LEWISTON — When Elena Clifford scored for the Portland/Deering girls’ hockey team early in the second period of Wednesday’s Southern Maine championship, Cheverus/Kennebunk freshman Lucia Pompeo said the Stags knew it was time to focus.

The goal cut Cheverus’ lead to 4-2, which was a little too close for comfort with a regional title on the line.

“That’s when we snapped back like, ‘All right, it’s getting tight,” Pompeo said. “We knew that we needed to get more goals.”

So that’s what the Stags did.

Cheverus (19-1) scored four unanswered goals en route to an 8-2 victory over the Bulldogs at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. Portland ended its season 14-6, but not before making program history by playing in its first regional final – an impressive feat for a team coming off a 1-17 season.

“They’re very well-coached, and they don’t spend a lot of time in their defensive zone,” Portland Coach Tom Clifford said of Cheverus. “They get the puck out and do what they need to do. It’s about capitalizing on chances, and we just missed a couple and they got theirs.”

The Stags outshot Portland 25-10. They will play Greely in the state championship at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Freshmen forwards Lucia Pompeo and Emma McCauley helped lead the Stags with two goals and an assist apiece. Sophomore Abby Lamontagne – the Stags’ top scorer – finished with two goals and two assists.

“I was really happy to get balanced scoring,” Cheverus Coach Scott Rousseau said. “When you look up and we’re winning, and Abby only has one and we’re getting goals from a lot of other players, it’s important for us.”

McCauley opened up the scoring with a power-play goal 3:54 into the game. Lamontagne assisted on the play.

“My coach has been telling me forever to come out of the corner on the power play and go right to the net,” McCauley said. “I didn’t see a pass, so I took the shot.”

Portland was quick to answer. Defenseman Emma Merrill’s shot from the point sailed through traffic and into the net 58 seconds later.

With 6:12 left in the period, Cheverus defenseman Sarah Noyes scored an almost identical goal from Hannah Woodford.

“We both got kind of lucky goals,” Rousseau said. “Their shot from the point had eyes and just found its way, and then we got one right back.”

Lamontagne pulled the Stags up 3-1 with less than a minute left in the first period with an assist from Lucia Pompeo and her older sister, Sophia Pompeo.

Lamontagne scored for the second time 9:22 into the second period, converting a McCauley cross into a goal.

Portland once again responded promptly as Elena Clifford scored from Kit Rosmus 25 seconds later.

“What we talked about all season long was putting shots on goal – anyplace, anywhere,” Clifford said. “In a 4-2 game, it can hit a skate, hit a shin and all of the sudden it’s 4-3, and then you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

It was Elena Clifford’s first goal of the season, but it would be the Bulldogs’ last.

Lucia Pompeo gave the Stags a 5-2 lead with 2:33 left in the second, scoring on a backhanded shot from Noyes.

In the third period, McCauley scored from Lamontagne during a scrum at 5:12, Lucia Pompeo added an unassisted goal less than two minutes later and Olivia Adams scored from Caitlin Wolff at 9:52.

Cheverus goalkeeper Anna Smith finished with eight saves, and Portland’s Adrianna Bodge had 17.

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or

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