Eleven games into the season, the Biddeford girls’ hockey season looked in serious trouble.

The euphoria of a season-opening win over Scarborough was long gone. The Tigers were 3-8 and on a six-game losing streak.

“We’ve had injuries, loss of players to other programs and academic suspensions that really put us back on our heels at times,” Coach Marie Potvin said.

“We just kept plugging away in hopes that things would click in.”

The Tigers finished with a 4-2-1 mark over their last seven games, including a tense 3-2 victory against Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete on Saturday.

That victory propelled Biddeford into the playoffs as the No. 4 seed in the West. The Tigers (7-10-1) will play top-seeded Scarborough (12-4-2) at 9 p.m. Friday at the University of Southern Maine arena.

“We started playing more as a team,” Potvin said, “and some of our younger players have started to come into their own. They never gave up even when things looked a bit grim.”

Besides their leading scorers, Haley Reny and Jenna Roy, the Tigers have been led by goalie Emily Brassley, who is in her first year on the varsity. “She’s come up big in our last two games,” Potvin said.

Biddeford’s initial win over the Red Storm came during Thanksgiving weekend when several pivotal Scarborough players were missing. Scarborough then routed the Tigers 7-0 in January.

But the victory over Scarborough, as well as a 4-3 win over Falmouth in December, gave Biddeford valuable Heal points. Falmouth finished fifth in the West and out of the playoffs despite having a better record (8-10).

Biddeford played a slightly stronger schedule with nine games against playoff teams (Scarborough, York and Cheverus twice each, plus St. Dominic, Greely and Winslow).

Falmouth played eight games against playoff teams besides Biddeford — Greely (twice), St. Dom’s, Winslow, Leavitt/Edward Little, Scarborough, York and Cheverus.

It was a tough-luck year for Falmouth, which rebounded from a 1-5 start. Eight of the Yachtsmen’s 10 losses were by one goal, three in overtime.

STRENGTH OF schedule also played a factor in Scarborough (12-4-2) getting the top seed over York (13-3-2) despite York’s better overall record, and a win and a tie against the Red Storm this season.

Scarborough played 11 games against playoff teams to York’s nine.

The Red Storm and Wildcats played similar opponents, but Scarborough faced St. Dom’s twice and also played Winslow.

SPEAKING OF schedule, it’s no secret that Marshwood/Traip Academy has a good boys’ team this year and is taking advantage of its Tier III schedule.

But the Hawks’ 11-2 record has even surprised Coach Eric Royal.

“I had no idea” Marshwood-Traip Academy would be this good,” Royal said. “I never know (before the season) what we’re going to have for numbers.”

Marshwood has 12 skaters, and is a talented group that plays well together.

The Hawks enter the most challenging part of their schedule with a game tonight against Cheverus, and another Saturday against Cape Elizabeth. Both are 9-4.

THE BIDDEFORD boys beat a couple of quality opponents, Greely and Thornton Academy. The Tigers led 3-0 before beating Greely 5-2, and led Thornton 2-0 before defeating the Trojans, 6-4.

See a trend? Teams are playing Biddeford tough later in the game.

“We’re not having great third periods,” Coach Rich Reissfelder said. “We’re surviving third periods, which is not what I like to see. I like to get stronger as we go.

“We’re overcoming it because we have nice, quick starts. But then we’re weathering the storm in the third, and that’s not a good feeling.”

Biddeford, which was scheduled to play Kennebunk on Wednesday night, will face South Portland on Saturday before an anticipated game at Lewiston next Wednesday.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]