The Chevrus High School girls’ hockey team celebrates after defeating Lewiston 2-1 to win the state championship at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewitston Saturday. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

 

LEWISTON — The Stags spent much of Saturday’s girls’ hockey state final in their own defensive end, but they made the few times they broke out count.

Abby Lamontagne scored both goals on counter-attacks and Trinity Atwater stopped 31 of 32 shots to lead Cheverus/Kennebunk/Old Orchard Beach to the state championship by beating previously undefeated Lewiston 2-1 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“We’ve got Trinity, we’ve got Zoe Mazur and we’ve got Abby Lamontagne. And those three players gave us a puncher’s chance every night, and a supporting cast that just worked and worked and worked,” Stags coach Scott Rousseau said.

Chevrus goalie Trinity Atwater plucks the puck out of the air before Lewiston’s Gemma Landry can get a shot off during Saturday’s championship girls’ hockey game at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Mazur led a Stags (18-2-1) defense that didn’t give the Blue Devils (20-1) much space, or many rebound chances when Atwater didn’t corral a shot.

“We had some good looks, and usually with 32 shots you figure you’ll get a little luck, too,” Lewiston coach Ron Dumont said. “It just didn’t seem like the puck went our way or whatever.”

Lamontagne put the Stags on the board early, taking a feed out of the neutral zone from Sophia Pompeo and beating a Lewiston defender 1-on-1 before deking Blue Devils goalie Camree St. Hilaire 3:23 into the game.

“In a way, I was really kind of hoping to have kept the game a bit slower, and stay 0-0,” Rousseau said. “In an odd way, it kind of accelerated the level of pace of the game, and it, in a weird way, didn’t work in our favor. It brought Lewiston with a really heavy push after that, and the whole game long.”

The Blue Devils hadn’t put a shot on net before Lamontagne scored, but they finished the first period with the final 12 shots of the frame.

They put 12 more on Atwater in the second, but still nothing got past her. Not even a rush from Lewiston freshman Leah Landry and the ensuing rebound, which forced Atwater to make a sprawling save. And, not the four on-frame shots during Lewiston’s lone power play.

The Stags’ scoring chances dried up in the third, but not before Lamontagne found the back of the net again. Pompeo found her open on a 3-on-2 rush, and Lamontagne fired past St. Hilaire from the left circle.

“We just knew we had to win all of our 1-on-1 battles. Just start small, play defensive, and then once we

Chevrus’ Abby Lamontagne skates past her bench after scoring what turned out to be the game winning goal during Saturday’s championship girls’ hockey game at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

get it out of our zone we can go have fun in their zone,” Lamontagne said.

But much like Lamontagne’s first goal, the second one got the Blue Devils going, and Rousseau brought up the old “two-goal lead is the worst lead in hockey” cliche. Lewiston cut the deficit in half just before the midpoint of the final period. Brie Dube passed to Sara Robert behind the net, and Robert then fed Gemma Landry, who took two whacks at the left post to poke the puck past Atwater.

“We get the first one, I said, ‘OK, now we can settle in,'” Dumont said. “But the dang thing just wouldn’t go in.”

Dumont pulled St. Hilaire (10 saves) for an extra attacker with one minute to play, but both Mazur and Lamontagne blocked shots, with Lamontagne stepping in front of a Grace Dumond slap shot in the final seconds to seal the victory.

“We just had to sacrifice ourselves for the team, and that’s what we prepared for, and that’s what I had to do, and that’s what other girls had to do,” Lamontagne said. “When you do it, it feels great because we knew we would never forgive ourselves if it got by. So you just got to take one for the team.”

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