One goal away.
That’s how close Scarborough’s girls’ hockey team got to winning the state championship this winter.
If that wasn’t enough hockey excitement, the boys’ playoffs are about to get underway.
Scarborough’s girls’ team tied Falmouth, 3-3, to start the season, then lost late in the year at Greely, 8-3, but won its other 16 games to earn the top seed in the South region and a bye into the semifinals, where the Red Storm eliminated No. 4 York, 3-1.
Last Wednesday, Scarborough traveled to Lewiston to meet No. 2 Falmouth in the regional final in a rematch of last year’s regional final won by the Yachtsmen, 4-2.
This time around, the Red Storm twice trailed by a goal, but they saved their best for last.
After Falmouth took an early 1-0 lead, Logan Bruns tied it for Scarborough, but the Yachtsmen went back on top, 2-1. Lucy Bogdanovich’s power play goal in the second period tied the game again, 2-2. Red Storm standout Sami Shoebottom then put on a show, scoring three times in just over a minute late in the third period to give Scarborough a 5-2 victory.
“(Sami) just impresses me every time we play,” said Red Storm coach Caitlin D’Amour. “I couldn’t say I was surprised that she let everybody know she was still in the game.
“We wanted revenge from last year bad. The girls said to us today, ‘We don’t want to cry like we did last year.'”
The tears came three nights later when Scarborough returned to Lewiston to meet North region champion St. Dom’s, a team the Red Storm didn’t play in the regular season.
Shoebottom scored on the Red Storm’s first shot of the game, late in the first period, and that lead held up after two periods, thanks to 18 saves from goalie Mckenzie Cormier.
“All season she’s been really solid,” D’Amour said of Cormier. “She let everybody know who she was tonight. She made a statement. I’m really proud of her.”
The Saints finally broke through early in the third period on the power play, then got the go-ahead goal, again on the power play, with just over five minutes remaining.
“We were probably a little bit gassed,” D’Amour said. “We jumped the gun too early and if you jump the gun too early with a team to read that, you’ll get scored on.”
Scarborough couldn’t answer and its season ended at 18-2-1 with a 2-1 setback.
“The girls worked hard and that’s my biggest thing,” D’Amour said. “They hustled and were competitive and played aggressive. I’m really proud they went for it.”
On the boys’ side, Scarborough, the defending Class A champion, was closing in on the top seed in Class A South at press time. Last Thursday, the Red Storm finally suffered their first loss, 4-2, to visiting St. Dom’s. Colin Hayward and Cam Smith scored in defeat. Monday, Scarborough settled for a 4-4 tie at Lewiston. Eric Murray, Skylar Pettingill, Cam Nigro and Matt Caron (the tying tally with six seconds left) scored in that one and goalie Ross LeBlond stopped a penalty shot in overtime and made 32 saves.
“It’s better than losing,” said Red Storm coach Norm Gagne. “All in all, it was a heck of a hockey game, both sides. Some say we’ll meet again (in the state final), but it’s a long road through the playoffs.”
Scarborough (13-2-2 and first in Class A South) hosted Falmouth Wednesday with the top seed at stake.
The South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete co-op team was seventh in Class A South (eight teams make the playoffs) with a 5-10-2 record after a 5-3 win at Massabesic a 4-1 home loss to Cheverus (Tyler Goldberg had the lone goal) and Monday’s 4-3 home loss to Noble/Wells. South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete closed at home versus Windham/Westbrook Thursday.
In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth looks like it will be the No. 5 seed after finishing 7-9-2. The Capers lost to visiting Portland/Deering (4-3), enjoyed a 3-1 home victory over Gardiner, then closed with a 2-1 win at top-ranked Yarmouth. Sean Agrondia, Alex Glidden and Matt Riggle scored against Portland/Deering. Against the Tigers, Riggle had two goals and Jeb Boechenstein added the goal. In the win over the Clippers, Glidden and Philip Tarling scored.
The playoffs begin Tuesday with the quarterfinal round on the home ice of the higher seeds.
Sun Journal staff writer Wil Kramlich contributed to this story.
Scarborough goalie McKenzie Cormier and defender Lily Nygren do their best to keep the puck out of the goal during the Red Storm’s 2-1 loss to St. Dom’s in the state championship game Saturday.
Cape Elizabeth’s Alex Glidden skates in on goal during the Capers’ 4-3 loss to Portland/Deering last week. Cape Elizabeth was still in the hunt for a playoff spot at press time.