St. Dom’s Alexis Kesaris skates with the 2017 Girls’s ice hockey State Championship award after St. Dom’s won the title on Saturday at the Colisee in Lewiston.teaser
LEWISTON — The dark days of the St. Dominic Academy girls’ hockey program are a distant memory now.
Three years after playing junior varsity-only schedule, the Saints won their second straight state championship, capping off an undefeated season with a resounding 10-2 victory over Falmouth at Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Saturday.
“It’s really an amazing feeling,” St. Dom’s senior captain Lexie Kesaris said. “My freshman year, we were JV, and I really never expected to win a state championship, let alone two, by my senior year. I’m just beyond proud of this team.”
The Saints (21-0) seized control of the game quickly, scoring their first goal 3:03 into the first period, then two more within 61 seconds.
Avery Lutrzykowski opened the scoring with a shot from the slot that snuck by Yachtsmen (16-5) goalie Ally Hurdman. Kristina Cornelio and Bugsy Hammerton assisted on the play.
“My line has a lot of chemistry. Just going down, I knew that I was going to be open, and the pass just came and I put it in,” Lutrzykowski said. “Bugsy was there. She said I put it in. I think she tipped it, but I’ll let it be me.”
Emma Theriault ripped a shot from the left point over Hurdman 27 seconds later, then Kesaris made it 3-0 just 4:04 into the game.
“We want to start quick and see how fast we can pop them in, and it came quick today,” St. Dom’s coach Paul Gosselin said.
Falmouth used its timeout at that point to try and get its bearings straight.
“I’m sure it was a bit of nerves. I think it had a little bit more to do with how quickly they got that first goal,” Falmouth coach Rob Carrier said. “And then when they got that second goal, I think it put us really back on our heels. That third one just came really easy for them. I think that kind of dictated the way that St. Dom’s was going to play the game.”
Carrier said during the timeout he told his team “to calm down, to start doing the little things right, to focus less on the score and doing simple things, making the smarter plays, to try and slow the game down for St. Dom’s a little bit.”
The scoring did slow down — for a few minutes at least.
Cornelio scored on an assist from Lutrzykowski with four minutes left in the first period, then converted a pass from Izzy Frenette on a power play with 58.6 seconds left in the frame to make it 5-0.
“We came into this game exactly how we come into every game. We came in, we warmed up hard, we came onto the ice and we knew that we needed a great warmup, and we knew that we needed to come out flying,” Lutrzykowski said. “And that’s what we do. That’s what we do every game, and that’s how we win games, because we’re always prepared for every, single game. So the mentality needs to be there, and we had it today.”
Cornelio re-directed in a point shot from Frenette less than five minutes into the second period to make it 6-0, equaling the score of the regular-season meeting between the teams.
There wouldn’t be another shutout for the Saints, however. The Yachtsmen converted on their first power play, with Rachel Morse scoring from Kayla Sarazin 8:13 into the second.
“I think at that point in the game, with us getting a power play, I think St. Dom’s probably got into a little bit of a lull and we were able to take advantage of that on the first power play,” Carrier said.
Kesaris regained the six-goal lead for her team, scoring on a pass from Frenette with less than three minutes left in the period.
“I haven’t gotten many goals this season, but it was great to have my last game get a couple goals in,” Kesaris said.
Lutrzykowski made sure the Saints finished strong, taking pass from Hammerton and scoring just nine seconds into the third. Hammerton finally got a goal of her own less than five minutes later, and Lutrzykowski completed a hat trick of her own with a shorthanded tally to round out the scoring for St. Dom’s.
“I knew that once we scored the floodgates would open, and they did,” Lutrzykowski said.
Mary Hyland scored with 35 seconds left for Falmouth.
“Being able to get a goal at the end of the game really helped (mentally),” Carrier said. “But St. Dom’s just stepped up after we got that first power play goal.”
Hurdman made 22 saves in her final game for Falmouth. Payton Winslow stopped 11 shots to earn the win for St. Dom’s.
Carrier said Saturday’s state final wasn’t the best representation of his team’s ability. He said that came two days earlier, in the South regional final against Scarborough. But he was still “really proud” of the way his team played against St. Dom’s.
For the Saints, the championship game was a fitting finale to a dominant season, in which they out-scored opponents 168-20. They will take a 26-game winning streak into next season.
“It’s incredible,” Gosselin said. “To go undefeated this year, that’s a mark in itself. I’m very proud of the girls, they’ve worked real hard, and I can’t ask for anything better.”
The St. Dom’s Girls won the 2017 Ice Hockey State Champions on Saturday at the Colisee in Lewiston.St. Dom’s Payton Winslow battles with Falmouth’s Kayla Sarazin at the Girls Ice Hockey State Championships at the Colisee in Lewiston on Saturday.Bugsy Hammerton moves the puck past Falmouth’s Sarah Noyes during the Girls Ice Hockey State Championships at the Colisee in Lewiston on Saturday.Callie Samson from St. Dom’s battles with Falmouth’s Devon Sarazin during the Girls Ice Hockey State Championships at the Colisee in Lewiston on Saturday.