Try watching Cheverus senior Grace Fitzpatrick in a hockey game and you had to view the game the way she does — seeing the whole ice all the time.

Because, Fitzpatrick was everywhere.

Need a defenseman to make a stop of an opponents’ rush? Fitzpatrick squelched the threat.

Need the puck brought up quickly? There’s Fitzpatrick.

And how about someone skating fearlessly and skillfully into the other zone, ready to fire a shot or make a pass? Fitzpatrick would volunteer.

“She took charge,” Cheverus Coach J.P. Lavoie said. “She definitely was a force on the team.”

Fitzpatrick, as Lavoie quickly points out, was one of many seniors on a dominant team that stormed to a 21-0 record, including a hard-fought 3-0 win over defending champion Lewiston for the girls’ state championship.

In that game, Fitzpatrick foiled a breakaway in the second period and added an assist in the third, her slap shot producing a rebound that resulted in the second goal.

Throughout the season, she was consistently productive. The Stags rolled out some able forward lines, but Fitzpatrick still tied for the team lead in scoring with 22 goals and 16 assists.

She was an offensive threat for sure, but Fitzpatrick also patrolled her own zone protectively.

“She has such a sense for the game,” said Cheverus goalie Saundrine Lanouette. “Her skating ability, her stick-handling and speed.

“She sends (an opponent) to the corner, keeps her head up, and then she’ll make a good breakout pass.”

Fitzpatrick’s plus/minus was a gaudy plus-68.

Fitzpatrick comes from a family rich in hockey tradition. Oldest brother Eugene played for Cheverus, including its two state title years of 2005 and ’06.

Oldest sister Mollie played for the Cheverus club team, when there was no sanctioned girls’ high school program. She has moved on to Norwich University, where she is a sophomore for the Cadets, who reached the NCAA Division III title game.

Younger brother Liam is a Cheverus freshman and was third in scoring for the Stags with 14 points.

“We have a wall of fame in the house,” Grace said. The latest addition to the wall is a picture of her holding the state title plaque after the championship game.

Fitzpatrick plays on the under-19 Biddeford Lady Breakers, who advanced to the USA Hockey Tier 2 national championships next month in Lansing, Mich.

She is looking at a number of colleges, including Norwich, St. Anselm in Manchester, N.H., and St. Michael near Burlington, Vt. She will play lacrosse, and hopes to lace on the skates as well.

If Fitzpatrick is able to continue her hockey career in college, it’s doubtful she’ll play on a team that so dominated its competition like Cheverus. Three of her teammates were also named to the Telegram All-State team, and several others were considered.

And the Player of the Year honor was no cinch, especially with the imposing Lanouette in goal. But Fitzpatrick fueled this team with energy, skill and a complete game.

 

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at:

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