After 54 minutes of scoreless hockey, Lucia Pompeo figured she had nothing to lose.

“I have the puck, there’s no on me. I’m just going to take it to the net and see what happens,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo scored with a backhand 1:27 into the second overtime Saturday night to give Cheverus/Kennebunk/Old Orchard Beach a 1-0 win over Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland in a girls’ hockey South semifinal at Troubh Ice Arena in Portland.

Top-seeded Cheverus (16-2-1) will play for a second-straight regional championship on Wednesday at the Colisee in Lewiston. The Stags will face No. 2 Scarborough (14-4-1). Cheverus beat the Red Storm in both of their regular-season meetings, but both were scoreless after two periods.

No. 4 Cape Elizabeth finished 10-10.

This was the third game of the season between the Stags and Capers. Cheverus won twice in the regular season, but the last one was 3-2, with the Stags scoring the winner with 1:15 remaining.

The winner Saturday took a lot longer.

“Probably the best game we’ve played all season” Cape Coach Bob Mills said. “It could have gone either way. A great game.”

Both teams featured dangerous forwards, but also hard-to-shake defenders. And the goalies were never out of position. Cape’s Katherine Blackburn (20 saves) and Cheverus’ Trinity Atwater (23 saves) shined all night.

The difference was a sophomore who played her first game of the season last week.

Pompeo missed the first 17 games of the season because of a torn labrum. She returned for the last regular-season game.

“I really didn’t think I was coming back,” she said. “I got lucky … It was tough getting back into the swing. I’m a little tired tonight.”

Cheverus has a thin lineup, but Pompeo’s return “really changes our depth,” Cheverus Coach Scott Rousseau said. “We can really play two full lines, and it allows us to be more aggressive.”

Cheverus was constantly threatening, especially leading scorer Abby Lamontagne and Sophia Pompeo, Lucia’s older sister.

But Blackburn was fronted by four strong defensemen – Josie Boeschenstein, Abbey Agrodnia, Abby Ekedahl and Annie Guimond – who were able to ride the Stags off the puck or deflect shots. The forwards were also backchecking well.

“We wanted to make sure all five players on the ice kept their feet moving,” Mills said. “We talked a lot about composure, and the girls really rose to the occasion.”

Cape’s offense, paced by forwards Sophia Venditti and Koto Yamada, created chances. But Atwater and the defensive trio of Zoe Mazur, Sarah Noyes and Abby Enck frustrated the Capers. Mazur took the majority of shifts and was often in the middle of key plays, clearing away the puck.

“These are the games you want to play in. That was fun hockey,” Mazur said. “It can be nerve-wracking. But we really help each other out.”

Mazur knocked away rebounds in both overtimes.

“Zoe Mazur is the most dominant hockey player in the state,” Rousseau said. “There is not a player that plays more minutes … she completely controls the game.”

Early in the second overtime, Venditti backhanded a hard shot, but Atwater was in position for a stick save.

Then the puck came the other way. Lucia Pompeo saw a defender up ahead and thought of passing, but instead went to the net. She beat a defender and scored between Blackburn’s pads.

Soon, two tired teams were shaking hands.

“It’s playoff hockey. You get to this point in the season, there are no freebies or easy outs,” Rousseau said.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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