The fourth-seeded Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete girls’ hockey team went into its Western Maine quarterfinal Thursday as the favorite against No. 5 York.
All the Capers had to do was control their nerves at the Portland Ice Arena.
Making its first appearance in the playoffs, Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete kept its cool and skated away with a 4-0 victory over the Wildcats, longtime veterans of the postseason.
The Capers (11-8) advanced to the West semifinals against top-seeded Scarborough (18-0) at 7:40 p.m. Saturday at MHG Ice Centre in Saco.
The Wildcats finished their season 4-14-1. York’s record may not have been impressive, but the Wildcats played a tough schedule and split two games with Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete during the regular season.
The Capers took a 1-0 first-period lead and made it 3-0 after two.
Allison Mills scored twice for Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete. Julia Ginder and Hannah Bosworth added the other goals.
Goalie Lily Jordan made 14 saves as the Capers outshot York 21-14.
“Great game. Fantastic effort,” Capers Coach Bob Mills said. “I was really proud of the way they handled the emotion of the game, being the first-ever playoff game for this program.
“They kept an even keel, focused and ready to go.”
The Capers got the jump early, keeping the puck in York’s zone. They moved the puck well and kept firing. The Wildcats’ defense blocked several shots, but Katie Ewald eventually fired the puck onto Allison Mills’ stick in the slot and Mills scored on a shot through the 5-hole at 2:40.
“We knew we had to come out strong in the beginning,” said Ginder, the team captain.
York did not get a shot for the first 10 minutes. The Capers, paced by defensemen Eliza Connolly, Casey Murray and Kate Bosworth, kept the puck out of their own zone.
When York finally broke through the Capers’ defense, Jordan was there.
“She made some good positional saves,” York Coach Mark Ford said.
“Their defense responded well when the puck was in front of the net.”
Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete outshot York 7-3 in the first period.
Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete scored quickly in the second period, four-on-four.
Connolly’s shot was deflected in by Ginder 48 seconds into the period.
Just over two minutes later, the Capers made it 3-0. Kathryn Clark’s shot was blocked by goalie Emily Mahoney, but Hannah Bosworth was there to stuff in the rebound at 2:57.
York started to get better chances. The second period ended with Kendall Carr breaking in, but Jordan made the save.
York began the third period on a power play and had two good chances, but Jordan was there.
“We played a strong third period,” Rogers said.
The Wildcats did enjoy a 7-4 advantage in shots in the third, but the Capers made one of theirs count on a Mills breakaway at 6:35, assisted by Kate Ginder, for a 4-0 lead.
The Capers were soon celebrating their historic win.
“Our goal at the beginning of the season was to make the playoffs,” Bob Mills said. “Midway through the season, we figured we were better than just making the playoffs. We can do some damage.
“Now we’ll see what we can do against Scarborough.”
While the Red Storm have been dominant this season, Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete gave them one of their toughest games, taking a 2-0 lead before losing 5-2.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at: