Devan Kane kept hearing the same mantra: If you want to play hockey in college, stop playing for Scarborough High and move on to a prep school or a hockey academy.
“There were a couple times I thought I would leave,” Kane said. “Everyone has always told me you can’t go anywhere if you don’t leave. I was always up in the air about it.”
Kane is a three-time All-State goalie for Scarborough, and she will lead the Red Storm (20-0) onto the ice Saturday at 7 p.m. as Scarborough plays Lewiston (15-4-1) for the girls hockey state championship at the Colisee in Lewiston.
Obviously, Kane stayed.
“I never wanted to leave my friends. I never wanted to leave my team,” Kane said. “I didn’t want to graduate with people I didn’t know.”
Kane didn’t have to. Kane attracted attention for her play with Scarborough as well as the Junior Pirates youth team. And she will play college hockey next year. Kane accepted a scholarship to Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.
“It’s worked out,” Kane. “But if it hadn’t, I’d be OK with it.”
Staying with Scarborough meant that much.
“It was important for her to stay,” said Kane’s mother, Stacey. “She’s pretty loyal like that.”
And there was another motivation. Kane has seen her team improve every year, including a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in overtime to Greely in last year’s state championship.
“It just fueled my motivation for this year,” Kane said.
This year, Scarborough returned a core of its team, plus several young players. Backing them all up was Kane.
“She is our anchor,” Scarborough Coach Caitlin Cashman said.
“Her sound mental game resonates throughout the entire team, which is especially important with our young players.
“She’s fearless and a fierce competitor. She’ll do whatever it takes to keep the puck out.”
Kane’s numbers are gaudy: 11 shutouts, .976 save percentage and 0.36 goals-against average.
In Scarborough’s shutout win over Falmouth in the West regional championship, Kane weathered a brief onslaught from the Yachtsmen in a 19-save effort.
“We had some good chances,” Falmouth Coach Rob Carrier said. “But that’s Devan Kane. Good chances don’t often equal goals against her.”
AGAINST LEWISTON, Scarborough already has two victories this season, 3-0 and 2-0. In the first game, the game was scoreless for two periods. In the second game, Scarborough jumped ahead 2-0 in the first period and relied on Kane to hold off a Lewiston charge.
“We showed we can hang with them for a while,” Ron Dumont said.
“But Scarborough is a boatload of trouble for us. They have the complete package.”
But Dumont has his Blue Devils peaking, including a 2-0 win in the East title game over top-seeded Leavitt-Edward Little, a team that defeated Lewiston twice during the year.
Dumont said, “We fixed some of the issues we needed to fix, which was to be engaged every shift. And Paige (Fontaine, the goalie) seems to be getting better and better.”
While Scarborough is going for its first state title, Lewiston won the inaugural girls’ championship in Maine in 2009, and finished second to Cheverus in 2010.
In that 2010 game, the unbeaten Stags were locked in a scoreless tie until the third period.
Now comes another unbeaten team challenging the Blue Devils. Cashman said her team won’t be taking Lewiston lightly.
“They’re aggressive, but in control,” Cashman said. “They protect the puck really well and are very disciplined in their systems.”
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at: