DOVER, N.H. – Deadlocked at zero after two periods, the girls’ playoff game between York and Falmouth turned into a five-goal explosion in the third.
York senior defenseman Tori Stocks scored the game-winner with her second goal of the game with 1:40 left, lifting the Wildcats to a 3-2 win in the West semifinals.
Second-seeded York (15-3-1) moves on to play top-seeded Scarborough (17-1-1) in the West championship Wednesday at the Portland Ice Arena. No. 3 Falmouth is done at 11-8.
Rachel Yorke had the Wildcats’ other score.
Falmouth outshot York 32-13. Wildcats goalie Olivia Drew made 30 saves.
York appeared to put the game away, taking a 2-0 lead in the final period.
But Falmouth got two goals in two minutes by Camden Carrier and Abby Payson, and these two traditional powers were tied again.
“Been like that between us all year,” said York Coach Jeff Hird, whose Wildcats split the season series with Falmouth, losing 1-0 and winning 4-2.
Only 20 seconds after Payson’s tying goal, Stocks raced from one end of the ice to the other, zipping past the Yachtsmen and burying a backhander.
“It was a lot of adrenaline,” Stocks said. “I knew we had to get it done.”
Falmouth had paid attention to Stocks, minimizing her shots.
“She had the legs at the end of the game to push it past our girls,” Falmouth Coach Rob Carrier said. “We were a little tired and she caught us flat-footed.”
Falmouth came out with force early, outshooting the Wildcats 19-8 through two periods. Payson, Carrier, Lucy Meyer and Jayde Bazinet kept firing, and Drew kept stopping them.
“Olivia is one of the top goalies in the state,” Coach Carrier said. “I felt as long as we could keep getting chances, hopefully one would break through.”
Falmouth was without starting goalie Kirsten Mazur, who re-injured her knee. Hillary Nash stepped in and made some key saves, including a blocker stop on a Kendall Carr breakaway in the second period.
Stocks began the scoring with a shot through traffic at 1:58 of the third period. Then York, two seconds after its first power play ended, took a 2-0 lead when Yorke sizzled in a shot top shelf at 9:10, assisted by Juliann Figlioli.
Falmouth picked up its pace even more.
“I told the girls that York was going to try to hold on and we were going to have to put the pressure on them,” Carrier said.
Camden Carrier’s score came at 11:03, with assists by Jayde and Alyse Bazinet.
The Yachtsmen then went on a power play and Payson took a pass from Alyse Bazinet, beating Drew at 13:00.
Soon after, Stocks gathered the puck in the York end. Hird watched it all.
“She saw the opening and ran with it,” he said.
Stocks flew up the right boards, and crossed in front of the crease, releasing her shot that sent York into the regional championship for a third straight year.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: