Greely/Gray-New Gloucester’s Courtney Sullivan celebrates the first of her three goals of the game. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

LEWISTON — Courtney Sullivan proved her coach’s assertion that she’s “not a one-trick pony.”

And now she’s a champion.

Sullivan scored three unassisted goals to pace Greely/Gray-New Gloucester to a 3-1 victory over Cheverus/Kennebunk in the girls’ hockey state championship Saturday at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“Just a beast. You see her speed up, slow down, get to the net. She does it in all different ways,” Greely/Gray-NG coach Nate Guerin said. She’s just so effective at getting to the net, and she’s got a killer shot.”

It is the Rangers’ (19-3) first state title since back-to-back wins in 2012 and 2013, and first since adding Gray-New Gloucester.

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The Rangers doubled up the Stags (19-2) in shots on goal during the first period, 6-3, but the game stayed scoreless.

“I think they just came really hard,” Stags coach Scott Rousseau said. “We had a lot of difficulties with some icings. I think the girls were a little anxious. Those icings kept putting us back in the defensive-zone faceoffs, and it was hard to generate momentum, and I think the shot total reflected that.”

The scoring got going early in the second. Courtney Sullivan carried the puck into the zone by herself before beating Stags goalie Anna Smith from the slot 3:23 in.

“We were talking about we just wanted to get a lot of shots on net, and what’s worked a lot this year is go one way, shoot the other,” Sullivan said.

The Stags answered right back, however, with Emma McCauley finding Sophia Pompeo from behind the net to in front, where Pompeo slipped a shot between Rangers goalie Jordyn Owens’ legs 33 seconds later.

“That was huge. In fact, I really thought that was probably our best part of the game,” Rousseau said. “The second period after we scored we had a lot of good chances. Caitlin Wolff, in particular, had two good chances, Emma McCauley had a great chance, but they blocked a lot of shots, we missed some.”

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The teams traded four shots on goal apiece in the middle period, with each goalie having to make one difficult save.

“I thought both teams really clamped down on D, really protected the middle of the ice,” Guerin said. “That was a testament to both teams’ defense. They both played really strong. And both goalies played well.”

The Rangers went on their only power play early in the third, but could only manage one bad-angle shot. The stalemate continued until Sullivan pounced on two Stags mistakes, and made them pay both times, scoring with 7:30 left and then again with 5:25 to go.

The first goal of the two came during a Stags line change, and Sullivan took control of a loose puck on her own blue line before splitting the two new Stag defenders and beating Smith with a backhand shot.

“I think, really, whoever could have caught the break to score and get it to 2-1 was probably going to win the game, and unfortunately Courtney made a fantastic play,” Rousseau said.

Sullivan stole the puck again in the neutral zone two minutes later to complete her hat trick.

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“They were on a rush … and so I just had one girl to beat,” Sullivan said. “In the moment they were rushing forward, and I just got them when their momentum was going the other way.”

Those were two of the Rangers’ three shots on goal for the period, with the first coming on the early power play. They had to fend off five such Stag shots to hold on for the title.

“Obviously once they got that second goal the exhaustion goes out the window,” Guerin said. “So it was great to see them finish that game.”

“I think our defense really just kept them to the outside … and they weren’t getting pucks in the corners,” Rangers senior Molly Horton said. “We were just getting it right out.”

Guerin said he thought it was his team’s smartest game defensively of the season “by far.”

Smith made 10 saves for the Stags, while Owens had 11.

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Both teams were 0 for 1 on the power play.

“It was a great state playoff game that unfortunately didn’t go our way tonight,” Rousseau said.

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Chevrus/Kennebunk’s Abby Lamontagne, center, tries to tip a high shot from the point during the second period of Saturday’s championship game at the Colisee. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Chevrus/Kennebunk goalie Anna Marie Smith looks back in time to see Courtney Sullivan’s blast hit the back of the net for the first goal of the game in the second period. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Greely/Gray-New Gloucester goalie Jordyn Owens makes an outstanding save off a point blank shot by Chevrus/Kennebunk’s Abby Lamontagne in the third period. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Greely/Gray-New Gloucester’s Bridget Roberts is smothered by Chevrus players in front of the net during the first period. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Greely/Gray-New Gloucester’s Courtney Sullivan, top with arm raised, celebrates with teammates after their 3-1 victory over Chevrus to win the Girls’ Ice Hockey Stae Championship at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston Saturday afternoon. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Greely/Gray-New Gloucester’s Courtney Sullivan (center), celebrates one of her three goals of the game. during the third period. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)


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