The women’s ice hockey playoffs begin Wednesday with quarter-final matches in the North and South regions.
And, especially in the South, there are crowds at the top of the seeds.
No. 1 Cape Elizabeth / Waynflete / South Portland, No. 2 Cheverus / Old Orchard Beach / Kennebunk / Windham and No. 3 Scarborough took turns first – and fought.
“All three of us are dead,” Cheverus coach Scott Rousseau said. “We kind of all fought twice. For some reason, we had Scarborough’s number, and Cape beat us twice, and Scarborough tied and beat Cape.
“Every team has their strengths and weaknesses. It all depends on who shows up and which team wants it the most,” Scarborough coach Taylor Fowler said.
Before these teams can resume their battles, they must pass Wednesday’s quarterfinals.
Scarborough (9-5-1), who also beat No. 1 North Lewiston, plays No. 6 Biddeford/Thornton/Wells/Sanford at the University of Southern Maine at 6:10 p.m.
At Troubh Ice Arena, Co-op Cape Elizabeth (11-2-2) will host No. 8 Portland/Deering (2-15) at 6 p.m., followed by Cheverus (12-4-1) playing No. 7 Gorham/ Bonny Eagle/Massabesic/Westbrook/Fryeburg (5-10) at 8 p.m.
Cape Elizabeth, who won the South in 2020 (the last time a tournament was held), are a very young side. The Capers have eight freshmen, including leading scorer and center Marina Bassett and teammates Libby Hooper and Catie Lee.
“They’re very, very good hockey players and they complement each other very well,” said Cape coach Bob Mills. “They work well as a unit. They move the puck.
Junior Delaney Whitten is the ‘anchor’ of the Cape defense which includes seniors Katharine Blackburn and Sofia Cook, two survivors of the 2020 Regional Championship squad. Freshman Vivienne Cook, who was getting time as as backup goaltender earlier in the season, is now helping the defense stay fresh, with junior Abbey Steinhagen starting in net.
Cheverus, the 2019 state champions, has one of the largest rosters in the state, with 20 players, but Rousseau said that’s misleading.
“We will play nine or 10. The truth is that all the best teams only play between 9 and 11 players,” Rousseau said.
Senior captain Olivia Bradford is a key threat for Cheverus but, like Cape, many of the top players are younger. Sophomore Charlotte Miller and rookie Lucy Johnson are the two centers. Sophomore Mikayla Talbot, who is back from a broken wrist in preseason, is a key scorer. Sophomores Ella Lemieux (in goal), Brynn Kenney and Lily Johnson lead a defense that allows 1.47 goals per game.
Scarborough, with 11 skaters and two goaltenders, is dominated by a senior class of nine that includes top scorers Evelyn Boardman (19 goals, 4 assists), Meagan Donovan (11 goals, 11 assists) and Caylnn Gendreau (11 goals, 4 assists). ). ), goaltender Ariella “AJ” Swett and her three defenders.
In the other South quarter-final, No. 5 York/Traip/Marshwood/Noble (5-8-2) visits No. 4 Falmouth (8-5-1) at the Family Ice Center in Falmouth at 20 h.
Falmouth have won both meetings this season, 4-2 in December and 3-0 at home on January 3. New Hampshire. York have won three of their last five games, including beating Scarborough 3-2.
“I think the York-Falmouth match will be very competitive,” predicted Rousseau. “We beat them 2-1 with a goal 14 seconds from time and then about a week later they beat Scarborough. They have a fantastic sitter named Katie Brower who I don’t think anyone wants to see.
IN THE NORTH, No. 1 Lewiston (14-2) receives a bye. No. 8 Greely, which finished 3-13, is the only team among the state’s 16 programs not to participate in the tournament.
Lewiston, the defending women’s hockey champion, appears to be significantly ahead in the North. The Blue Devils’ six toughest games have been against the top three teams in the South. Lewiston shared a two-game series with Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth and twice beat Cheverus by one goal. Against northern teams, Lewiston is 10-0 with an 80-9 margin.
Two of Wednesday’s quarterfinals in the North will take place at Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. No. 7 Brunswick (3-12) meets No. 2 Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland (9-5-2) at 6:10 p.m., followed by No. 6 Yarmouth/Freeport (6-8) against No. 3 Mt Ararat/Lisbon/Morse/Lincoln Academy (13-3-1) at 7:50 p.m.
Number 5 St. Dominic/Winthrop/Gray-NG/Monmouth (5-9) take on Number 4 Winslow/Gardiner/Cony/Lawrence/Messalonskee/Brewer (7-7) in a 7.30pm match at Camden National Bank Vault of ice cream in Hallowell.
The Yarmouth-Mt. Ararat’s game has the potential to be closer than team records indicate. In the regular season, Mt. Ararat edged Yarmouth/Freeport, 3-2. And, Yarmouth has wins over Winslow, No. 4, and St. Dominic, No. 5.
The North and South semi-finals are scheduled for Saturday, on the top-seeded rink. The North and South Finals will take place on Wednesday, February 16 at Troubh Ice Arena with start times at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. The state championship game will be held at Troubh at. 3 p.m. Saturday, February 19.
Monday’s high school rally: Scarborough gets off to a quick start and holds off Cheverus