Cheverus/Kennebunk/Old Orchard Beach’s Terryn MacDonald and Lewiston’s Leah Landry race down the ice to gain control of the puck during a game at the Colisee in Lewiston in January. (Sun Journal file photo by Andree Kehn)

Cheverus/Kennebunk/Old Orchard Beach girls’ hockey coach Scott Rousseau sounded resigned after his team lost to Lewiston in the middle of the season.

“They’re just a phenomenal hockey team without any weaknesses. They’re so deep and so talented, with so much speed,” Rousseau said of the Blue Devils.

Those words came after a narrow 1-0 victory for Lewiston, one of the few close calls the Blue Devils had during an 18-0 regular season.

The Blue Devils appear to be the team the beat, and that’s a sentiment that opposing coaches used all season. They are the No. 1 seed in the North heading into the postseason, with victories over every other team that looks like a contender.

They boast a senior captain with four years of varsity experience (Katie Lemieux), a three-year starter and two-year No. 1 goalie (Camree St. Hilaire), and a sensational sophomore class that has been bolstered by a talented freshmen crop.

Rousseau’s Stags are the top team in the South, their only two losses coming against Lewiston (by one goal each time) to go along with a tie against St. Dominic Academy to end the regular season.

Two other teams who were able to make the Blue Devils sweat a little during the season were their Twin Cities rivals — St. Dom’s and Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland. Those teams are the Nos. 3 and 2 seeds, respectively, in the North.

The Red Hornets, who had a 10-win improvement from a year ago (4-13-1 last year, 14-3-1 this season), gave Lewiston a pair of close games, but ultimately couldn’t score in 3-0 and 2-0 defeats. Junior goalie Manny Guimond has shown the ability to keep the Red Hornets in every game, which will be key in the playoffs.

Lewiston coach Ron Dumont said the Red Hornets “work hard all the time,” after his team’s second win over them.

Like the Blue Devils, the Red Hornets earned a bye to the regional semifinals. The Red Hornets will take on either rival St. Dom’s or defending state champ Greely/Gray-New Gloucester, which is the No. 6 seed.

The Rangers, who were dealt heavy departures after taking home the state title, gave the Red Hornets a game in a 3-2 loss to end the regular season after losing 6-2 earlier in the year. The Red Hornets and Saints, meanwhile, split a pair of meetings — the Red Hornets winning early and the Saints winning the rematch.

St. Dom’s, which has three players remaining from back-to-back state championship teams in 2016-17, is “starting to peak at the right time,” according to head coach Paul Gosselin.

In the semifinals, Lewiston will face the winner of a quarterfinal between No. 4 Yarmouth/Freeport and No. 5 Winslow/Gardiner. Those two teams split during the season, the Clippers winning the first game in overtime and the Black Tigers getting revenge in the season finale. The Blue Devils beat them both in routs, by a combined score of 19-1 in two games.

The South looks a like a two-team race to the regional final. The Stags went undefeated against their regional foes, while No. 2 Scarborough only lost to the Stags and Blue Devils, and played to a tie with St. Dom’s.

In the South quarterfinals, No. 3 Falmouth hosts No. 6 Portland/Deering (Falmouth won the lone meeting), and No. 4 Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland will face No. 5 York/Traip/Marshwood (the Capers won the only meeting).

Looking ahead to possible semifinal matchups, the No. 4 Capers played the top-seeded Stags to a one-goal game, and the No. 3 Yachtsmen did the same against the No. 2 Red Storm.

Scarborough failed to score in both meetings with the Stags, so finding goals will be crucial if the Red Storm want to make the third time the charm.

Lewiston will be looking for its record-tying third state title, after winning the inaugural MPA-sanctioned championship in 2009, and again four years ago. If the Blue Devils make it to the final, they’ll get to play on their home rink at Androscoggin Bank Colisee with a chance to equal St. Dom’s and Greely’s marks of three trophies.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.