York puts its stock in a talented senior
at Portland Ice Arena
EAST: No. 3 Leavitt/Edward Little (15-4) vs. No. 1 Greely (16-2-1), 5 p.m.
WEST: No. 2 York (15-3-1) vs. No. 1 Scarborough (17-1-1), 7 p.m.By KEVIN THOMAS
There were times last year when the York High coaches wondered if Tori Stocks would ever shoot.
``One game in Yarmouth, she skated around the zone three times.`` Wildcats Coach Jeff Hurd said. ``She was like an airplane looking for a runway.``
But now Stocks, a strong-skating defenseman, is shooting and scoring -- usually in the clutch.
York (15-3-1) will need Stocks today as the second-seeded Wildcats take on top-seeded Scarborough (17-1-1) in the West region girls hockey championship at 7 p.m. at the Portland Ice Arena.
The East title will be decided between No. 1 Greely (16-2-1) and No. 3 Leavitt/Edward Little (15-4) at 5 p.m.
The winners meet Saturday in Lewiston for the state title.
Scarborough can boast of the state`s best record, but that one loss came at the hands of York, a 2-1 overtime thriller on Jan. 5.
Stocks got the game-winner in that one, beating two defenders.
Stocks also scored the decided goal late in Monday`s 3-2 playoff win over Falmouth. And recently in a 1-0 win over Lewiston, it was Stocks making the difference.
``She has an abundance of talent and she`s able to see the ice well,`` Hurd said.
And Stocks, who has been skating since she was 18 months old and playing hockey since she was four, is finally a scorer.
``Shooting has always been my weakness. I would get so anxious,`` Stocks said. ``Coach was always saying, `you got to finish. You got to finish. You get there but you`re not putting it in the net.`
``This year, I don`t know what happened, but it started to click and I started finishing.``
Maybe it is because it is her senior year and Stocks figures she has to come through.
Stocks comes from a hockey family, originally in Massachusetts. Her dad, Paul, played the sport. Mom Nancy is a huge fan. Her brother P.J. played for York as did sister Sammy (now a freshman skating for the University of New England).
Stocks also plays on the Junior Pirates U-19 team, along with York teammates, defenseman Kendall Carr and goalie Olivia Drew. Three Scarborough players are also on that team -- goalie Devan Kane, defenseman Sam Nabo and forward Sarah Martens.
``They`re great teammates and great competitors,`` Stocks said. ``It should be an exciting game.``
Scarborough won the first game between the two, 3-0 on Dec. 5.
GREELY AND Leavitt/Edward Little have faced each other twice, two months apart. The Red Hornets won the first game, 2-1 on Dec. 1, and Greely won the Feb. 2 game, 5-1.
The Rangers are 12-0-1 in their last 13 games (the tie coming against Scarborough).
``They`re on a nice little roll,`` Greely Coach Nate Geurin said. ``Nothing fancy. Just very focused, working very hard.
``They know what it takes.``
Senior forwards Paige Tuller and Meg Finlay are among the leaders. First-year goalie Maura Perry has been strong.
Leavitt/Edward Little has skated strong all year, with its only losses coming to Greely, Scarborough (in overtime), Lewiston and York.
The Red Hornets beat Lewiston 3-2 with nine-tenths of a second remaining in the second overtime in Monday`s playoff game. Taylor Landry scored all three goals for Leavitt/Edward Little. Taylor, a junior, already has over 100 career goals.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: