YARMOUTH — The Yarmouth/Freeport/Gray-New Gloucester girls high school ice hockey team had it all in Tuesday’s game against Lewiston/Monmouth/Oak Hill — possession, shots and defense. By the end of the third period, the Clippers had launched 52 shots at the Blue Devils, but didn’t have the goals to show for it.

Those came from Lewiston, which managed just 15 shots on goal, but four found the net, and they were all it took to steal both the game (4-2) and the North’s final playoff spot from the Clippers.

“We did everything right but put the puck in the net,” Clippers coach Megan Vaughan said. “We let in some weak goals. In my mind, it should have been a 2-0 game.”

It looked like it might end up being even more lopsided than that in the first period, when the Clippers (6-11) stormed onto the ice and flung eight straight shots on net in the opening few minutes. Blue Devils (7-9-1) freshman goalie Camree St. Hilaire blocked them all and faced wave after wave of pressure in the back.

If the puck was cleared, the Clippers snatched it up quickly and formed another attack. That is, until the 9:06 mark, when Adri Roy gathered the puck at mid-ice, skated forward and fired a long shot on goal to make it 1-0.

A minute and a half later, Blue Devils forward Jessica Clavet skated toward the net with numbers and finished to make it 2-0.

The goals came on Lewiston’s second and third shots of the game.

“Lewiston, they knew we had a weaker goaltender and they knew to get the puck on the net as much as possible,” Vaughan said. “We just didn’t pick up the body as quickly as we should have. We allowed those shots and we shouldn’t have.”

“They just happened to go in,” Lewiston coach Ron Dumont said. “We’ll take them. You’re not going to give those back.”

The Clippers finally got their goal 1:49 into the second period, when freshman Caroline Grant hit a one-timer into the bottom corner off a Katie Clemmer pass to make the score 2-1.

It livened the home bench up quickly and it was game on — for all of 45 seconds. Sophomore defenseman Katie Lemieux scored unassisted at the other end less than a minute later to give the Blue Devils their two-goal lead right back.

“You’ve got to play some serious defense with that bunch,” Dumont said of the Clippers. “We we’re trying to get a matchup because when you’re away, it’s hard to get the matchup you want all the time. After seeing them the first time, we didn’t get many shots last time either, just dump it, try and get it on the net.”

“The past couple of weeks, we’ve been doing so much more offensive drills,” Clavet said. “Three-man straights, a lot of skating, a lot of passing, just to get it on the tape. I think we did a good job.”

More shots

Grant was in on goal for the Clippers twice following the second-period score, sending one shot just wide into the glass and watching another get blocked away. Near the end of the period, Clemmer had two breakaway chances saved. It was the same story all night. St. Hilaire blocked 50 shots.

“We owe it to our goalie, Camree St. Hilaire,” Clavet said. “She’s a freshman this year and she knew it was going to be a tough game for her too, but she did a really good job just backing up the back end, making the saves that she needed to.”

“I’m just so happy with that,” Dumont said of St Hilaire. “She’s a freshman, but she’s a kid that comes in every day and works so hard. She just stays in the game. Certainly, she doesn’t make those saves early, it changes the whole dynamic. A couple of goals from them early I think would have taken us out of the game.”

Clavet scored from distance again two minutes into the third frame, forcing Isabelle King (12 saves) out of the game. Violet Leith came on in relief and saved two shots.

Clemmer took a pass from Kelsey Meyer and rifled a long slap shot in with 11 minutes left to play, but nothing came after that.

“I told them, I said, ‘We have to win this game to make it into the playoffs,’” Vaughan said. “Right now, I don’t know if we’ll be in the playoffs. We have to beat Winslow and they’re a little above us, so we might get extra points if we beat them but it comes down to that game.”


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