AUBURN — Two of the state’s best girls’ hockey programs, Lewiston and Greely, skated toe-to-toe Saturday in an East semifinal at Norway Savings Bank Arena.
It was going to take a lucky bounce for someone to win.
Lewiston got it.
The Blue Devils scored on a shot that deflected off a Greely player 13:12 into the second period and held on for a 1-0 victory.
Each team had 21 shots.
No. 3 Greely, the two-time defending state champ, ended 12-7 with three losses to Lewiston.
No. 2 Lewiston (14-4-1) moved to the East final Wednesday at Portland Ice Arena against top-seeded Leavitt/Edward Little (16-3).
The Blue Devils won the inaugural girls’ state championship in 2009, then lost the 2010 title game to Cheverus and haven’t been back. They are 0-2 against Leavitt/Edward Little this year.
Greely outshot Lewiston 9-6 in the first period as its fore-check flustered the Blue Devils.
The Rangers’ top line of Sarah Kurland, Emilee McGillicuddy and Erin Molloy gave Lewiston little room to move. The second line of Delaney Curtin, Sarah Johnson and Victoria Lattanzi was also aggressive.
When Lewiston did get through, Greely’s defense, keyed by Danita Storey, Ellie Schad and Maura Verrill, was there. Goalie Maura Perry held her position.
There was a reason the Rangers were aggressive; they couldn’t afford to allow Lewiston’s talented skaters any space.
Greely created chances, going for a rebound or one-timer, but Blue Devils goalie Paige Fontaine, who transferred back to Lewiston after a year at prep school, was up to the challenge.
Lewiston got a break near the end of the second period. Mikaela St. Laurent freed the puck from the boards to an open Erica Lemieux in the right circle. She turned and fired, but the shot was going wide left.
The puck, however, hit a Greely player and bounced toward the goal. Perry, already sliding to her right, watched as the puck passed her on the left. Lewiston led 1-0.
The goal and the Zamboni break after the second period seemed to give the Blue Devils a lift. They outshot Greely early in the third, although Lattanzi had a solid shot from the slot stopped by Fontaine.
Greely got its first power play at 13:14, and Perry was pulled with 45 seconds left. Greely peppered Fontaine with shots from a scrum outside the crease with eight seconds left, but Lewiston held on.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at: