Players from the Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete girls’ hockey team embrace after a two-and-a-half hour marathon victory over Falmouth in a South Region seminal on Feb. 12 at Troubh Ice Arena in Portland. Michael Hoffer photo

The Varsity Maine Girls’ Game of the Year began with little fanfare Feb. 12.

The top-ranked Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete girls’ hockey team was expected to have little trouble against No. 4 Falmouth in a South region semifinal at Troubh Ice Arena in Portland. Indeed, Cape would advance, but it took a miracle comeback at the end of regulation – and then more than 24 additional minutes – to do so in the longest girls’ high school hockey game ever played in Maine.

When senior captain Sofia Cook sent a seemingly innocent clearing pass up the ice that somehow found the net late in the first period, Cape appeared on its way. Undaunted, the unheralded Navigators answered immediately on a goal from freshman Amelia Brann and it was game on.

“The team didn’t fold and came right back out and tied it and I knew then we’d be in it,” said Falmouth Coach Rob Carrier.

Early in the second period, Cape went back on top on a power-play goal from Delaney Whitten, but Falmouth’s Trinity Grenier soon tied it at 2-2. Then with just 11.9 seconds left in the period, Falmouth senior standout Kate Kinley beat goalie Abbey Steinhagen to give the Navigators confidence and momentum.

And that momentum carried into the third period when Brann scored a second goal. Suddenly, the top seed was firmly on the ropes, trailing 4-2.


But Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete would rally in dramatic fashion.

First, freshman Marina Bassett scored midway through the third period to cut the deficit to one.

Then, with time winding down, Katharine Blackburn launched a prayer from just inside the blue line. And with 7.1 seconds on the clock, the puck got through traffic to tie the score, 4-4.

“I couldn’t even see the net because there were so many people blocking it,” Blackburn said. “It was really surprising to me that (the puck) went in. I didn’t want it to be the last seconds of my career.”

Blackburn sent the game to overtime, but despite good chances each way, one eight-minute, “sudden-victory” OT wasn’t enough to determine a winner.

Nor was a second.


Or even a third.

For the first time in the history of Maine girls’ high school hockey, a playoff game went to a fourth extra session. Just 10 seconds in, after two-and-a-half grueling hours of hockey, Bassett set up freshman Libby Hooper and Hooper beat Falmouth’s freshman goalie Ella Wiley to give Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete a 5-4 victory.

“There was a dump-in, Marina skated the puck down and it ended up in the corner,” Hooper said. “I was in the high slot calling for it and had a quick release. To be honest, the shot wasn’t that pretty, but it didn’t matter.”

“We (lost in overtime to) Lewiston in the state final in 2020 and I thought that game was the best I’ve ever seen, but this one rivaled that,” said Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete Coach Bob Mills. “Boy, we were depleted at the end. We’re both exhausted and relieved.”

Falmouth skated off heartbroken, yet proud.

“To play this well was unexpected,” Carrier said at the time. “After a couple days, we’ll look back and come away realizing how much we accomplished.”


As it turned out, Cape wasn’t able to parlay the most dramatic victory in program history into a championship, as it lost in the South Region final, 3-1, to Scarborough, which, oh by the way, had to play three overtimes before beating Cheverus in its semifinal.

On the same ice surface.

In the same building.

It’s safe to say no one will soon forget the marathon evening of Feb. 12.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.