It’s no secret which region has dominated Maine girls’ hockey since its inception as a sanctioned high school sport in 2008-09.

Of the nine state championships, the North has won seven, including each of the past three years.

But this season isn’t like most. North powerhouses Lewiston (two state titles) and St. Dominic (three) won’t be in the championship game Saturday.

Instead, Cheverus/Kennebunk (19-1) from the South and Greely/Gray-New Gloucester (18-3) from the North will meet for the title at 3 p.m. at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Neither team features a player who has been in a state championship game before.

“We know Northern Maine teams have had some success, but we’re just taking our opportunity and making the best of it,” said sophomore Abby Lamontagne, who leads Cheverus with 71 points. “We know Greely is going to bring it, and we’re excited.”

Greely is coming off a 4-3 double-overtime win over top-seeded Lewiston in the North final. The Rangers rolled past St. Dom’s 7-2 in the regional semifinals, knocking off the two-time defending state champ.

“It could have been anyone’s conference. We just feel super fortunate to be here,” said Greely Coach Nate Guerin. “For my senior class, it’s their first chance to play in this game. They’ve been second-best for so long, it’s nice for them to have a chance to be right there.”

The state championship stage is also unfamiliar territory to Cheverus’ players, who have watched Falmouth and Scarborough compete against each other for the Southern Maine title the past four years.

The Stags haven’t won a state championship since 2010. Greely won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.

“Both teams are very evenly matched,” said Cheverus Coach Scott Rousseau. “We should have a great championship game to showcase girls’ hockey in the state.”

Cheverus and Greely didn’t meet in the regular season, but Cheverus has proven it can play with the North’s top teams.

The Stags edged St. Dominic 1-0 on Dec. 16, snapping the Saints’ 29-game winning streak, then defeated Lewiston 4-3 in overtime on Jan. 13.

Cheverus boasts a balanced offense with numerous scoring threats. Aside from Lamontagne’s 41 goals and 30 assists, the Stags have five other players who have scored a dozen or more goals this season: Emma McCauley (20 goals, 19 assists), Sophia Pompeo (16 goals, 21 assists), Caitlin Wolff (15 goals, 14 assists), Sarah Noyes (12 goals, nine assists) and Lucia Pompeo (14 goals, assists).

Sarah Noyes and Zoe Mazur backstop Cheverus’ defense in front of goalkeeper Anna Smith. The Stags have allowed just 25 goals in 20 games while posting nine shutouts.

“It’s easy to talk about our offense because that’s what people tend to see,” Rousseau said. “But I think the real core of our team is great team defense.”

Courtney Sullivan leads Greely with 65 points (44 goals, 21 assists), followed by Bridget Roberts’ 53 points (30 goals, 23 assists).

Greely also has a solid core of defensemen in Camilla Lattanzi, Jayme Morrison and Leah Walker – who scored the winner in the regional final Wednesday. With Jordyn Owens in net, the Rangers have allowed fewer than two goals per game on average.

“We haven’t lost in eight games because of our goalkeeper – she’s making saves that were maybe question marks earlier in the year,” Guerin said.

“We don’t really have any question marks on defense. They’re just dependable and they take care of business on the back end.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or

[email protected]

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

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