Jaylin Cloutier watch the puck pop up in the air during the hockey game at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn on Saturday evening. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)St. Dominic’s Emma Theriault controls the puck as Lewiston’s Madison Conley moves into the play from the right during the hockey game at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn on Saturday evening. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)St. Dominic’s Emma Theriault tries to gain advantage on Lewiston’s Madison Conley during the hockey game at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn on Saturday evening. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)St. Dominic’s girls hockey team celebrates after a goal during the hockey game at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn on Saturday evening. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)