St. Dom’s goalie Alex Roy deflects a shot from Campbell Cassidy, center, of Edward Little as Tate Morse, left, tries for the rebound during the Saint Dominic Academy Hockey Christmas Classic in Auburn on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN — Lucas Pushard’s best Christmas present was a day late, but it came just in time for his St. Dominic Academy boys hockey team. 

Pushard scored a power-play goal with 9.5 seconds left to lift the Saints to a 4-3 victory over crosstown rival Edward Little in the St. Dom’s Christmas Classic tournament at Norway Savings Bank Arena on Thursday. 

“Well I didn’t want to go to overtime because we only have four defensemen, a couple lines… the shorter the game, the better it is for us,” Pushard said. 

“This was the best (Christmas present) I got,” he added. 

Pushard had picked up a loose puck behind the Edward Little (1-4) goal after teammate Jacques Ouellette was crunched into the boards. He then took it toward the front of the net and slid a shot under the bar for the game-winner. 

“It’s one of those things where after practice, and a few of the guys staying 10, 15 minutes after just working on stupid stuff like that just in case it happens in a game, and it ended up happening,” Pushard said. 

Red Eddies coach Norm Gagne could only lament another last-second loss for his team, which lost on a buzzer-beating breakaway against Scarborough in its previous game. 

“That puck was behind the net. You can’t do that. It was just an unfortunate panic and throwing the puck and not even looking,” Gagne said. “It was unfortunate that there were young mistakes, of not being where you’re supposed to be in D-zone coverage. We broke down in there and that’s what happens when you do that.” 

The Red Eddies defense shut down the St. Dom’s (3-2) offense for nearly 16 minutes after the Saints scored the opening goal of the game just 36 seconds into the contest. Jacob Lewis redirected Ouellette’s point shot past EL goalie Gavin Toussaint. That was the Saints’ second shot on goal of the game, but they didn’t get another one until 1:25 into the second period. 

“I think because we were running around so much in our (defensive) end, by the time we finally got the puck out we’re too tired. We had no legs to drive down there and get the shots on net,” Saints coach Dan D’Auteuil said. 

Edward Little scored less than two minutes after Lewis’ opening goal, and in eerily similar fashion, with Jack Keefe redirecting a point shot from Shawn Allen. 

That was all the scoring until a spree started four minutes into the third period. Leandro Naous scored the first of his two goals by collecting a loose puck in front of the net after a Ouellette point shot went off Toussaint, behind the net, and then squirted back out. Naous scored again less than two minutes later, finishing off a series of passes from Pushard to Zack Pelletier. 

The Red Eddies answered quickly, with Aidan Gonzalez cutting the deficit in half 75 seconds later. Then Kegan Rodrigue tied the game on an unassisted goal with a backhand shot past Saints goalie Alex Roy 1:01 after that. 

“You know, the momentum changed, but we gained it right back. And that’s when I thought we could have put them away, and we missed some opportunities,” Gagne said. “You can’t miss those opportunities. And that’s the difference between a win and a loss, and that’s what happened tonight.” 

Roy finished with 25 saves on 28 shots, while Toussaint made 11 saves for EL, many of them difficult. 

“Did you see some of the stops that they made? Gavin came up with some big stops, but so did Roy,” Gagne said. 

The Saints survived on the first day of their tournament, and picked up some potentially valuable MPA Heal points in the process, with Thursday’s first-round game counting in the standings. 

“It always makes it seem a little bit better when you win, you know?” D’Auteuil said. “They were tired, they were exhausted, but now, as you can hear (in the locker room), they’re all excited and enjoying it.” 

Cheverus 7, Leavitt/Gray-NG/Oak Hill/Poland 3

PORTLAND — Jaden Morin scored four goals and set up another in his first varsity game, leading Cheverus (5-0) to a 7-3 win over Leavitt/Gray-New Gloucester/Oak Hill/Poland (2-3) at Troubh Ice Arena.

Jackson Header added two goals – one short-handed – and an assist, Jackson Wilson had a goal and three assists, and Wyatt Header collected four assists.

Colin Reese led Leavitt with a goal and an assist. Spencer Berube and Keenan St. Pierre also scored.

Campbell Cassidy of Edward Little High School shoots on St. Dom’s goalie Alex Roy during the Saint Dominic Academy Hockey Christmas Classic in Auburn on Thursday. Roy made the save. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Reed Chapman of Edward Little High School reaches for the puck under pressure from Noah Pratt of St. Dom’s during the Saint Dominic Academy Hockey Christmas Classic in Auburn on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Noah Pratt, right, of St. Dom’s pressures Wesley Clements Edward Little High School during the Saint Dominic Academy Hockey Christmas Classic in Auburn on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Kegan Rodrigue of Edward Little High School backhands a shot past St. Dom’s goalie Alex Roy to tie the game up 3-3 during the third period of the Saint Dominic Academy Hockey Christmas Classic in Auburn on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Jaden Webster, left, and Zackary Pelletier of St. Dom’s celebrate after the Saints scored with 9.5 seconds left in the game to go up 4-3 during the Saint Dominic Academy Hockey Christmas Classic in Auburn on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Edward Little High School goalie Gavin Toussaint reacts after St. Dom’s scored with 9.5 seconds left in the game to go up 4-3 during the Saint Dominic Academy Hockey Christmas Classic in Auburn on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.