PORTLAND – Kylie Dalbec had two goals and two assists Wednesday to lead fourth-seeded Portland-Deering to a 6-2 victory against fifth-ranked Cheverus in a Western girls’ hockey quarterfinal at the Portland Ice Arena.
Portland-Deering (10-9) will meet top-ranked Falmouth (17-1) in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Saturday.
“We knew we had to work as hard as we could,” said Dalbec. “We’ve been practicing staying focused and coming out to play. That’s our big thing. We wanted to jump out fast. Early in the season we had some games when we started slowly and that didn’t work.”
Portland-Deering outshot Cheverus 13-2 in the opening period but had to settle for a 1-0 lead on Dalbec’s first of the game.
Raechel Allen started the play when she stole the puck in the offensive zone and found Dalbec alone in the slot. Goalie Allie Spinney of Cheverus (7-12) got a piece of the puck but it caromed off her equipment and into the net.
Allen made it 2-0 after 34 seconds of the second. Three minutes later Gabi Cardona’s shot from the point found a lane to the goal to make it 3-0.
Katie Roy, with the first of two unassisted goals in the game, scored for Cheverus moments later but Portland-Deering answered with three goals in a span of 3:13 to blow the game wide open.
Dalbec started the three-goal spurt with her second of the game followed shortly by Allen’s second of the game. Lindsey Sneider then scored the goal that gave Portland-Deering a 6-1 lead with four minutes left in the second.
“We came out of the first period looking pretty good,” said Cheverus Coach J.P. Lavoie, “then it went to 3-1 and we thought we were still in there. When they got those quick goals, that made it real tough on us.”
The Stags were severely limited in their offensive chances and failed to create much sustained pressure.
Individual rushes by Roy and Sarah LaQuerre created most, if not all of the chances, and Portland-Deering goaltender Leanne Reichert didn’t face a second-chance opportunity all game.
“Our defense was strong and they definitely knew when Katie Roy and Sarah LaQuerre were on the ice,” said Allen. “Those are two good players but you just can’t stickhandle through everybody all the time. It was all about marking up against them and limiting their chances.”
Cardona and Drew Barry each added a pair of assists for Portland-Deering.
And with shouts of celebration still echoing from the locker room, Portland-Deering Coach Courtney Rideout already had her thoughts toward the next challenge.
“We have practice (today) and Friday and we’re ready. The first time we played (Falmouth) we lost 8-4 and we were right with them for two periods. I think by all means we can play with them and we will.”