The two finalists competing for the girls’ hockey state championship know each other well, despite not meeting in the regular season.

However, North regional champion Greely/Gray-New Gloucester and South champ Cheverus/Kennebunk did meet twice in scrimmages — one before the season and another midway through it.

The rubber game, so to speak, has “a lot more on the line,” Greely/Gray-NG coach Nate Guerin said.

“We’re quite familiar with each other,” Stags coach Scott Rousseau said.

There’s no secrets between the teams at this point. The Stags used a “tenacious defense,” according to Rousseau, to go 17-1 during the regular season, the only loss an overtime defeat to rival Portland/Deering — which they avenged in the regional final.

The Rangers, the North region bridesmaids to eventual state champion St. Dominic Academy the past two years, had to come out of the No. 3 seed and get back at both the Saints in the regional semifinals and top-seeded Lewiston/Monmouth/Oak Hill in the North final.

“They didn’t get here by accident,” Rousseau said. “Realistically, they’re a two-loss team. I think you have to discount their second loss to Lewiston, when (Camilla) Lattanzi and (Courtney) Sullivan did not play.”

Rousseau said the playoff experience — something his team doesn’t have nearly as much of — is something the Rangers can consider a strength. He also said they don’t have weaknesses.

The Rangers have made it to the state final on the coattails of three senior forwards, whom Guerin called “possessed.” Sullivan, Bridget Roberts and Molly Horton have put the team on their backs, producing most of the points since a 7-5 loss to St. Dom’s on senior night.

The trio often plays together, but not always. Rousseau said part of the challenge for his team is anticipating when Sullivan and Roberts — both finalists for the Becky Schaffer Award, given to the most outstanding senior player in the state — are teamed up and when they center different lines.

The challenge for Guerin and the Rangers is to pick their poison on which Stags line they try to stop.

“I think the number of skilled players that they have (is their strength),” Guerin said. “Abby Lamontagne, she’s a special player. She’s going to carry a lot of the load. But they’ve got great secondary scoring from both positions, from forward and from defense. When they can play pretty much two solid lines and not really have any let-down, that’s a huge boost. If you’re a girls’ hockey team in Maine, if you have two solid lines you’re in really good shape.”

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