Lewiston High’s Gemma Landry, Brie Dube and Camree St. Hilaire rush to their fans with the state championship trophy on Feb. 15 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

The two highest-scoring teams in the state met in the girls hockey championship game in February, but the goals that both teams scored in bunches throughout the season were nowhere to be found.

Instead, Lewiston and Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland played a taut game, with the Blue Devils emerging with a 1-0 overtime victory to cap an undefeated season. The contest is our choice as 2019-20 Varsity Maine Girls Game of the Year.

Despite the scoring prowess between the two teams (Lewiston averaged 5.72 goals during the regular season, the Capers 4.72), a high-scoring affair never materialized. 

“The girls did a remarkable job of executing a defensive system that we had been working on in practice for two weeks leading up to the game,” said Capers Coach Bob Mills. “When the first period ended tied 0-0 and we were outshooting Lewiston, we felt confident that the system could work. Our goalie, Katharine Blackburn, also made several big saves to keep our spirits high.” 

Lewiston Coach Ron Dumont said his team only putting four shots on goal in the first period concerned him some, but he was worried even more when the Capers  playing in the program’s first state final  outshot the Blue Devils again in the second period. 

“That was when, defensively as a team, we really had to fend off some of Cape’s better scoring bids,” Dumont said. “That second period is where it really highlighted how good a defensive team we were all season, a fact that I think was mostly overlooked because we typically put up so much offense.” 

The Blue Devils allowed just seven goals all season – none in the playoffs. 

The Capers’ best opportunity came during a five-minute power play that spanned the second and third periods. 

Lewiston did a good job of disrupting the momentum that we could have gained with a goal, or at least some better scoring chances,” Mills said. 

Lewiston’s Gemma Landry maintains control of the puck as Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland’s Annie Guimond defends during the girls’ hockey state championship in Lewiston on Feb. 15.  Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Dumont called the long penalty kill the turning point in the game. 

“From then on, I felt we had the momentum and Cape never really threatened again,” he said. 

The Capers ran out of gas, playing just two forward lines and three defenders. They were outshot by the Blue Devils in the third period and couldn’t generate any shots in overtime. Still, Dumont was surprised that the Capers sustained their stout defensive plan the entire game. 

Lewiston’s plan of starting with sound defense led to goals all season. It didn’t produce any during regulation in the state final, but Dumont said it was only a matter of time. 

“Luckily it happened early in the overtime,” Dumont said. “On that play, I think three players were involved in keeping the puck in as Cape tried to exit their zone, and that ultimately led to the chance that produced the winning goal (by Leah Dube, assisted by Leah Landry).” 

While the outcome wasn’t what Mills had hoped for, he still called it “the best girls high school hockey game I’ve been a part of.” 

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