Saint Dominic Academy’s Avery Lutrzykowski, left and Red Hornet’s Taylor Cailler battle for the puck during the first period of Saturday night’s game in Auburn. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

AUBURN — The Red Hornets made sure to keep a close eye on Avery Lutrzykowski, but the St. Dominic senior was able to escape once for a goal, and that’s all the Saints needed.

Lutrzykowski scored the go-ahead goal with 8:44 left and Emma Theriault added an empty-netter to lift the third-seeded Saints past No. 2 Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland 3-1 in a North regional girls’ hockey semifinal Saturday at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

“You know, she’s used to being covered. They really covered her well tonight,” Saints coach Paul Gosselin said of Lutrzykowski. “So it took a lot of work for her to get free.”

Lutrzykowski took control of the puck to the right of the goal, then skated across the slot before firing a shot into the right side of the net.

“I thought we did a much better job on Avery (than the last game against St. Dom’s),” Red Hornets coach Dana Berube said. “You can only do so much with her.”

“Avery got free there on that one and … that was a nice finish by her,” Berube added.

Despite a 12-1 advantage in shots on goal in the first period, the Saints (14-4-2) could only get one of those attempts past Red Hornets (14-4-1) goalie Manny Guimond. That came when Bugsy Hammerton was able to push the puck between Guimond and the right post on a wraparound with 3:20 left in the opening frame.

The Red Hornets’ only on-target shot came from Caroline Tracey on a counter-attack rush. Saints defender Gigi Ouellette thwarted Taylor Cailler’s 1-on-1 chance with less than 30 seconds left.

“We talk about our goals all the time, but our defense has been playing very well,” Gosselin said. “They did a good job.”

The Saints sent 12 more shots at Guimond in the second period, but the junior netminder turned them all away, starting with another Hammerton try at the right post. Guimond also stuffed Hammerton’s short-handed breakaway attempt, and denied Lutrzykowski on a breakaway, as well.

“Again, I thought Manny proved again how talented of a kid she is. She played a great game in net and really, in that second period in particular, I thought they were all over us, and she kept us in it,” Berube said.

The Red Hornets’ first shot of the period, and second of the game, found its way past Saints goalie Madyson Boulet. A failed Saints clear made it to Cassady Bussiere at the left point, and the Red Hornets defender sent a shot toward Boulet that redirected in less than five minutes into the frame.

“She kept the puck in the zone, which was a key. Then she got it, took a peak, brought it to the net and, you know, when you get it to the net good things can happen,” Berube said. “That was a good turning point.”

The Red Hornets put four more unsuccessful shots on Boulet in the second, and the teams skated into the intermission knotted at 1-1.

Berube liked his team’s opportunities early in the third, but the Red Hornets couldn’t cash them in. A Tracey-to-Caroline Audette connection went wide, and Boulet denied Tracey on a breakaway 30 seconds before Lutrzykowski’s game-winner.

Both teams called timeouts before a faceoff in the Saints’ defensive zone with 1:01 left. The Red Hornets eventually pulled Guimond, but couldn’t get an extra-man shot on Boulet. Then, with 20.9 seconds left, Theriault took a shot from just inside her own blue line that found the back of the net to seal the Saints’ victory.

“It was nice. I was standing right there — Emma was actually right in front of us — and I saw that open net, she went for it, and I saw her face smile. So she knew she had it right away,” Gosselin said.

The Saints now advance to face rival and top-seeded Lewiston in Wednesday’s North regional final.

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Red Hornet’s Caroline Tracey, left and Saint Dominic Academy’s Isabella Webster vie for control of a faceoff during the first period of Saturday night’s hockey game in Auburn. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillilngham)

Red Hornet’s Taylor Cailler, left and Saint Dominic’s Alexandra Hammerton battle for the puck during the first period of Saturday night’s hockey game in Auburn. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillilngham)

Saint Dominic Academy’s Alexandra Hammerton, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring the first goal of the game during the first period of Saturday night’s game in Auburn. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)