The Scarborough girls’ hockey did everything it could to win the state championship Saturday evening, but despite the heroics of goalie Devan Kane, the Red Storm ultimately fell one painful goal shy as Greely won its second straight title at the Colisee in Lewiston.
Scarborough, which went 16-1-1 in the regular season, losing at York in overtime and tying Greely (2-2, in the teams’ only other meeting), earned the top seed in the West Region and eliminated No. 5 Cheverus (6-1) and No. 2 York (1-0, on senior Sarah Martens’ goal) to advance to the state game.
Greely shot out to a 12-1 advantage in shots in the first 10 minutes, but couldn’t solve Kane.
“We were nervous and I think the nerves got to (the girls) and they were second-guessing themselves and when you hesitate, good teams like Greely will capitalize,” said Scarborough coach Caitlin Cashman. “We did a lot of good things during the game, but I think if we were a little more settled down, we would have had more opportunities offensively.”
The Red Storm found some offense in the second frame, but couldn’t beat Greely goalie Maura Perry, with most of its shots coming from the outside.
Neither team scored in the third period and it was on to “sudden victory” overtime, where the Rangers finally ended it when Mary Morrison gathered the puck in the middle slot on a feed from Sarah Kurland and used a heavy screen in front of the cage to fool Kane with a wrister at 3:44.
Greely 1 Scarborough 0.
“Both teams really wanted it, both teams knew what was at stake and it was the same kind of game that we played back in December,” Cashman said. “It was a little bit back and forth. Greely does a really good job in the offensive zone.
“It’s a tough loss, but my girls worked really hard this season to get there. In the beginning of the year, I sat down with them individually and asked what their team and individual goals were and they all said to make it past the semifinals. For three seasons, we lost in the semis by a goal and this year, I told them we’re breaking the curse and they got to the state game.
Kane finished with a whopping 39 saves.
“She’s really the backbone of this team,” Cashman said.
Scarborough will lose plenty of talent to graduation, but has a lot of strong players returning, so perhaps the Red Storm will finish the job next winter.
“Next season, we’re getting in quite a few freshmen, which is really exciting,” Cashman said. “Much of the team this season as juniors and sophomores, so next season we’ll have plenty of ‘seasoned veterans,’ which will be helpful. We’re hoping next season will be just as successful as this season and maybe end with a state title.”
The boys’ hockey playoffs begin this weekend and two of three local teams will take part.
Scarborough will either be the first or second seed in Western Class A. The Red Storm improved to 16-1 and extended its win streak to 15 games with recent home victories over South Portland (11-0) and Biddeford (3-0) and a huge 2-1 victory at top-ranked Falmouth Tuesday night. Jake Gross had a hat trick against the Red Riots and had the winner in the third period at the Yachtsmen. Scarborough (second in the Western Class A Heal Points standings) closed the regular season at Cheverus Thursday. The Red Storm still had a chance to finish first in the standings.
South Portland will fall short of the postseason. The Red Riots fell to 2-15 (14th in Western A, where just nine teams make the playoffs) with recent losses to Scarborough (11-0), Noble (11-0), Portland (6-2) and Gorham (12-1). South Portland closed with a home game against Kennebunk Thursday.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth wrapped up a playoff spot with holiday weekend wins over visiting Leavitt (9-2) and at Gardiner (1-0, in overtime). The Capers finished the regular season 7-10-1 and will likely be the No. 5 seed for the playoffs.
The postseason begins Saturday with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals are Tuesday, both rounds will be contested on the home ice of the highest remaining seeds.
Sun Journal Sports Editor Justin Pelletier contributed to this story