Devan Kane did not begin playing hockey until she was 12, an unheard-of “old age” for standout players on the ice.
Yet Devan Kane has become the premier high school girls’ hockey goalie in these parts.
Kane began skating on her youth team but there was a vacancy in the net.
“They needed a goalie,” Kane said. “I had played (goalie) in street hockey at our house so they threw me in.
“I fell in love with it.”
Five years later, Kane is a junior at Scarborough High.
As a freshman, she recorded a 1.19 goals-against average and .940 save percentage. She was one of the two goalies named to the Telegram All-State team.
Last season, Kane put up better numbers (0.93/.953) and again was named All-State.
“She is better,” Scarborough Coach Caitlin Cashman said. “You can tell she really loves the sport. She wants to do better.”
Like any stellar athlete, Kane oozes a mentality that strives for improvement.
“She wants it for herself and she wants it for her teammates,” Cashman said.
In school, Kane carries an A average. No one pushes her, nor does anyone need to.
“We don’t have to look over her shoulder to make sure she’s doing her work,” said Devan’s mom, Stacey Kane.
Responsibility is something Chris and Stacey Kane emphasize to their children — Devan, 17, Braeden, 15, and Brogan, 12.
The competitiveness came naturally.
“They’ll turn anything into a competition,” Stacey said.
Take those street hockey games, for example. Devan Kane became a tough goalie with her brothers around.
“Brogan loves to screen the goalie and Braeden likes to hit the goalie in the head,” Devan laughed.
“It probably has helped me.”
An array of hockey camps has helped, as well as playing for the Portland Junior Pirates’ under-19 girls’ team.
Then there’s the attitude. Score a goal on Kane and you won’t see a drama queen. Rather there’s a shrug.
“She has a really great mental game,” Cashman said. “If a goal goes in, some goalies get really upset, get really anxious. She just shakes it off. Then she’s ready for the next shot.
“That’s something as a coach you can’t teach. It’s just the type of kid she is.”
But there are aspects of Kane’s game that can improve. She will have help this year. Goalie coach Jill Doherty, a former star at Kents Hill and Utica College, has joined the Scarborough staff.
“Devan’s a very solid goalie. She’s very driven and has a lot of potential,” Doherty said. “She also has a lot of work to do.”
When talking about a 0.83 goals-against average, you wonder how Kane can improve. But being dominant in Maine high school girls’ hockey doesn’t mean you’re good enough to play after high school.
Kane is working to be good enough.
“I want to play in college,” she said.
As Kane demonstrates her ability, advice is pouring in — many voices telling her to leave high school hockey behind and play at a higher level, at a prep school or a hockey academy.
“It would be hard,” Kane said about leaving her friends, “but if I have to, to get to the next level “
But talk of next year is premature. Kane is ready for a third season with the Red Storm. High school hockey begins Friday. Scarborough is home against Bonny Eagle.
Kane will be in net, striving for an even better season.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org