AUBURN — Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland needed no extra motivation fro Wednesday’s game, but the Red Hornets’ opponent, rival St. Dominic Academy, could have been excused for not having that same level of energy for the contest.

The Saints have two games against Greely/Gray-New Gloucester coming in the next two days, and a first-round bye in the playoffs will be at stake in those games, but St. Dom’s didn’t look like a team taking its cross-town rival lightly. Avery Lutrzykowski scored four more goals and the Saints fended off complacency in skating to a 9-0 girls’ hockey victory at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

“We started off the week that way. I think the message was sent,” Saints coach Paul Gosselin said. “I think we’re ready for the playoffs, so we’re upping the compete level, we’re upping the serious level, so they’re in the locker room, they’re focused and ready to play. And it showed in the last two games.”

Lutrzykowski, the leading scorer in the state, started the game on the bench but quickly made her presence known, stealing the puck at her own blue line before scoring on a breakaway two minutes in.

“Avery’s just a special hockey player, and if you give her any time and space she’s going to punish you,” Red Hornets coach Dana Berube said.

The Saints (14-2) kept up the pressure and struck again 44 seconds later. Katya Fons’ shot from the point was initially stopped by both Red Hornets (4-12-1) goalie Manny Guimond and the goal frame, but Callie Samson’s second effort in the crease got the puck across the line for a 2-0 lead.

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“Coach says I’m best in front of the net, so I try everything to get the puck in the net,” Samson said.

St. Dom’s also finished the first period strong as well, with Lutrzykowski going up the left boards again for a goal with 20.5 seconds left to finish off a pass from Taryn Cloutier out of the defensive zone.

Both goalies made big stops in the opening minute of the second period. Guimond stopped Gigi Ouellette on a shot and the rebound off the opening rush, and at the other end St. Dom’s goalie Madison Boulet denied Taylor Caillier on a counterattack.

Lutrzykowski finished off a hat trick three minutes later, taking assists from Ouellette and Addie Suckow and banking a shot off the left post and in.

The Red Hornets found life offensively after that, with Caillier providing the spark. After just two shots on goal in the first period the Red Hornets doubled that in the second, and a handful of other attempts were blocked by St. Dom’s defenders.

“I was happy that we were still sticking with it and getting some opportunities,” Berube said. “I thought the few opportunities we had were just not hard enough shots. We’re kind of making it a little easier on (Boulet).”

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The Saints again finished a period strong in the second. Defenders Emma Theriault and Fons both scored on shots in the slot off passes from Lutrzykowski in the final minutes. Fons’ tally came on the power play and was also assisted by Ouellette.

“It’s good to end the period with high momentum because then we start the next one with an even higher momentum,” Samson said.

Goals came again in threes for St. Dom’s in the third period. Suckow started the scoring with an unassisted tally just over two minutes in, then Lutrzykowski fed Cloutier and Callie Samson fed Lutrzykowski for her fourth and final goal of the game.

“We were so proud of Addie for making that shot. She’s had a couple good goals this season,” Samson said. “This week has been really about getting everybody who hasn’t scored this season to score. So we’re still working on Lucy (Frenette), but everybody else has gotten it.

“I think we’ve been working on that,” Gosselin said. “I think obviously we’ve got a top scorer in the league, but one person can’t do it alone. And we’ve been preaching that, and I think the improvement in the girls is showing. We’re really coming along and points are starting to spread.”

Guimond faced 48 shots and made 39 saves. Boulet stopped all eight shots she faced for the shutout.

“The message was ‘turn the page pretty quick,'” Berube said.

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