Thornton Academy students cheer as the winning goal is allowed after a lengthy discussion by officials during the Class AA semifinals at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Wednesday. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer


WHO: South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete (12-8) vs. Thornton Academy (16-4)

WHEN: 12:30 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Cross Insurance Arena, Portland


KEY PLAYERS: South Portland — Richie Gilboy, sr., D (8 goals, 2 assists),; Tobey Lappin, jr., F (18 goals, 8 assists); Roan Hopkins, sr., F (9 goals, 11 assists); Hewitt Sykes, jr., F (5 goals, 6 assists); Ian Wright, sr., D (4 goals, 5 assists); Jasper Curtis, sr., G (.910 save %, 2.20 goals-against average). Thornton Academy — Kyle Lesieur, sr., F (10 goals, 19 assists); Gavin Pellerin, so., D (12 goals, 13 assists); Evan Beaudette, sr., F (12 goals, 10 assists); Lucas Hubbard, sr., D (4 goals, 15 assists); Heath McLean, sr., D (7 goals, 12 assists); Porter Krause, sr., G (.919 save %, 1.80 goals-against average).


WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Thornton Academy is back in the state championship game after finishing as runner-up last season. The South Portland co-op is making its first appearance in a state title game. … Neither team has a clear advantage, as they split a pair of regular-season games, and neither game was close. Thornton won 8-1 at home on Dec. 21; South Portland won 5-1 at home on Jan. 28. … Thornton rides a seven-game winning streak into the championship game, while South Portland has won six in a row. … Each team is led by a senior defenseman who is a semifinalist for the Travis Roy Award, given to the top senior player in Class A. For South Portland, it’s Gilboy. For Thornton, it’s Hubbard. Both can contribute offensively as well as lock down opposing forwards. … In the semifinals, Curtis made 32 saves against a strong Falmouth team that entered with 28 goals in its previous four games. He has allowed just one goal over two playoff games.

Messalonskee celebrates a goal against Hampden Academy in the third period of the Class B North championship game Thursday at Colby College in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel


WHO: Messalonskee (18-2-1) vs. Cape Elizabeth (18-2)

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Saturday

WHERE: Cross Insurance Arena, Portland


KEY PLAYERS: Messalosnkee — Owen Kirk, so., F (21 goals, 22 assists); Bryce Crowell, sr., F (21 goals, 20 assists); Will Durkee, sr., F (18 goals, 21 assists); Garrett Card, jr., F (15 goals, 11 assists); Grayson Podey, jr., D (2 goals, 17 assists); Hunter Hallee, jr., G (.914 save %, 1.75 goals-against average). Cape Elizabeth — Phil Coupe, sr., D (9 goals, 25 assists); Nick Laughlin, sr., D (15 goals, 18 assists), Sebastian Moon, sr., F (15 goals, 14 assists), Colin Blackburn, jr., F (21 goals, 6 assists); Connor Goss, sr., F (8 goals, 17 assists); Charlie Garvin, sr., G (.938 save %, 0.99 goals-against average).

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Cape Elizabeth is making its first appearance in the state championship game since 2006, when it won the last of three titles in four years. Messalonskee is returning to the state final for the first time since winning the second of back-to-back championships in 2015. … Led by Kirk and Crowell, who combined for 42 goals and 42 assists, the Eagles have a deep offense, with a number of players adept at finding the net. Defensively, Messalonskee has been at its strongest over the second half of the season. The Eagles allowed just three goals over three games in the North regional, with Hallee making 26 saves in Thursday’s 3-1 win over Hampden Academy in the regional final. … The Capers are led by Coupe and Laughlin, a pair of senior defensemen who are strong two-way players and are the team’s top two scorers. Blackburn and Moon are Cape Elizabeth’s most dangerous forwards. Garvin made 18 saves in a 2-0 win over York in the South final. … One thing the Capers must focus on is playing disciplined hockey. Cape took too many penalties in the regional final. Against a team with the offensive firepower of Messalonskee, which averages more than five goals per game, similar lapses could be costly.

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