Portland/Deering’s Maeve LeClair, left and goalie Adrianna Bodge have no chance to stop Saint Dominic Academy’s Avery Lutrzykowski as she scores one of her six goals during Monday night’s game at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

AUBURN — The start of a big week for St. Dominic Academy began with a so-so start to the opening of a four-game stretch. Avery Lutrzykowski scored in the first minute, but the Saints had to get defensive against Portland/Deering.

After shrugging off the early Bulldog pressure, the Saints, led by Lutrzykowski’s offense, skated away with a 9-1 girls’ hockey victory at Norway Savings Bank Arena on Monday.

Lutrzykowski, fresh off scoring her 100th career goal Saturday, started her quest for another 100 by scoring 33 seconds into Monday’s contest. Callie Samson and Addie Suckow had the assists on Lutrzykowski’s shot that deflected off Bulldogs goalie Adrianna Bodge and into the goal.

The Bulldogs (12-5) nearly equalized in the first minute, but the whistle was blown before the puck squirted away from Saints goalie Payton Winslow, who made the initial save. The puck had crossed the goal line and the Bulldogs momentarily celebrated, but the whistle had the final say.

“I thought I saved it, like for sure. Like I had it in my glove,” Winslow said. “And then they kept coming, so I was like, ‘I don’t know where it is.’ Then I looked behind me, but then the net came off.

“I just felt really lucky that it didn’t (count).”

It was tough luck for the Bulldogs, however.

“I think it hurts,” Bulldogs coach Tom Clifford said. “It’s an answer back, and it’s something that we’ve done very well all year, is give up a goal, come right back and score within a shift or two. That’s a huge turning point, in that, ‘Hey, we just scored to tie it up again,’ and then there’s no goal, and everyone’s like, ‘Oh, wait a minute.’ So it is a little deflating.”

Nonetheless, the Bulldogs kept up that pressure, continuing to pelt Winslow or miss wide trying.

“She made some key saves,” Clifford said. “She shut down some of my better kids on some chances, and as anyone knows, when a good goalie’s on, kids tend to get a little frustrated.”

The Saints (13-2) finally struck again midway through the first period, with Lutrzykowski shaking off a defender before scoring on a counter-attack.

The Bulldogs answered with a Kit Rosmus goal less than a minute later, and then they went on the power play three minutes after that, but Lutrzykowski completed a hat trick with a shorthanded goal to keep momentum on the Saints’ side.

There was no scoring through the first half of the second period, but the Saints’ offense came alive again in the final seven-plus minutes. Lutrzykowski fed Madison Samson for the Saints’ fourth goal, then she scored a second hat trick with goals on a penalty kill, at even strength and on a power play to make it 7-1 with 2:22 left in the second.

“She can take over and dominate a game,” Clifford said.

Lutrzykowski left the ice, but the Saints’ offense stayed on it. Callie Samson scored from Katya Fons 20 seconds later to add to the lead.

“I think we’re just the type of team that gets really hungry, so as soon as the floodgates open, our team confidence builds and we just work hard to get more,” Saints coach Paul Gosselin said.

The same pairing rounded out the scoring with a power-play goal midway through the third period.

Winslow finished with 20 saves, while Bodge made 16 on 25 shots for the Bulldogs.

The Saints’ difficult final week of the regular season continues with a game against cross-town rival Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland on Wednesday, followed by away and home games on back-to-back days Thursday and Friday against a Greely/Gray-New Gloucester team with which they are battling for playoff position.

“We’re looking at this as a playoff week,” Gosselin said. “We really want to get into the playoff mode.”

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Portland/Deering’s Caroline Lerch, left, can only watch after Saint Dominic Academy’s Callie Samson got past her and fired a shot on goal during Monday night’s game at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Despite being tripped by Portland/Deering’s Emma Merrill, left, Saint Dominic Academy’s Avery Lutrzykowski makes a pass during Monday night’s game. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Saint Dominic Academy’s Madison Samson weaves her way through Portland/Deering players as she skates up the ice during Monday night’s game in Auburn. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)


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