Wednesday, December 11, 2013
They are very familiar with each other. Not only have the Falmouth and Greely high school girls' hockey teams played each other three times this season, but they also share the same rink, often following each other in practice at the Family Ice Center.
WHO: Falmouth (19-1) vs. Greely (15-5)
WHEN: 7 p.m. today
WHERE: The Colisee, Lewiston
Today, the teams based in neighboring towns, Falmouth and Cumberland, venture north to play one more game -- for the state championship.
Falmouth (19-1) and Greely (15-5) will play in the state title game at 7 p.m. at the Colisee in Lewiston.
The Yachtsmen are considered the favorites. Falmouth defeated Greely in two regular-season games, and the Yachtsmen have the more explosive offense, fueled by speedy defenseman Morgan Fortier.
Greely, which beat Falmouth in an exhibition game over the Christmas break, has lost some of its scoring punch because of injury and illness, but the Rangers still play a sound game -- which is how they've advanced this far.
Both teams, not surprisingly, feature strong goaltending.
Falmouth sophomore Kirsten Mazur has emerged in her first year as a starter. Last season, Mazur watched as all-star goalie Jen Greene led the Yachtsmen. Greene did more than play well. She mentored.
"I didn't get to play that much. But Jen really taught me a lot," Mazur said. "We don't have a goalie coach, but Jen always worked me really hard."
In Greene's last game in a Falmouth uniform, she asked to come out in the third period so Mazur could play.
"She did that, and it was her senior game. She really means a lot to me," said Mazur, who has Greene's name written on her helmet.
Falmouth Coach Rob Carrier watched Greene graduate and handed the job to Mazur. She was ready on Day 1.
"It's fairly rare to graduate a high-end goalie and have another one, relatively untested, to slide right in," Carrier said. "She's just really calm. She's unflappable."
Equally in control is Greely senior Emma Seymour. She became a goalie her sophomore season, split time with another goalie for two seasons and took over full time this year.
"She's super focused," Rangers Coach Nate Guerin said. "When she's on her game, she's very tough to beat. She plays strong, positionally. She's aggressive, as we saw, on break-aways (in the East region final).
"She's going to dictate the play, rather than sit back and wait."
After Guerin broke down Seymour's game, he smiled. There is another side to her success -- call it a goalie's personality.
"All goalies are a little bit weird, and she's no exception," he said with a grin, "in a good way, of course."
Seymour, who is headed to Brigham Young University in the fall, agreed.
"I am a weird and quirky person," she said. "Goalies just have to have a completely different mentality. It's like all the pressure is on us."
How does she handle it? Seymour shrugged, saying, "I'll trust my teammates to do their best, and I'll try my hardest."
Both teams will be working hard tonight, confident that their goalie has their back.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: