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Greely one step from another championship

Sports

Greely one step from another championship

PORTLAND — Winter Storm Nemo arrived about five days too early for the Leavitt/Edward Little girls' hockey team.

Already facing an uphill climb against reigning state champion Greely in Wednesday evening's Eastern Maine final, the Red Hornets could have used an act of God to keep the buses in park. Some extra time in pajamas or mittens instead of pads and gloves might have helped Leavitt/EL recover from the double-overtime classic that got it here.

With no such luck, and precious little gas in the Red Hornets' tank, it was the Rangers who dominated in a 3-0 shutout at Portland Ice Arena.

"The first period we played pretty well and it showed on the scoreboard," Leavitt/EL coach Shon Collins said. "After that, honestly, I think Monday night caught up with us. When the girls showed up for practice (Tuesday) they were sore, tired, stuff they weren't used to."

No. 1 Greely (17-2-1) played only two days earlier, too, but the Rangers were energetic, confident and opportunistic.

Sarah Kurland assisted Etta Copenhagen's goal, then notched one herself in a span of 2 minutes, 16 seconds to break a scoreless tie late in the second period.

Paige Tuller also had a goal and an assist for Greely, which is bidding to become the first two-time champion in the brief history of Maine Principals' Association-sanctioned girls' hockey.

"We knew it was going to be one of the toughest games we played this season, and we'd played them twice before so we knew what we needed to do," said Tuller, one of eight Greely seniors. "We wanted to come out quick, which was not something we'd done in the past. We picked up our intensity from the start of the game, and it worked out for us."

Greely faces Scarborough (18-1-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday in Lewiston.

No. 3 Leavitt/EL, which defeated Lewiston 3-2 in the semis, finished its most successful season ever at 15-5. The Red Hornets were held to three shots on goal in the first period and one in the third. They were outshot 30-10 overall.

"At the end of the day they're a very good team," Collins said. "Against Brunswick (a 5-1 semifinal win) they had maybe a little easier game. They were skating wave after wave, it felt like. They were dumping it into our zone and our girls couldn't get our legs under us."

Greely also knocked off Leavitt/EL in the final game of the regular-season 11 days earlier. Both nights, the Rangers kept Red Hornets sniper Taylor Landry off the scoreboard.

"She's a goal-scorer. We've played them twice in the past week-and-a-half and she hasn't scored, so that's great for us," Greely coach Nate Guerin said. "We have the same system all the time. The girls know if they work hard that good things are going to happen, and that's how it was today."

"It comes down to shutting the girls down that try skate through the middle and being able to have the forwards come back and back check," Kurland added.

Both second-period goals were the product of alert plays just outside the crease.

Kurland's perfect centering pass found Copenhagen, who flicked the puck over Red Hornets goalie Tori Sanford's shoulder at 10:59.

Sophomore defender Mary Morrison also picked up an assist.

"I got the puck in the corner, and I tried to fire it into the middle to see what happened," Kurland said. "Etta was in exactly the right spot and fired it in. It was a really nice goal."

Later in the period, Sanford (27 saves) initially gloved Tuller's offering from the point.

The puck squirted free, however, and Kurland was there at 13:15 for the second opportunity.

Tuller tacked on a goal three minutes into the third period with help from Meg Finlay and Danita Storey.

"The first two goals definitely gave us energy and got us rolling, so we were able to put another one in early in the third period and sort of kept our confidence up," Kurland said.

Maura Perry made 10 saves and Morrison led the defensive effort for Greely, which joined York as the only teams to shut out Leavitt/EL this season.

The Red Hornets bid farewell to six seniors: Shelbea Russell, Shaylin Collins, Sydney Nadeau, Mercedes Merrill-Pequeno, Amanda Williams and Haley Roderick.

"I told the girls to be proud of what they accomplished and not just how it ended up," Collins said. "We got the first playoff win for the program. I don't think we gave anybody an easy game."

PORTLAND — Winter Storm Nemo arrived about five days too early for the Leavitt/Edward Little girls' hockey team.

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AMBER WATERMAN/SUN JOURNAL

Red Hornets' Taylor Landry tries to reach the puck in the control of Greely's Danita Storey during the Eastern Regional Final ice hockey Wednesday in Portland. The Rangers topped the Red Hornets 3-0.

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AMBER WATERMAN/SUN JOURNAL

The Red Hornets and coach Shon Collins rally around goalie Tori Sanford after a disappointing 3-0 loss to Greely in the Eastern Regional Final Wednesday in Portland.

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AMBER WATERMAN/SUN JOURNAL

Red Hornets' Taylor Landry fights with Greely's Chesley Andrews over control of the puck in their Eastern Regional Final ice hockey match up Wednesday in Portland. The Rangers topped the Red Hornets 3-0.

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AMBER WATERMAN/SUN JOURNAL

Greely goalie Maura Perry gets in front of Taylor Landry's shot early in the Eastern Regional Final Wednesday in Portland.

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Greely's Maura Verrill attempts to hook Red Hornets' Shelbea Russell during the Eastern Regional Final ice hockey Wednesday in Portland. The Rangers topped the Red Hornets 3-0.

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AMBER WATERMAN/SUN JOURNAL

Red Hornets' Amanda Grenier is cross checked by Greely's Danita Storey early in their Eastern Regional Final ice hockey match up Wednesday in Portland. The Rangers topped the Red Hornets 3-0.

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Already facing an uphill climb against reigning state champion Greely in Wednesday evening's Eastern Maine final, the Red Hornets could have used an act of God to keep the buses in park. Some extra time in pajamas or mittens instead of pads and gloves might have helped Leavitt/EL recover from the double-overtime classic that got it here.

With no such luck, and precious little gas in the Red Hornets' tank, it was the Rangers who dominated in a 3-0 shutout at Portland Ice Arena.

"The first period we played pretty well and it showed on the scoreboard," Leavitt/EL coach Shon Collins said. "After that, honestly, I think Monday night caught up with us. When the girls showed up for practice (Tuesday) they were sore, tired, stuff they weren't used to."

No. 1 Greely (17-2-1) played only two days earlier, too, but the Rangers were energetic, confident and opportunistic.

Sarah Kurland assisted Etta Copenhagen's goal, then notched one herself in a span of 2 minutes, 16 seconds to break a scoreless tie late in the second period.

Paige Tuller also had a goal and an assist for Greely, which is bidding to become the first two-time champion in the brief history of Maine Principals' Association-sanctioned girls' hockey.

"We knew it was going to be one of the toughest games we played this season, and we'd played them twice before so we knew what we needed to do," said Tuller, one of eight Greely seniors. "We wanted to come out quick, which was not something we'd done in the past. We picked up our intensity from the start of the game, and it worked out for us."

Greely faces Scarborough at 7 p.m. Saturday in Lewiston.

No. 3 Leavitt/EL, which defeated Lewiston 3-2 in the semis, finished its most successful season ever at 15-5. The Red Hornets were held to three shots on goal in the first period and one in the third. They were outshot 30-10 overall.

"At the end of the day they're a very good team," Collins said. "Against Brunswick (a 5-1 semifinal win) they had maybe a little easier game. They were skating wave after wave, it felt like. They were dumping it into our zone and our girls couldn't get our legs under us."

Greely also knocked off Leavitt/EL in the final game of the regular-season 11 days earlier. Both nights, the Rangers kept Red Hornets sniper Taylor Landry off the scoreboard.

"She's a goal-scorer. We've played them twice in the past week-and-a-half and she hasn't scored, so that's great for us," Greely coach Nate Guerin said. "We have the same system all the time. The girls know if they work hard that good things are going to happen, and that's how it was today."

"It comes down to shutting the girls down that try skate through the middle and being able to have the forwards come back and back check," Kurland added.

Both second-period goals were the product of alert plays just outside the crease.

Kurland's perfect centering pass found Copenhagen, who flicked the puck over Red Hornets goalie Tori Sanford's shoulder at 10:59.

Sophomore defender Mary Morrison also picked up an assist.

"I got the puck in the corner, and I tried to fire it into the middle to see what happened," Kurland said. "Etta was in exactly the right spot and fired it in. It was a really nice goal."

Later in the period, Sanford (27 saves) initially gloved Tuller's offering from the point.

The puck squirted free, however, and Kurland was there at 13:15 for the second opportunity.

Tuller tacked on a goal three minutes into the third period with help from Meg Finlay and Danita Storey.

"The first two goals definitely gave us energy and got us rolling, so we were able to put another one in early in the third period and sort of kept our confidence up," Kurland said.

Maura Perry made 10 saves and Morrison led the defensive effort for Greely, which joined York as the only teams to shut out Leavitt/EL this season.

The Red Hornets bid farewell to six seniors: Shelbea Russell, Shaylin Collins, Sydney Nadeau, Mercedes Merrill-Pequeno, Amanda Williams and Haley Roderick.

"I told the girls to be proud of what they accomplished and not just how it ended up," Collins said. "We got the first playoff win for the program. I don't think we gave anybody an easy game."