Heading into Saturday’s state championship game, Lewiston High School goalie Camree St. Hilaire has only given up seven goals in 20 games this season. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

LEWISTON — A high school girls hockey game lasts 45 minutes, barring overtime, so the fact that Lewiston goalie Camree St. Hilaire had to wait more than 24 minutes to face her first shot on goal during Wednesday’s North regional final victory seemed like an eternity.

Especially for a goalie who admits enjoys facing shots against her. 

Lewiston goalie Camree St. Hilaire. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

It is the type of action-less stretch that St. Hilaire has become used to the past three years of her career. And for a goalie about to appear in her second straight state final, it’s a good problem to have. 

“I like getting shots. It keeps me busy, keeps me focused more,” she said. “But I’m still focused now, and it’s good to see that we have such a strong team.” 

Lewiston will face South region champion Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

The Blue Devils have only lost four games in the past three seasons with St. Hilaire as the lone goalie. That includes a 19-0-1 record entering Saturday’s state final. In those 20 games this season she’s allowed only seven goals combined — a ridiculous number, according to Lewiston coach Ron Dumont said. 

“Honestly, I wish it was less than seven goals because we have such a strong team,” St. Hilaire said. 

Wednesday’s 5-0 win over Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland marked the 15th shutout of the season for St. Hilaire, who has gotten used to a low volume of shots against her since her sophomore year, when she went from a part-time goalie being pelted every game to being the backstop for possibly the most talented team in the state the past three seasons. 

“It was a whole new experience and a whole new team in front of me, compared to where freshman year I was getting 50 shots a game to now getting maybe 20, at most,” St. Hilaire said. “Now I know what’s going to come forward, and I always prepare for the game, like knowing, ‘OK, if a shot does come I need to be focused and I need to keep moving my feet,’ whereas maybe sophomore year I was more like, ‘OK, what do I do?'” 

Dumont said he saw glimpses of frustration from St. Hilaire during her quieter games the previous two seasons. 

“I don’t see that anymore,” he said. 

Instead, St. Hilaire finds other ways to stay engaged while her team fires shot after shot at the opposing goalie. 

“I’m just watching the play, cheering on my team in my head, and seeing what’s going on and who’s making good plays, and what we can work on,” she said. 

The Blue Devils have found ways to make sure St. Hilaire stays involved. Shots from teammates in warm-ups have been key, as are what Dumont jokingly calls “Camree practices,” during which the senior captain faces various odd-man rushes and breakaways that she might encounter during a game. 

The Blue Devils’ coach said St. Hilaire has “the hardest job on the team.” 

She wouldn’t want it any other way. 

“I get a rush of adrenaline and nervousness, honestly,” St. Hilaire said of facing breakaways. “But I just know just do what I have always done, and what I practice, and hopefully it goes my way. Most of the time it does.” 

She admitted that she gets butterflies in her stomach before big games, and that will probably happen again Saturday, but she said she’ll “take deep breaths” and be ready to try and backstop the Blue Devils to a state championship in the final game of her high school career. 

“I always kid her, ‘That’s what we pay you the big bucks for,’ and I feel 100% confident in that,” Dumont said. 


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