Falmouth’s Kayla Sarazin battles for the puck during the Yachtsmen’s 10-2 loss to St. Dom’s in Saturday’s girls’ hockey state final.
The Falmouth and Greely girls’ hockey teams went into last week hoping to win a state championship.
Both fell short and for the same reason.
Defending state champion St. Dom’s stood in their way.
The Rangers were seeded second behind the undefeated Saints in the North Region and after edging third-ranked Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland, 3-2, in overtime in the semifinals, battled St. Dom’s in the regional final Thursday in Lewiston.
The Saints won the two regular season meetings, 9-2 in Falmouth and 3-2 in Auburn and the third time wouldn’t prove to be a charm for Greely, as St. Dom’s scored four second period goals and 25 saves from Rangers goalie Nica Todd wasn’t enough as their season ended at 17-3 with a 4-0 loss.
Falmouth, the top seed in the South Region after a 14-4 regular season, handled No. 5 York/Traip, 9-0, in the semifinals, then avenged last year’s loss with a 3-1 victory over No. 2 Scarborough in the regional final last Thursday, thanks to two goals from Devon Sarazin and another from Evie Clement, along with 18 saves from goalie Ally Hurdman.
That sent the Yachtsmen to Lewiston for the state final versus St. Dom’s Saturday afternoon. The Saints won the lone regular season meeting, 6-0, at home Jan. 16 and prevailed again in decisive fashion Saturday.
St. Dom’s seized control of the game quickly, scoring its first goal 3:03 into the first period, then adding two more within 61 seconds.
Down, 3-0, Falmouth used its timeout to try and get its bearings straight.
“I’m sure it was a bit of nerves,” Falmouth coach Rob Carrier said. “I think it had a little bit more to do with how quickly they got that first goal and then when they got that second goal, I think it put us really back on our heels. That third one just came really easy for them.”
Carrier said during the timeout he told his team “to calm down, to start doing the little things right, to focus less on the score and doing simple things, making the smarter plays, to try and slow the game down for St. Dom’s a little bit.”
The scoring did slow down — for a few minutes at least, until the Saints extended their lead to 5-0 after one period.
After St. Dom’s went up by six, the Yachtsmen converted on their first power play, with Rachel Morse scoring from Kayla Sarazin 8:13 into the second.
“I think at that point in the game, with us getting a power play, I think St. Dom’s probably got into a little bit of a lull and we were able to take advantage of that,” Carrier said.
The Saints (who finished the season 21-0, riding a two-year, 26-game win streak) regained a six-goal advantage heading to the third period, then tacked on three more goals there. Mary Hyland scored with 35 seconds left for Falmouth to account for the 10-2 final score.
“Being able to get a goal at the end of the game really helped (mentally),” Carrier said. “But St. Dom’s just stepped up after we got that first power play goal.”
Hurdman made 22 saves in her final game for Falmouth, which finished 16-5.
Carrier said Saturday’s state final wasn’t the best representation of his team’s ability. He said that came two days earlier, against Scarborough, but he was still “really proud” of the way his team played against St. Dom’s.
The boys’ hockey regular season was winding up at press time.
Falmouth will be the top seed in Class A. The Yachtsmen extended their win streak to four with victories last week over visiting Cheverus (5-0) and Thornton Academy (8-0) to improve to 13-3-1. Against the Stags, Brendan Hickey had two goals and Robbie Armitage, Marcus Cady and Jack Kidder had one apiece.
“We play well as a team and that was a great team win,” said Hickey. “We really needed that. Every game we try to come out and set the tempo. We didn’t want them to set the pace of the game.”
“We’re playing every shift to get better,” said Falmouth coach Deron Barton. “Our eyes are set on moving through the playoffs shift by shift, period by period, game by game. We still have work to do, but I’m happy where we are right now.”
Armitage and Hickey had two goals apiece against the Golden Trojans. The Yachtsmen finish the season Thursday at Cheverus.
In Class B South, Greely continues to surge, improving to 11-5 and fifth in the hotly contested region after wins at Brunswick (5-2) and defending regional champion Yarmouth (4-2) and at home over Brunswick (5-2). Matt Kramlich, Jake MacDonald, Ryan Megathlin and Andrew Moore had the goals against the Clippers. MacDonald scored twice in the second victory over the Dragons. The Rangers hosted red-hot York Wednesday and close at home versus Kennebunk Thursday.
Yarmouth was 7-9-1 and sixth in the region (where six teams make the playoffs) at press time after a 3-2 home win over St. Dom’s and a 4-2 home loss to Greely. Owen Ramsey scored twice, including the winner with five seconds to go, and Bill Jacobs also had a goal in the victory over the Saints. Jacobs and Cooper May scored against the Rangers. The Clippers finished with a home tilt versus Cape Elizabeth Tuesday.
The playoffs start Tuesday of next week with the quarterfinal round, on the home ice of the higher seeds.
Sun Journal staff writer Wil Kramlich contributed to this story.