Cheverus/Kennebunk blanks Scarborough again

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Cheverus/Kennebunk sophomore goalie Trinity Atwater denies Scarborough freshman Evelyn Boardman during Thursday’s showdown between the two top teams in the South Region. Cheverus/Kennebunk prevailed, 3-0.

Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald photos.

More photos below.

PORTLAND—Who says history doesn’t repeat itself?

Certainly not the Cheverus/Kennebunk and Scarborough girls’ hockey teams.

Thursday afternoon at Troubh Ice Arena, the teams squared off for the second time this winter and as was the case last month, neither could score a goal in the first two periods.

And then Cheverus/Kennebunk did what it had to do to find the net and prevail in the third.

The Red Storm more than held their own through 30 minutes, but couldn’t produce a goal and with 13:22 to play in the third period, senior Sophia Pompeo got Cheverus/Kennebunk on the board.

After Cheverus/Kennebunk sophomore goalie Trinity Atwater held Scarborough at bay, Cheverus/Kennebunk put it away with two goals in 50 seconds, as first junior Hannah Woodford, then junior Abby Lamontagne put the puck in the net and Cheverus/Kennebunk went on to a 3-0 victory.

Cheverus/Kennebunk swept the season series, locked up the top seed for the South Region playoffs, improved to 15-2 on the year and in the process, ended the Red Storm’s regular season at 13-4-1.

“It was a very well-played hockey game,” said Cheverus/Kennebunk coach Scott Rousseau. “I think both teams played terrific. We’ll play again in two weeks (in the regional final), maybe.”  

Deja vu

Cheverus/Kennebunk and Scarborough have been ahead of the curve in the South Region all winter.

After losing to Greely/Gray-New Gloucester in last year’s state final, Cheverus/Kennebunk entered the 2018-19 season hoping to finish what that team started and it’s lived up to billing, opening with wins over visiting Winslow/Gardiner (10-0), host Falmouth (3-0), host Biddeford/Thornton Academy (12-2), host York (6-0), visiting St. Dom’s (4-1) and host Greely/Gray-NG (11-2) before falling at home to Lewiston, 3-2. After downing visiting Scarborough (2-0), Cheverus/Kennebunk defeated host Portland/Deering (3-2), visiting Brunswick (6-0) and host Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland (3-2). After a 1-0 loss at Lewiston, Cheverus/Kennebunk beat visiting Gorham/Bonny Eagle (9-2), Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/SP (7-2), Portland/Deering (8-2) and Greely/Gray-NG (4-2).

Scarborough, meanwhile, raced out of the gate with wins at Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland (4-3), at Gorham/Bonny Eagle (8-1), at home over Brunswick (7-3) and at Greely (8-0) before losing at Lewiston, 2-0. The Red Storm won, 9-0, at Biddeford/Thornton Academy and after falling at Cheverus/Kennebunk (2-0), Scarborough beat Portland/Deering (7-4), settled for a 4-4 home tie with St. Dom’s, then downed visiting Portland/Deering (4-0), host York (5-0), visiting Yarmouth/Freeport (4-1) and visiting Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/SP (4-2). After losing at home to Lewiston (4-0), the Red Storm beat host Falmouth (2-1), visiting Greely/Gray-NG (4-2) and visiting Biddeford/TA (5-0).

In the meeting Dec. 19 in Gorham, Cheverus/Kennebunk got late goals from Lamontagne and Pompeo to prevail.

Thursday, on Senior Day for the host team, the Red Storm hoped to snap a five-game skid in the series and beat Cheverus/Kennebunk for the first time since Jan. 16, 2017 (3-0 at home), but Cheverus/Kennebunk prevailed again.

As was the case in the teams’ first meeting this winter, offensive chances were few and far between.

Each team managed just one shot on goal in the first half of the first period.

Later in the period, the goalies started showing off, as Scarborough freshman Ariella Swett denied Cheverus senior Terryn MacDonald in front and Atwater stopped a shot by Red Storm sophomore Kathleen Murphy.

With 57.5 seconds remaining, Scarborough went on the power play as Pompeo was sent to the penalty box for tripping and 14 seconds later, Atwater also was called for tripping, giving the Red Storm a 5-on-3 power play.

Scarborough couldn’t produce a shot the rest of the first period and when the second period began, the Red Storm remained frustrated, mustering just one bid, a shot from freshman Maya Sellinger which Atwater saved.

The Stags went on the power play at 3:39 of the second, as freshman Calynn Gendreau was sent off for high sticking, but Cheverus’ one shot, from Lamontagne, was saved by Swett.

Scarborough got another power play at 5:51 when Stags senior Zoe Mazur was called for holding, but again, the visitors only managed one shot and Atwater stopped Murphy’s attempt.

Late in the period, a rush from Red Storm senior Courtney Brochu was turned aside by Atwater, Swett made a glove save on a MacDonald shot and Lamontagne had two great opportunities, but on the first, she sent a back-handed bid wide, then on the second, she rang the puck off the post, sending the game to the second intermission scoreless for the second time this season.

Lamontagne got another good chance a minute into the third period, but again Swett stood tall.

And then, Pompeo struck.

Lamontagne got Pompeo the puck and she skated in and fired a shot past Swett with 13:22 to play for a 1-0 Cheverus/Kennebunk lead.

“Abby got the puck on the boards and she passed it up to me and I shot and scored,” Pompeo said. “That changed the momentum and our energy picked up and we carried it on from there.”

“That was a very nice breakout,” Rousseau said. “It was a 200-foot goal. It started in the back. (Senior) Abby Enck had a nice pass to Abby (Lamontagne) on the wall and she was able to chip it to Sophia and create a rush and she was able to finish. It’s beautiful to work on things in practice and have them happen in a game.”

Scarborough didn’t go quietly, but Atwater wouldn’t surrender the equalizer.

First, a Gendreau rush was broken up in front.

Atwater then denied shots from freshman Evelyn Boardman (with her blocker), junior Caroline Timpson (with her pad) and freshman Ashley Farrington (with her entire body).

Then, with 4:56 to play, Woodford provided some breathing room, banging home her own rebound (senior Madison Courtois got an assist) and Cheverus/Kennebunk was up, 2-0.

Any lingering doubt was dispelled 50 seconds later, as off a faceoff, Pompeo got the puck to Lamontagne and Lamontagne fired a shot to Swett’s left that the goalie couldn’t reach and the score was 3-0.

“Getting that first goal was huge,” Rousseau said. “Playing with a lead, the other team had to get out of their system and we took advantage of that.”

Scarborough didn’t manage a shot the rest of the way and Cheverus/Kennebunk won it, by a three-goal margin.

“It’s awesome to win on Senior Day,” Pompeo said. “Scarborough is great. We came in knowing they’re very competitive. We had to adapt to their defense.”

“We generated pucks to the net and built momentum in the third period,” Rousseau said.

Cheverus/Kennebunk, thanks in large part to a 10-4 edge in the third period, enjoyed a 17-16 edge in shots on goal.

Atwater made 16 saves.

The Red Storm got 14 saves from Swett, but have now gone 90 minutes this winter against the Stags without a goal.

“I thought we stayed on them and we were in their end quite a bit,” said Scarborough coach Caitlin Jordan. “We had quite a few shots, but a lot of them weren’t on net. That’s what we talked about after the game, that shots can’t go in if they’re not between the pipes. We’ll work on that. I think we were right in it, but we just couldn’t finish. They’ve got good players, but they’re beatable.”

February fun

Scarborough is done for the regular season and as the No. 2 seed in the South Region, will have a bye into the semifinals, which the Red Storm will host next Friday or Saturday in Gorham.

“We’re very young,” Jordan said. “We have 13 freshmen. The breakdown in the third period was because of minor, mental lapses. We’ll learn from this. We might be able to correct those mistakes and go on a good run the next two weeks.”

Cheverus/Kennebunk, meanwhile, still has one game to play and it could be a state game preview when it visits St. Dom’s Saturday.

A home semifinal then looms then following weekend.

“It’s a great feeling to be first (in the standings), but we don’t care about that,” Pompeo said. “We play every team to the best of our ability. We want to win it so badly. We just need to work hard. We can’t let up. There’s always stuff to work on. We’ll get better every practice and each game.”

“It’s been a different year than last year,” said Rousseau. “We’ve had to grind a lot. Things haven’t come easily, but in a strange twist of fate, I think it’s made us a better hockey team. The girls have stayed together.”  

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Cheverus/Kennebunk senior Sophia Pompeo gets past Scarborough sophomore Kathleen Murphy. Pompeo had the game’s first goal.

Scarborough freshman Maya Sellinger takes a shot.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.