She is tenacious, fearless and one of the toughest hockey players you will meet.

So what is Lily Nygren doing with a nickname like “Baby Skates?”

“Sometimes we call her ‘Baby Skates’ because her skates are size 1,” said Scarborough High Coach Caitlin D’Amour.

Nygren, who stands 4-foot-11, often comes up big for the Red Storm as one of the state’s best defensemen.

Nygren and her teammates will have to be at their best Saturday, when Scarborough (18-1-1) plays St. Dominic (18-2) for the girls’ hockey state championship at 7 p.m. at the Colisee in Lewiston.

St. Dominic features the most potent offense in the state, averaging eight goals per game in the regular season and totaling 11 in two playoff wins.

After Scarborough beat Falmouth 5-2 in the South final Wednesday night, D’Amour stayed at the Colisee to watch some of the North title game, won by St. Dom’s in a 5-4 upset of previously unbeaten Greely. It was the most goals allowed by Greely all year.

“I thought they were really quick,” D’Amour said.

She will call on Nygren and her fellow defensemen to neutralize the Saints’ attack, backstopped by goalie McKenzie Cormier.

Scarborough is known for its offense, with the productive Sami Shoebottom at center, but the Red Storm also can play defense, led by Nygren, a junior. After Wednesday’s win, Falmouth Coach Rob Carrier said Nygren “was all over the place” and “nullified a lot of our scoring chances.”

She is quick but also sturdy and not afraid to take on any forward.

“She acts like she’s 6 feet tall and plows through everyone,” said Red Storm forward Lucy Bogdanovich, a 5-foot-8 sophomore who has to go against Nygren in practice.

Nygren said it never occurs to her that she can’t stifle a player who may be a foot taller.

“I don’t think about that. I’ve always been small, kind of the underdog,” Nygren said. “I always want to be faster to the puck, be more aggressive. Size doesn’t matter. I can take down anyone if I try my hardest.”

Credit Nygren’s upbringing, playing hockey on a backyard pond since she was 3, going against her older brothers Sam (now 19) and Noah (21).

“They toughened me up, for sure,” Nygren said.

Of course, shots will get by Nygren and teammates. That’s where Cormier comes in. A junior, Cormier attends Sacopee Valley High, which doesn’t have a hockey team. With permission from the Maine Principals’ Association, Cormier and schoolmate Olivia Ridley were allowed to join the Red Storm.

“I really like it,” said Cormier of her first taste of high school competition. Before, she only played on local travel teams.

“This is so much different, so much more competitive. And we have a goalie coach (Jillian Doherty), and all the other coaches are helpful.”

D’Amour is happy to help. “I’m really pleased she’s here,” D’Amour said. “She’s made huge saves.”

Midway through the Falmouth game, with the score 2-2, the Yachtsmen got a breakaway. Cormier held her position and made the stop.

“That could have been a huge turning point and she saved it,” D’Amour said. “Nothing really fazes her.”

Cormier’s one hiccup was an 8-3 loss to Greely on Jan. 27, when she was pulled after allowing six goals.

“She wasn’t feeling well. Plus, she got rattled with their size and speed,” D’Amour said. “She came back and has done awesome.”

Scarborough is making its third state title game appearance. Only Lewiston has more (four). The Red Storm have one title (2014).

St. Dominic has had an up-and-down program. The Saints won the title in their only appearance in the final (2011). They didn’t have enough players for a varsity team in 2013-14 but came back strong with a young, talented team (eight freshmen, four sophomores, two juniors and one senior on a 15-player roster).

St. Dom’s features seven players with at least 13 goals, led by Alexandra “Bugsy” Hammerton’s 30 goals. Avery Lutraykowski averages over three points per game.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH