AUBURN — The Poland/Leavitt/Oak Hill/Gray-New Gloucester Kings continue to find their stride in the final month of the regular season.

The Kings’ latest strong showing was a 4-1 win over St. Dominic Academy in a boys hockey game at Norway Savings Bank Arena on Wednesday. It’s their third win in the past four games. In their previous four games entering Wednesday, they scored a combined five goals.

“We are starting to play well. We are getting a lot of opportunities offensively,” Kings coach Joe Hutchinson said. “We are struggling to get them in the net, but we (the coaches) can’t complain about the effort and the opportunities we are generating. Eventually, the puck is going to keep going in.”

Both teams came out firing and put multiple shots on goal in the first five minutes of the game. Neither team, however, turned those shots into goals and the first period ended in a scoreless tie.

“I was telling (the players) we had one guy going to the net every time and there was never a second or third guy following,” St. Dom’s (0-13) coach Dan D’Auteuil said. “We had a lot of nice rebounds at the beginning (of the game), but nobody around to finish them.”

Hutchinson said the Kings weren’t taking care of the puck and shooting the puck out of the defensive zone without a purpose.

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The Kings took a 1-0 lead early in the second period when Hunter Bussiere blasted a shot from inside the blue line to the back of the net.

Hutchinson said they knew the key to beat Saints goalie Jayden Lynn was shooting low on him.

“We have seen him because we are both (playing and practicing at Norway Savings Bank Arena), so we are familiar with him,” Hutchinson said. “We knew we needed to keep the puck (low); he (stands) up more. That was the plan, to keep shots (low), and we have been using the point.”

Timmy Ouellette nearly tied the game for the Saints on a power play later in the period, but his shot deflected off Kings goalie Vincent Lupardo’s shoulder and over the net.

“The (story) of the year is we have been almost there,” D’Auteuil said. “We have those chances and we can’t finish them.”

The Saints scored with less than five minutes remaining in the period when Colin Casserly jammed home the puck to tie the game at 1-1.

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Gibson Dozois gave the Kings a 2-1 lead with a slap shot that beat Lynn in the final two minutes of the second period.

Kaden Trenoweth stretched the Kings’ lead with under five minutes remaining in the third period. Parker Pelletier’s point shot was stopped by Lynn (26 saves) and Trenoweth put home the rebound for a 3-1 lead.

“We had new lines tonight, so (players in different positions), no one was there to help the defense,” D’Auteuil said. “(The Kings) got the rebound.”

Kings defenseman Jamison Bergeron said he didn’t feel comfortable with a two-goal lead.

“Hockey is a game where you can be up by eight and you can lose by getting nice shots in and just messing up,” Bergeron said.

Kasey Berube added an empty-net goal with under a minute remaining in the game.

Lupardo made 30 saves in the win.

“In these tight games, he has been ready and shutting (the opponents) down,” Hutchinson said. “There have been some games where he hasn’t been getting a lot of shots — he gets a tester and he has been there.”


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