St. Dominic’s Avery Lutrzykowski shoots the puck at the goal as Falmouth’s Kayla Sarazin watches during a hockey game in Auburn on Jan. 10. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal File Photo)

St. Dominic’s Avery Lutrzykowski and 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 Jan. 20. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal File Photo)

AUBURN — Scoring goals rarely has been difficult for St. Dominic Academy forward Avery Lutrzykowski.

Her Saints’ girls’ hockey team was having no trouble finding the back of the net early against Yarmouth/Freeport on Saturday night, but Lutrzykowski struggled to even find the frame of the goal.

“Probably the first five minutes of the game I was shooting off-target and making bad decisions, and then I think I finally realized that it was probably just because I really wanted to score three goals to get my 100,” Lutrzykowski said.

The first of three finally came, then two more for the junior to reach the 100 career goals plateau during a 9-0 Saints victory.

“She started out at 97, I think the first one was the toughest, and then if you look at the scoresheet you can she dropped in two rather quickly,” Saints coach Paul Gosselin said. “I think that nerve barrier broke and she let loose.”

Advertisement

Lutrzykowski’s third varsity season has been her finest scoring goals. She scored 22 as a freshman, when the Saints broke onto the scene with a cast full of first-year players to win the state championship. Then came 32 more in a dominant, undefeated repeat title run.

Starting with 54 entering this season and getting to 100 with four regular-season games to spare is a remarkably torrid pace.

“I think at the beginning of the year we looked at her stats, and we saw the way she was playing at the beginning of the year in practice, and we said ‘boy, gosh she’s really improved,’ and she’s got capability to really put the puck in and so sky’s the limit,” Gosselin said. “As the games went on, a lot of people were reading the paper and they saw that she was putting the puck in and she gained and gathered a lot of attention, but it didn’t stop her. Her numbers still kept going.”

Lutrzykowski said she didn’t really now what her total was until her father inquired with the coaching staff. She estimated that she was at about 85 when she found out her scoring stats “and then I set my goal to score 100 goals. And so that’s kind of what helped me drive to what I wanted to do.”

Gosselin said it hasn’t been a one-player show, even with Lutrzykowski having to pick up some of the scoring slack after the Saints lost key players from back-to-back title teams, but she has “the internal drive” to make an achievement like 100 career goals possible.

There have been other factors as well.

Advertisement

“I think it’s a combination of natural ability, hard work and the team that she’s around,” Gosselin said. “I think all three have kind of led to that.”

Some players have that special something. Lutrzykowski is one of those players.

“When I play hockey I don’t necessarily think. It’s more of just kind of my natural state of being,” Lutrzykowski said. “When I’m on the ice, everything kind of comes natural to me. So when I’m playing I don’t think like if I’m going down on a breakaway, I don’t think that I’m going to like deke left and go right, or deke right and go left, I just kind of do whatever my hands do.”

While some of her goals have come on sheer talent or sheer will, many have come because of the other talented players the Saints have had during Lutrzykowski’s two-plus years on the team. That’s how the milestone goal came, which is exactly how Lutrzykowski preferred it happen.

“It was fantastic. It was nice that they all came off the bench and we hugged. I mean, I was crying, so it was really nice,” Lutrzykowski said. “And I’m also really happy that my 100th goal, Emma Theriault passed it to me, so I’m really glad that she got the assist. It means a lot to me because we’ve been playing with each other since we were 10.”

A day later, Lutrzykowski said it still hadn’t completely sunk in with her. She keeps receiving congratulations left and right, and has just said ‘thanks’ while trying to comprehend her accomplishment.

“It’s very special. It was kind of like, when it happened, I was like so surprised that I didn’t know how to react,” she said. “But after settling down and thinking about it it’s really special. It’s something that I love to be able to celebrate with my teammates and family.”

[email protected]

St. Dominic’s Avery Lutrzykowski gets tagled up with Falmouth’s goalie Julia Bonnvie during a hockey game in Auburn on Jan. 10. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal File Photo)

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.