The Cheverus/Kennebunk/Old Orchard Beach girls’ hockey team has clinched the No. 1 seed in the South, but the Stags know a return to the state championship game is hardly a given.

For the second time this season, Cheverus was held scoreless until the third period by the South’s second-best team, Scarborough. The Stags finally broke through, though, and earned a 3-0 win Thursday afternoon at Troubh Arena.

Sophia Pompeo, Hannah Woodford and Abby Lamontagne scored for the Stags (15-2).

“Both teams played terrific,” Cheverus Coach Scott Rousseau said. “In the third period, we were able to start generating pucks to the net and building momentum.”

Zoe Mazur of Cheverus and Ashlyn Libby of Scarborough look to control the puck in the second period.

Pompeo’s wrist shot from the slot broke the tie, 1:38 into the third period.

Scarborough finished its regular season at 13-4-1, with two losses to the Stags. The first meeting, on Dec. 19, was scoreless until the final 21/2 minutes, when the Stags scored twice (one an empty-netter).

When the playoffs begin next week, both teams will receive a first-round bye. If both win their semifinal, they’ll meet for a third time in the South final.

“I think we were right in it,” Scarborough Coach Caitlin Jordan said. “Cheverus has great players, but they’re beatable. We had lot of opportunities, just couldn’t finish.”

Scarborough’s other two losses came against undefeated Lewiston, the top seed in the North which also beat Cheverus twice.

While Cheverus has nine seniors on its 16-player roster, Scarborough’s 26-player roster has three seniors and 13 freshmen.

Kathleen Murphy of Scarborough tries to deny a shot by Sophia Pompeo of Cheverus in the first period.

“They’re very young, energetic and work really hard,” Lamontagne said. “They can keep up with us.”

Scarborough outshot Cheverus 14-9 through two periods. Scarborough senior defenseman Courtney Brochu constantly interrupted the Stags. Sophomore Kathleen Murphy and freshmen Maya Sellinger and Lillian Finley contributed to the defense.

Cheverus senior Zoe Mazur was an eraser in the Stags’ defensive zone. Seniors Sarah Noyes and Abby Enck also played strong defense.

Scarborough freshman Ariella Swett (15 saves) and the Cheverus sophomore Trinity Atwater (18 saves) were solid in net.

Maya Sellinger of Scarborough fires a shot in the second period.

Cheverus finally created space in the third period when Lamontagne sent a breakout pass to Pompeo in the neutral zone. Pompeo skated in from the left side, then moved past her defender and lifted her shot over Swett’s pads.

“That gave us momentum,” Pompeo said. “From there, we just kept working and moving the puck.”

Woodford scored at 10:04, with Madison Courtois assisting. Pompeo assisted Lamontagne at 10:54.

“We’re young and inexperienced,” Jordan said after reviewing the goals on her tablet. “You see the breakdowns in the third period … minor mental lapses, and they capitalized.”

Cheverus outshot Scarborough 9-4 in the third period.

“A very well-played hockey game,” Rousseau said. “You don’t get to be the top two seeded teams without good players playing well … and we’ll meet in two weeks, maybe.”

Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or:

[email protected] Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

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