After seeing its lead vanish with 12 seconds left in regulation, Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland rebounded quickly.

Koto Yamada scored 23 seconds into overtime to give the second-seeded Capers a 3-2 upset of top-seeded Scarborough in the girls’ hockey South final Wednesday night at Troubh Arena.

It was Yamada’s second goal of the game. Bella Schifano also scored for the Capers.

Cape Elizabeth (14-5-1) advances to its first state championship game, at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Colisee against Lewiston (19-0-1), a 5-0 winner over Edward Little in the North final.

Cape lost to Lewiston twice during the regular season, including a 6-3 defeat on Jan. 4 – the only time a team has scored more than one goal against the Blue Devils.

The Capers also lost their two regular-season games to Scarborough (16-2-2), the last a 4-1 decision three weeks ago.

“I don’t think the first two times we played them we were ready to play,” Cape Coach Bob Mills said. “We’ve had great practices, and the girls came prepared.”

Cape quickly set the tone, taking a 1-0 lead 2:10 into the game. Nicoletta Coupe centered the puck out to Yamada, who roofed it.

Scarborough answered quickly when Paige Spooner wristed a shot through a crowd at 3:29.

The first period was a defensive tussle, with shots on net rare – four for Scarborough, two for Cape.

But the Capers struck again early in the second period. After drawing a penalty 16 seconds in, Cape passed the puck around. Abbey Agrodnia sent it toward the goal and Schifano got a stick on it, scoring at 49 seconds for a 2-1 lead.

That put the Red Storm on their heels, and Cape kept attacking. Scarborough goalie Ariella Swett (16 saves) kept the deficit at one.

Scarborough got life with back-to-back power plays, but the Cape defense held, backed by goalie Katherine Blackburn (16 saves).

“As soon as the second penalty was called, I was like, ‘again?’ They put a lot of pressure on us,” Blackburn said. “But we got through it.”

Cape looked in control in the third period, especially after going on the power play with 3:03 left. But a Capers penalty a minute later eventually gave Scarborough a power play. With a minute left, Swett was pulled for a 6-on-4 advantage, and Ashlyn Libby scored at 14:48.

“We were really devastated,” Agrodnia said. “But we couldn’t let it get us down.”

Both teams lost playoff games to Cheverus in overtime last year, Cape in the South semifinals, Scarborough in the regional final.

The Capers settled it fast in overtime this time. Coupe again got the puck to Yamada.

“Nicoletta was coming around the net and made a quick pass to me, and I one-timed it,” Yamada said. “It was a great pass and I was just really lucky.”

It was an instant celebration for the Capers, while the Red Storm lowered their heads.

“Cape just wanted it more. They showed up and were ready to play,” Scarborough Coach Taylor Fowler said.

Now Cape faces a program that has lots of experience in state finals. Lewiston has reached the championship game in six of the 12 years since girls’ hockey became a sanctioned sport in Maine. The Blue Devils are 2-3 in championship games, their last title coming in 2015.


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