Until last Saturday, the favorite in the upcoming girls’ hockey playoffs was obvious – unbeaten Lewiston High.

Lewiston is still unbeaten, but no longer considered untouchable. Scarborough High tied the Blue Devils 1-1 last Saturday in what might be a preview of the state championship on Feb. 15.

The playoffs begin Wednesday with regional quarterfinal games. Lewiston and Scarborough, top-seeded in their regions, have byes until the semifinals.

Lewiston was cruising with a 17-0 record, including a 2-0 win over Scarborough in December, until the tie with the Red Storm (15-1-2).

“Against Lewiston, the team worked hard, and they showed they wanted to win,” said Scarborough’s first-year coach, Taylor Fowler.

Fowler has been instilling that desire to win since she took over in her first season as a high school head coach. Fowler, who is from Greene and Hebron Academy, was playing hockey this time last year as a senior for the University of New England.

Now she is behind the bench, watching a young team grow into contenders.

“At the start, we were working hard. Now they’ve bought into everything,” said Fowler, who knew her team had to adjust to a new coach. “It was a little bit of both ways. I was trying to figure them out (too) … We understand each other now.”

Scarborough was a contender last year, losing in overtime in the South regional final to top-seeded Cheverus, a team it lost to three times.

Now the Red Storm are tops in the South, have defeated No. 2 seed Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete twice and No. 3 Cheverus in its only meeting. Scarborough’s other tie was a 0-0 game with Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland, the North’s No. 3 seed behind St. Dominic.

Scarborough is looking to return to the state title game for the first time in four years (Scarborough played in three title games from 2013 to 2016, winning in 2014).

Last year, the Red Storm was known for its dynamic freshmen. They’re sophomores now, all 12 of them on the 22-player roster, led by leading scorers Evelyn Boardman (12 goals/seven assists) and Meagan Donovan (6/13) and goalie Ariella (A.J.) Swett, who has been remarkable. Swett has 11 shutouts; allowing nine goals total in the other seven games. Her goals-against average is 0.47; her save percentage at .964.

“A.J. has been huge in the net for us, especially in our game against Lewiston,” Fowler said.

Swett held Lewiston scoreless until Lily Gish tied the game with three minutes left.

Cape Elizabeth (13-5) lost 3-1 and 4-1 to Scarborough. The Capers also lost to Lewiston twice and to Cheverus 4-2 in their only meeting. Cape is seeded higher than Cheverus (13-5) because of the Capers’ tougher schedule, including a sweep of St. Dominic.

Should Cheverus take care of No. 6 Falmouth (5-13) on Wednesday, the Stags and Capers will have a rematch in Saturday’s semifinals in Portland. Scarborough also plays Saturday, at the University of Southern Maine rink, against Wednesday’s winner between No. 4 Portland/Deering (11-7) and No. 5 York/Traip/Marshwood (8-10). York’s record is deceiving because it played a tough schedule (beating Edward Little) and went 5-1 in its final six games.

In the North quarterfinals Wednesday, No. 4 Yarmouth/Freeport (9-9) plays host to No. 5 Winslow/Gardner/Cony (9-8-1), and No. 6 Mt. Ararat/Lisbon (10-7-1) is at No. 3 Edward Little (9-6-3).

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