Complicating matters for the Leavitt-Edward Little girls’ hockey team in the third period Saturday night, the minors against Taylor Landry and Danica Nadeau — overlapping by one second —  took away two of the Red Hornets’ premier players.

Leavitt-Little still had selfless assistant captains Amanda Grenier and Emma Martineau on the ice, however, blocking Lewiston shots and disconnecting passes at every turn.

Those efforts made all the difference in preserving a one-goal lead and ultimately giving the Red Hornets their 10th straight win, a 3-1 verdict over the Blue Devils at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

“We have a couple of girls there that are the quintessential penalty killers,” Leavitt-Little coach Shon Collins said of Grenier and Martineau. “They’re disciplined and just work their butt off. If they need to get in the shooting lane to block a shot, they’re going to do it.”

Landry scored two goals and Nadeau was credited with the other for Leavitt-Little (11-2), which completed a regular-season sweep of Lewiston (10-3-1) and took over the top spot in the Eastern Maine Heal Points.

Corinne Laberge scored 33 seconds into the third period to give Lewiston a chance, but Leavitt-Little freshman Savannah Shaw made seven of her 20 saves in the final stanza to complement the Red Hornets’ stifling short-handed play.

“When you get bad luck so to speak on the first two goals, you could easily cave in. You’ve got to buck up, and they bent but they didn’t break and I thought they did a great job,” Lewiston coach Ron Dumont said. “I think we made them sweat a little bit. It was just one of those nights where it didn’t look like we were going to get the break.”

And Leavitt-Little benefited from two enormous bounces — a goal through the five-hole in the first period and an own goal off the stick of a Lewiston defender in the second.

Landry buried the first shot of the game for either team, finding a seam through Paige Fontaine’s pads at 2:12.

Haley Frohlich picked up the assist after a change of possession in the Lewiston defensive zone. The Devils still shadowed Landry in time, but the puck slipped through.

“The (defense) put her right where we wanted her,” Dumont said. “You have to make that save, and Paige knows that. The first goal was just soft as heck.”

A much weirder goal made at 2-0 early in the second period.

Landry rifled the puck from the neutral zone to the blue line, where it caromed off the boards, came to rest on its side and continued rolling deeper into the Lewiston zone.

Both sides seemed to hesitate for a moment before the Devils’ Erin Hubbard picked it up and attempted to carry it behind the net. She lost the handle as she skated past the far post, however, and it squirted into the net before Fontaine could slam the door.

“It was definitely huge for us. Obviously we got some lucky breaks,” Collins said. “I think it deflated them a little bit, because they had been controlling the tempo a fair amount in that second period. That took some energy out and our girls got some energy from that.”

“We need to be alert. Erin is as strong a defensive player as I have. You make mistakes. It happens,” Dumont said. “You would hope the (rest of the) ‘D’ was up on the post, but apparently not. It was just little details.”

Both Fontaine and Shaw made some stellar saves to keep it at 2-0 at intermission.

Laberge’s goal provided a dual wakeup call in the third.

“We knew we had to keep things going and pick it up a little. We came out a little flat in the very beginning (of the third period), but we picked it up quick,” Martineau said. “We knew we had to put everything on the ice toward the end. We’ve been working hard in practice on skating, and it pays off.”

In addition to Martineau and Grenier, freshmen Kaylee Younk, Ally MacKenzie, Mariah Vaillancourt and Frohlich were outstanding during the 4-on-5 stretch.

Landry and Nadeau also shone on the penalty kill during their respective time outside the box. Leavitt-Little got back to even strength unscathed with 3:26 remaining.

“They’re kids. We practice in a sterile environment that is nothing like this,” Dumont said. “Not taking anything away from Auburn, but we killed it better than they did, because we just weren’t executing passes and whatever.”

Landry added an empty-netter with 37 seconds left, moments after Nadeau’s end-to-end offering missed by mere inches to the right.

Fontaine made 15 saves for Lewiston.

“This is a big win for us,” Martineau said. “We’ve been playing some weaker teams lately. Hopefully it will take care of first place for us.”


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