The Cheverus girls’ hockey team began its game against St. Dominic on Friday the way it began its season: Sluggishly.

But the Stags responded to finish both the game and the year in a triumphant fashion that made them wish they had more to play for.

Cheverus, a co-op team which also features players from Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach and Windham, didn’t register a single shot on goal in the first period. Then Olivia Bradford scored in the second period and the Stags defense, led by senior goalie Trinity Atwater, did the rest in a 1-0 win at Troubh Arena in Portland.

“That’s four games in six days, but I’m still really proud of how we held our structure together,” said Cheverus Coach Scott Rousseau, whose team earned its sixth straight win and seventh in eight games. “I give the girls a ton of credit to win a game like this. It’s one we could have lost.”

Cheverus (7-3) had its share of puck possession in the first period, but didn’t put a shot on goal. Atwater saved all five shots she saw, including a bid on the doorstep from Madi Pelletier, and the game remained scoreless.

Cheverus then showed some life in the second period, putting 14 shots on net, with one of them getting through.

Moments after Bradford registered the Stags’ first shot, she got the puck from Charlotte Miller and sent it past St. Dom’s goalie Maydson Boulet for a 1-0 lead.

“I was in the corner and I just hit the puck across the goal line and (Olivia) took a one-timer from the front,” Miller said.

“The puck went in and it bounced out, but it was definitely in,” said Bradford. “(That goal) was a product of our line. It took the whole line to make that goal happen.”

St. Dom’s had its chances in the third period, but Atwater saved shots from Taryn Cloutier,  Gisele Ouellette and, with 3:15 to play, Isabella Webster.

The Saints called timeout with a minute to play and pulled Boulet, but couldn’t generate the equalizer.

“The tank was empty and yet we dug deep and played really hard,” Rousseau said. “I think we’re a championship-caliber hockey team that unfortunately won’t have a championship to play for.”

The Stags finished with a 23-16 edge in shots on goal and got 16 saves from Atwater.

St. Dom’s, which fell to 8-3, got 22 saves from Boulet.

“We played well,” said Saints Coach Paul Gosselin. “I think we controlled the first period, but shots just didn’t go in. That was a scrum goal for them. You hate to see it won by that. I think we both played kind of defensively. Opportunities lacked for both teams. A lot of the game was played in the middle of the ice. They got one and we didn’t.”


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