That defense faced a stiff test against a Saints team that came in averaging more than eight goals per game, and while the Red Hornets kept their rivals below that pace, St. Dom’s poured it on at the end for a 6-0 victory at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

The Saints (9-1) were coming off their first defeat of the season. St. Dom’s fired its first shot at Red Hornets (7-5-2) goalie Sarah Hammond just 15 seconds into the game, looking to get its offense back on track.

Yet it took a power play and a friendly carom for the Saints to initially light the lamp. Defender Emma Theriault brought the puck in along the left side on the man-advantage, then fired a shot from the left cicrle that went off Hammond’s left pad and between her legs for a goal.

That was St. Dom’s lone goal of the opening period, despite a dominating 11-2 edge in shots on goal. The Red Hornets did a good job turning away a handful of other attempts, and Hammond did a good job of positioning in front of the ones that got through.

“We thought they were a little bit slow. I’m not sure exactly what the reason was,” St. Dom’s head coach Paul Gosselin said. “We’re a fairly offensive team, so I think most teams are going to look to slow us down right now. You got to give them credit for doing that.”

The Saints took advantage of a rare Red Hornet defensive mistake, as a clear attempt stayed in the zone, and Bugsy Hammerton collected the loose puck before firing a back-handed shot past Hammond.

The Red Hornets had their best chance at a goal with just over six minutes left, but Saints goalie Payton Winslow denied Haley Frolich on a breakaway. The Red Hornets put two more shots on Winslow over the next 20 seconds, including a blast from the right point from Ally MacKenzie, but none bet the sophomore netminder.

A St. Dom’s penalty with .2 seconds left in the second gave the Red Hornets a full power play to start the third, down just 2-0.

“I thought we had, especially in the second period, kind of evened the ice out,” Red Hornets head coach Shon Collins said. “We were controlling as much of the play as they were. And I thought we were building some momentum coming into the third period.”

However, a nightmare scenario doomed the Red Hornets, as Avery Lutrzykowski stole the puck in the neutral zone and beat Hammond for a short-handed goal 1:29 into the third.

“Our penalty kill is lethal,” Gosselin said. “We have a lot of speed, and I’m actually not afraid when we have (the penalty kill).”

Theriault, Lutrzykowski and Hammerton each scored again in the third (Lutrzykowski and Hammerton’s goals came seven seconds apart with just over a minute left) as the Saints pulled away. It was a rare two-goal performance for Theriault.

“I have gotten two goals in a couple different games, but not for high school, so it was kind of cool,” Theriault said.

Hammond made 25 saves in net, including 21 across the first two periods.

“She was great,” Collins said of Hammond. “I hate the fact that the score reflects 6-0. I would tag that six as a team effort, and even more so the team in front of her. She kept us in it.”

Winslow stopped all nine shots she faced for her third shutout of the season.

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