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FITCHBURG — The long drought is over.

Finally, the Lunenburg/Ayer Shirley ice hockey team can boast that it’s once again the Mark Bushnoe Holiday Tournament champions.

Ayer Shirley showcased a sizzling offensive attack, as Jacob Mauro registered a hat trick and one assist, en route to a convincing, 6-2 victory over Leominster Friday night at Fitchburg State University’s Wallace Civic Center to win the annual holiday tourney.

“We played a great game, three solid periods,” said A-S (5-1) coach Eric Short, whose team hasn’t won its own tournament since 2013. “Leominster’s a good team and they are physical. Our goaltending was good and we got key goals from our top guys. It was an awesome tournament.”

Leominster, making its inaugural debut in the tournament, fell to 1-3-2 on the season.

The Blue Devils did a lot of good things against rival Fitchburg/Monty Tech on Thursday night in a 5-3 semifinal win, but struggled for much of the night against the Blue Knights.

“We did not do many of the things that we did (Thursday) night tonight,” Leominster coach Casey Beaulac said.

Lunenburg/A-S senior goalie Nate Bourdelais made 20 saves for the victory in between the pipes and also earned the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award.

“It feels really good,” said Bourdelais, who was sporting an ear-to-ear smile after hoisting up the championship hardware after the victory. “Senior year and to get to end on a high note. To come out and get the MVP, I couldn’t do it without all the boys, though. I wouldn’t be here without them.”

Mauro was named an all-star in the tournament, along with Leominster’s Ross Howlett.

The Blue Knights stormed the ice in the first period and claimed a 4-1 lead after the first 15 minutes of action.

It only took 1:30 for Ayer Shirley to light the lamp, as Declan Fitzpatrick fired a shot from the point that was tipped by Mauro for the game’s first tally.

“We set out with a game plan, get to the net and tip some shots and get the ‘D’ the puck and shoot,” Mauro said.

Mauro scored again at 4:56. Centerman Connor Viviano (goal, 2 assists) won the faceoff and Mauro corralled the puck and quickly ripped a shot that beat Leominster starting goaltender Cam Isabelle.

“They were ready to go,” Beaulac said. “They wanted it.”

The advantage ballooned to 3-0 at 8:45. Ayer Shirley’s hard work and grit in front of the Leominster goal paid off. Fitzpatrick and Luke Dufresne set up the play, and Jared Simmons (2 goals, assist) got his stick on a shot and tipped it home as the Blue Knights were flying high.

“We came in clicking today,” Bourdelais said. “We knew we had to get the dirty goals to beat Leominster. We just came out swinging.”

Bourdelais kept Leominster off the scoreboard. His big save on a one-timer by Joe Russo preserved the three-goal lead. But the Blue Devils finally broke through at 9:18, as Brandon Melanson took a shot off the faceoff that found the back of the net.

Simmons registered his second goal of the evening at 12:44 with a strong rush on the left wing and finish through the goalie’s five-hole. Sean Simpson picked up the helper.

Leominster couldn’t stop Lunenburg’s tremendous attack in the middle period, either.

The explosive Mauro notched his hat trick at 1:27 of the second period, assisted by lineman Viviano and Max Simmons.

Viviano — a tremendous playmaker — got into the scoring act nearly five minutes later. The junior center struck for a power-play tally, assisted by Mauro and Jared Simmons, giving Lunenburg/Ayer Shirley a very comfortable 6-1 cushion.

“They have two solid goal-scoring lines,” Beaulac said. “They also have pretty good puck-moving defensemen that get the puck up quickly and get it to those highly-skilled forwards. They are a high-powered offensive team. It’s not just their forwards that can score.”

Bourdelais made a great glove save against Zack Fowler, but couldn’t stonewall Melanson on a rebound in front with 42 seconds remaining in the period. Jake Brinelle had the assist on Melanson’s second tally of the game.

Lunenburg/A-S outshot Leominster, 38-22, for the game.

Consolation game

In the consolation game, Fitchburg/Monty Tech picked up a hard-fought, 4-3 victory over Assabet.

Max Beaulac, Ben Tolman (goal, assist), Anthony Lesperance and Andrew David Cormier each lit the lamp for the Red Raiders (2-4-1). Spencer McCrillis made 19 saves for the win in net.

Tolman earned a tournament all-star award for his play against Leominster and Assabet in the tourney.

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