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Scarborough girls are simply the best; Red Storm caps perfect season with state title

Sports

Scarborough girls are simply the best; Red Storm caps perfect season with state title

One year after suffering an agonizing overtime loss to Greely in the state final, Scarborough's girls' hockey team is finally atop the heap.

Last week, the Red Storm downed Falmouth in the West Region Final, then handled Lewiston in the state game to finish 21-0 and without peer in the state of the Maine.

Coming off an 18-0 regular season, Scarborough earned the top seed in the West and dominated No. 4 Capeflete in the semifinals, 11-1.

Last Wednesday, at the Portland Ice Arena, the Red Storm handled No. 2 Falmouth, 7-0, scoring three goals in each of the first two periods and another in the third. Freshman Sami Shoebottom had four goals, classmate Lizzy Gross scored twice and junior Alyssa Hulst also tickled the twine.

The state victory didn't come easily, especially on Lewiston's home ice.

Gross scored two early goals, but the Blue Devils finally solved Scarborough's standout senior goalie Devan Kane in the third period to pull within a goal, 2-1.

"We took a timeout because once they got a goal, they had a lot of energy," Red Storm coach Caitlin Cashman said. "We wanted to take that away from them and settle down and refocus."

Finally, into an empty net, Gross scored again and that did the trick as the Red Storm won it all, 3-1.

"This is one of the funnest nights of my life," Gross said. "That was so much fun. I've never played in a game that was that intense. I felt nervous at first, but then right after my first shift, my nerves went away and the excitement came over me."

Kane, a four-year starter, finished with 20 saves.

"This win was huge for us," said Cashman. "It took us five years to get a state championship and this journey has been long and at times sad and painful. These girls have worked so hard to finally hold up the championship plaque. By winning states, it has shown girls' hockey in this state and to our program it's about team first, not just one player. It's about working together towards a common and collective goal. It took 20 girls to win and we needed all 20.

"I think winning states has given this program hope in that no matter what the outcome was the season before, you can change that. You can change it with hard work, humility and a competitive attitude. Of course skill helps, but you can have all the skill in the world and if you don't have the attitude or work ethic, you have nothing. These girls have the work ethic and the drive and I think they don't get enough credit for that."

Considering how young and talented this squad is, a repeat bid in 2014-15 is quite likely.

"We'll be graduating some solid players, including Brenna Kent, Riley McKeown, Rachael Wallace and Devan Kane, which will leave huge skates to fill," Cashman said. "We have girls ready to step up and work hard over the offseason to fill those skates. It's still early to tell, but if I know one thing about these girls, winning states has only fueled their drive to work hard in order to continue to be one of the top teams."

Sun Journal staff writer Kevin Mills contributed to this story.

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