PORTLAND—Cheverus’ girls’ hockey team won’t be able to contend for a state title this winter, so the Stags have gone out and done the next best thing.

Run the table in a season-ending gauntlet against some of the top foes around.

Friday afternoon at Troubh Ice Arena, Cheverus, which is a co-op squad that also includes players from Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach and Windham, couldn’t muster a single shot on goal in the first period, but thanks to a strong defensive effort and six saves from senior goalie extraordinaire Trinity Atwater, kept the game scoreless.

The Stags then were able to generate an offensive attack in the second period and four-and-a-half minutes in, they broke through, as junior Olivia Bradford finished the feed of freshman Charlotte Miller for the lead.

While Cheverus wasn’t able to score again, it didn’t give the Saints many chances to answer either and the Stags were able to hold on for a 1-0 victory.

Atwater stopped 16 shots as Cheverus won its sixth game in a row, improved to 7-3 and in the process dropped St. Dom’s to 8-3.


“We dug deep tonight,” Stags coach Scott Rousseau said. “We played a fantastic Yarmouth team on Saturday. We played a fantastic Mt. Ararat team Monday, then we ended Cape’s undefeated season (Wednesday). The tank was empty today and yet we dug deep and played really hard. I’m so proud of this team. I think it’s a championship-caliber hockey team that won’t have a championship to play for.”

Best for last

Cheverus stumbled early, but was very competitive even in its losses.

The Stags opened with a 3-2 overtime loss to Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland, then was shut out by Scarborough, 2-0. After a 4-0 win over Portland/Deering in the “City Cup,” Cheverus lost to visiting Lewiston (4-1), then flipped the switch, defeating host Falmouth (8-0), visiting Biddeford (8-1), visiting Yarmouth/Freeport (6-0), visiting Mt. Ararat/Morse (3-0) and reigning South Region champion Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland (5-2).

St. Dom’s, which also has players from Winthrop and Gray-New Gloucester, was 8-2 entering play Friday.

The teams didn’t play last winter.


Friday’s meeting was the first since a 2-2 tie in Auburn, Feb. 2, 2019. Cheverus went on to win the state championship two weeks later.

This time around, only one goal was scored and it was the Stags doing the scoring.

Cheverus had a couple looks in the first period, but couldn’t put the puck on net, as senior standout Lucia Pompeo had one shot go wide and another blocked by a defender.

The Saints got their chances as well, but Atwater saved shots from sophomore Emma Roy, junior Taryn Cloutier, freshman Maddie Weymouth and junior Gisele Ouellette.

After a short break, the Stags came out a much different team in the second period.

After Bradford registered Cheverus’ first shot of the game, which was saved by St. Dom’s junior goalie Madyson Boulet, she got a second chance, as Miller centered the puck to Bradford in front and Bradford fired a shot that Boulet slowed but couldn’t stop and before sophomore Elle Cooney could bang the puck home, it crossed the line for a 1-0 lead with 10:30 to play in the frame.


“I was in the corner and I just hit the puck across the goal line and (Olivia) took a one-timer from the front,” Miller said.

“Olivia took the shot and by the time I saw it, it was through the goalie,” Cooney said. “Honestly, I couldn’t tell if it was on the line or not.”

“The puck went in and it bounced out, but it was definitely in,” Bradford said. “(The goal) was a product of our line. It took the whole line to make that goal happen.”

“We weren’t getting any pucks deep (in the first period),” Rousseau added. “We weren’t getting the forecheck. We realized we had to get some pucks below the goal line and if we didn’t, it was going to be a long game. We managed to turn the ice in our favor.”

Roy nearly tied the game 19 seconds later, eluding two defenders, then skating in on Atwater, but Atwater made the save.

Cheverus then went on the power play with a chance to double its lead, but shots from freshman Brynn McKenney, Pompeo and Pompeo again were saved by Boulet.


Later in the period, Pompeo had three more looks, but Boulet saved them all.

“Lucia is a special offensive player,” Rousseau said. “If she’s not the (Becky) Schaffer Award winner (given to the state’s top female player) this year, well I don’t know how she can’t be.”

Late in the period, Atwater denied Roy after a turnover and saved a long shot from junior Abbie Ross and the score remained 1-0 heading to the third period.

There, the Stags put the clamps on the Saints’ attack and closed it out.

After Atwater saved a bid from Cloutier, she made a pad save on a shot from senior Madi Pelletier.

With 11:55 to play, Cheverus went on the power play again, but couldn’t take advantage.


Then, after Boulet robbed Bradford and Pompeo, Pelletier had a shot saved by Atwater, Atwater saved a long shot from Ouellette and corralled the rebound just in time, then, with 3:15 to go, Atwater denied sophomore Isabella Webster on what proved to be St. Dom’s last shot.

With a minute to play, Saints coach Paul Gosselin called timeout and pulled Boulet, but St. Dom’s couldn’t get the puck into the offensive zone and the Stags were able to run out the clock on their 1-0 victory.

“We played strong defense and kept fighting and we wanted it,” Bradford said. “Those first (losses) were still pretty close games. We’ve gotten closer as a team.”

“We’ve all clicked on the ice and off,” Miller said. “We’ve bonded as a team and as a line.”

“I think we just rallied and brought up our morale,” said Cooney. “Everything has just clicked for us after awhile. It’s really great how we came together. We worked hard and started skating a lot better and pushed and gave everything.”

“That’s four games in six days, all against playoff-caliber opponents,” Rousseau added. “We were exhausted and it showed, but I’m still really proud of how we held our structure together. (St. Dom’s) really didn’t have any scoring chances in the second and third periods. We didn’t have our jump and it showed in our lack of offense, but we still played with a lot of discipline, we managed the puck well and we didn’t make any mistakes. I give the girls a ton of credit to win a game like this. One that we could have easily lost.”


Cheverus out-shot St. Dom’s, 23-16, and got 16 saves from Atwater, who continues to dazzle.

“We have tons of confidence in Trinity back there,” Cooney said.

“We have a special goaltender,” Rousseau said. “In all the years I’ve coached, Trinity is by far the best big-game goalie. She may not have the prettiest style, but she fights like no other goalie I’ve had. We had a lot of zone time today which took the burden off our defense. With a goaltender like Trinity, you just have to give her a chance to see it. Those long shots just don’t get by her.”

St. Dom’s got 22 saves from Boulet, but just couldn’t generate any offense.

“We played well,” Gosselin said. “I think we controlled the first period, but shots just didn’t go in. It was a scrum goal for them. You hate to see it won by that. I think we both played kind of defensively. Opportunities lacked for both teams. A lot of the game was played in the middle of the ice. They got one (goal) and we didn’t. We only lost twice to Lewiston and this one to Cheverus. The girls are happy they got to play and that’s a good thing.”

One last time


Cheverus has already begun reflecting on the unique season of 2021 and is looking forward to normalcy next winter.

“Things have gone amazing,” Cooney said. “It’s been a great season for all of us. We’re losing some great seniors, but I definitely think we have a great future next year and years after.”

“Losing Lucia and Trinity is big, but we have a lot of underclassmen who are coming on, so we’ll be strong next year,” Bradford said.

“Our four freshmen were quarantined during preseason and we literally went Opening Day, Cape, Scarborough, Portland and Lewiston and had like four practices,” Rousseau added. “That’s a tough ask. I’m absolutely thrilled with our season. I don’t know if it’s because we were young, we wanted to play so bad, or if we had great senior leadership, but the season really meant something. The girls were desperately seeking some normalcy in their lives. I told them after the Lewiston that our goal was win every game. We only gave up three goals in our last six games.”

Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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